Chocolate Day 2020: Wonder Bar for all your needs
Give your Valentine’s Day celebrations a chocolatey kick with some out-of-the-box ideas. As delicious as it tastes, chocolate also has many health benefits and is skincare’s prized secret. While we have stolen little moments with a thick, sinful slab of dark chocolate paired with a glass of wine at the end of the day, there’s so much more to it than just being a guilty pleasure. Here are a few ways in which you can make the most of it, especially given all the chocolates you will be getting on Chocolate Day.
Is it a pie, is it a waffle... it is a chocolate pizza! Bringing together the best of both worlds, this recipe by chef Anas Qureshi of Molecule Air Bar is for those sweet cravings. The tartness of berries and pineapple is balanced by the velvety texture of chocolate, leaving a lingering taste on the palate.
Take 4g yeast and add 120ml warm water and 25g granulated sugar to it. In a bowl, mix 150g all-purpose flour, a pinch of salt and 30g milk powder. Add the yeast mix and knead the dough. Let it rest for 30-45 minutes till it doubles in size. Flatten the dough in a round shape to make the base and prick holes in it with a toothpick. Bake this in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Layer it with nutella and slivers of oranges, pineapples, strawberries and shavings of dark and white chocolate. Bake for 2-4 minutes and serve hot.
Chocolates and liqueurs are a time-tested romance, approved by gastronomic gurus. Mixologist Vivek Kumar of Uncultured Cafe & Bar shares these recipes that will set the mood abuzz.
In a shaker, mix 60ml gin and 20 ml chocolate syrup. Pour in a coupe and garnish with white chocolate shavings and a chocolate candy.
In a shaker, add 60ml vodka, 15ml Kahlua, 15ml Malibu rum and 1tsp espresso coffee syrup and shake well. Pour in a snifter and top it up with Nutella and caramelised popcorn.
In a pan, heat 2 cups water and add 2 tbsp black tea. Crush 2 green cardamom pods and add to the water, along with 1 cinnamon stick, 1-2 cloves and a pinch each of white pepper powder and ground ginger. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Add dark chocolate, milk and sugar and brew for 5 minutes. “The tannins and caffeine in this tea help revitalise the body and drive away fatigue,” says chef Santu Maity of Distillery
Chaat and Chocolate
Here’s a truly desi twist to chocolate, courtesy of this recipe by chef Nishant Choubey of One Square Meal, Dubai. A fusion of chaat and chocolate, this recipe introduces foam to the palate.
Chop some tomatoes (without seeds), onions and green chilis and mix well with red chili powder. To this, add 20g chopped raw mango to make a salsa. Mix 20g avocado and 10g cream cheese to make a light mousse. Separately, with a hand blender, mix 100g chocolate sauce with 10ml soya milk to make foam. Pipe avocado mousse on pani puri and top it up with raw mango salsa. Neatly scoop out the chocolate foam on top and garnish with fresh coriander.
Chocolate for skincare
As part of the wellness and beauty, the benefits of chocolate are not just skin deep. Whether it is applied on its own, or in combination with kitchen ingredients, chocolate does wonders for the skin and mind. “The smell of chocolate releases serotonin which makes one feel happy. Chocolate has therapeutic and anti-inflammatory properties. It protects the skin from damage and moisturises it with essential vitamins,” says wellness and beauty expert Blossom Kochhar. Her go-to remedy for oily and acne-prone skin makes use of a tablespoon of cocoa powder, a pinch of cinnamon and a tablespoon of honey. “Apply this mask for 20-25 minutes and then wash it off. These ingredients have antioxidants which help in killing the acne-causing bacteria,” she shares.
Quick recipes for luscious, glowing skin:
1. For a scrub, mix half cup of sugar with half cup of coconut oil and a tablespoon of cocoa powder, and use regularly for clear skin.
2. For dry skin prone to acne, mix chocolate with honey. It helps combat bacteria without making the skin dry.
3. Mixing chocolate with lemon and yoghurt can help in brightening of the skin and unclogging pores.
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