Let’s talk about chocolate. Who doesn’t love chocolate? I’ve been doing a little research about chocolate. Did you know that it takes 400 cocoa beans to make one pound of chocolate, and even though it is believed that cacao originated in Central and South America, roughly 70 percent of the world’s cacao is grown in Western Africa? Here’s the best news ever- Chocolate comes from a fruit tree, and fruit is good for you! OK, that might be stretching things a bit, but I did learn that eating dark chocolate can boost your memory, attention span, reaction time and problem solving by increasing the blood flow to your brain. It also can promote lower blood pressure, which has positive effects on cholesterol levels, platelet function and insulin sensitivity. One final tidbit to ponder – Chocolate melting in a person‘s mouth can cause a more intense and longer-lasting “buzz” than kissing! During February, the stores are well-stocked with lots of chocolate goodies for giving or indulging. If you enjoy cooking, there are many intriguing chocolate recipes to try. I found one called Black Russian Cake, and it starts with a box of deep chocolate cake mix. Here’s the recipe:

1 box of deep chocolate cake mix
1 small package chocolate or chocolate fudge instant pudding mix
½ cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
¾ cup strong coffee
6 tablespoons Crème de Cocoa
6 tablespoons Kahlua

Mocha Glaze
1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon Kahlua
1 tablespoon Crème de Cocoa

To prepare the cake, combine the cake and pudding mixes, oil, eggs, coffee and liqueurs, and beat for 4 minutes. Spoon into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack.

To prepare the glaze, combine the coffee, powdered sugar and liqueurs in a bowl and mix well. Poke holes in the cake and spoon the glaze over the tip, allowing the glaze to soak in.

How can this cake not be delicious? What is your favorite chocolate recipe? Please share!


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