Today, I’m turning my blog over to guest blogger, Zelda Benjamin, who is sharing a thoroughly yummy post. And I do mean “yummy.” Who doesn’t like chocolate? How clever of Zelda to weave this sweet treat through her series of contemporary romance novels.
Whether you prefer milk, dark (my personal favorite) or white, grab some chocolate and enjoy!
What I Learned From Chocolate
With my 5th and last book in my Love by Chocolate series coming out in June, I took a break and looked back at all the witty and interesting chocolate information I’ve collected. It’s been fun and very informative. Chocolate says a lot. Eating and preparing chocolate is like any life experience. You have to be creative, daring, and adventurous.
My hero in Chocolate Secrets is a NYC firefighter who bakes decadent chocolate cakes. To preserve the honor of his firehouse, he’s searching for the best ingredients for his entry in the annual firefighters bake-off. An old family feud keeps my heroine from sharing a secret frosting recipe with this sexy firefighter.
Searching for the best chocolate cake recipe took some time and a lot of chocolate tasting. I realized that best means something different to everyone. Some bakers had no problem using a prepared cake mix. The frosting, filling, and decorations were what made the cake. Others said it was all about the cake.
While doing research for Chocolate Magic, I learned that chocolate produces the same chemical in the brain that’s released when you’re in love. Chloe’s specialty hand made chocolate and hot cocoa thrill everyone. Everyone except, Ethan Behar who Chloe believes might be imbalanced for love.
In Chocolate Muse, Maddie is horrified when her signature torta di chocolate gets trashed by a reviewer she nearly poisoned. Out of fear of harming someone else, she backs away from her career and unknowingly into the life of the man responsible for her bad luck. As she regains her confidence, she learns to trust.
Did you know that the chocolate center or the shape of the candy you choose from a box of chocolate can tell a lot about your relationships, your strengths, and your weaknesses?
Rectangle chocolate lovers are loyal. If you prefer a swirl, you’re bursting with energy and attracted to challenges. How about a walnut filling? You’ve got a heart of gold. To find out more about what your chocolate passion means, checkout http://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-Therapy-Discover-Inner-Center/dp/1580081088/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401197342&sr=1-1&keywords=chocolate+therapy
In Chocolate Couture hearts melt and emotions sizzle when the Queen of Cakes clashes with the King of Burgers and Fries.
Chocolate speaks a universal language and brings the world together. Sharing chocolate elevates everyone’s mood and can make friends out of rivals.
My research for Chocolate & Sensibility took me in a different direction. Set in a tropical rainforest where all that wonderful chocolate originates, the facts increased my awareness of the delicate balance of the rainforest. It has made me more aware of the origins of the chocolate I eat. I learned the importance of buying sustainable chocolate. For more info go to http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/work/agriculture/cocoa
Did you know it takes 400 cocoa beans to make one pound of chocolate?
Switzerland, Austria, and Ireland are the top 3 consumers of chocolate. The US is #11.
Sadly I have to confess, I am not a from scratch baker. Semi-home made is more my style. I’d like to share one of the simple recipes I discovered. It was originally published in Better Homes and Gardens. To keep it simple, I use a ready mixed yellow cake mix and a 1/3 of a cup (you can use more or add sugar to make it sweeter) of any form of cocoa powder left over from a hot chocolate binge.
Cocoa Ripple Ring
Layer batter in thirds, alternating with cocoa mixture, into a well greased 12 cup bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes, till toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in pan then turn out onto a plate,
Zelda is an RN, author, and lover of everything chocolate. She writes sweet, but sensual contemporary romance. She loves to travel with her family. No destination is too far. From Brooklyn, NY to Auckland, NZ there are stories everywhere.
For more information about Zelda visit her website www.zeldabenjamin.com
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