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©2017 by Meredith Wellman | Simply Wellman

  • Meredith Wellman, MS, RD

Baked Dark Chocolate: Good for the heart and soul.

First things first, #soulwork in the kitchen:

Song I'm Singin':

Colors by Black Pumas


Words I'm Feelin':

"People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is also a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back; the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. They tear down your walls and make you awake. A soul mate's purpose is to shake you up, tear apart you ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, and make you have to transform your life." -Anon.


#LiveToYourFullestPotential

I think soul mates aren't always your romantic partner, but sometimes if you're reaaal lucky- They're both.


Benefits of dark chocolate (60% or higher cocoa content):


As if many of us need another reason to love chocolate... And I know I'm gonna burst a couple bubbles, but this isn't talking about white chocolate or M&Ms and Milk Ways. Those are delicious and are fine to enjoy in moderation. As for health benefits and deliciousness, I'm talking about dark chocolate that contains more cocoa than sugar. The higher the cocoa percentage, the more health benefits (and the more bitter); cocoa powder is 100% cocoa.


Dark chocolate can have some health boosting benefits:


-Naturally low in sugar, provides some fiber and heart healthy fat - All of which makes this a better choice for blood sugar response.

-Good source vitamins and minerals that work to protect our heart: Magnesium, manganese, copper, and iron. #EatForYourHeartBeat

-Cocoa, dark chocolate, is very high in antioxidants and phytonutrients: These work to fix our bodies from the inside, out.

-Some studies with dark chocolate have shown improvement with LDL cholesterol and blood pressure (attributed to the cocoa and consumed in moderation over long period of time.)

-"Its mental health benefits include the ability to boost brain levels of endorphins (natural opiates) as well as serotonin (a mood-altering chemical on which many antidepressants act)." -Dianna Walcutt, PhD

-Interesting study done on dark chocolate and moods: Click


To learn more: Click


Pleaaase note: Too much of a good thing can make it, well, not good (Except love!!!). Practice enjoying your desserts and dark chocolate in moderation, or else you'll end up with a belly ache and a bad mood. Dark chocolate also contains some caffeine, so if you're sensitive to caffeine that's another reason to not overdo the dark choc-o-late.

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This is a twist to my Momma's recipe, which is a family favorite; my dad and husband LOVE this dessert -- I added pure vanilla extract, bourbon and a sprinkle of salt (#rebel), and I also adapted the method of baking to make it a little easier. The recipe has 72% dark chocolate, butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and only 1/4 C sugar. That's it!

Recipe for Baked Dark Chocolate:

Ingredients:

10 oz. dark chocolate chips (I chose 72% Simple Truth, if you don’t like dark chocolate you can choose a lower percentage!)

6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut up to smaller pieces

4 eggs

1/4 C granulated sugar

1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract

A couple sprinkles of kosher salt (about 1/8 tsp.)

*optional: 1 Tbsp. bourbon, mmm!


For topping:

1 C heavy whipping cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

strawberries

*optional: 1 Tbsp. sugar


You need:

4 ramekins or coffee cups (must be able to go in oven)

1 sauce pan

1-2 glass bowls (to fit into sauce pan)

electric mixer

music on!


What you do:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Arrange four 1-cup, ovenproof mugs or ramekins on a baking sheet.

2. Bring saucepan with water to boil. In glass bowl, add chocolate chips and pieces of butter. Set bowl on top of saucepan to melt (This is a makeshift double-boiler). Reduce heat to medium-low. Whisk (or stir with a fork!) until velvety smoooooth. Remove from heat and set aside. 3. Stir eggs and sugar together in glass bowl (or a smaller saucepan... Didn't have two glass bowls the right size!), then set over simmering water. Stir until warm to touch. Be careful puttin' that finger in there...

4. Remove from heat. Beat egg mixture with electric mixer until light and fluffy; this takes about 3-5 minutes. Then, gently (or aggressively!) fold egg mixture into chocolate mixture. Mix until well completely blended. Add vanilla extract and bourbon (if using), stir into mixture.

5. Spoon (or fork!) batter into cups, evenly. Bake for 15 minutes, or until tops lose glossy finish. Let cool.

6. Cover. To reheat, put in 350F oven for 5 minutes


For topping:

1. In bowl, beat together heavy whipping cream and vanilla until it's thiccck.

2. Wash and slice a strawberry to garnish if you so please.


ENJOY!

It sounds harder than it looks, soooo here's a video. :)

Psst... This is the perfect dessert for Valentine's Day.