One of the most consistent ‘wants’ women have been noted to express is the desire for chocolate. Here’s an idea that should help satisfy that craving.
It has been around for centuries and has been called a number of things; antidepressant, stimulant, euphoriant and even aphrodisiac. Chocolate enjoys a special, almost elitist status in the culinary arts and no new beans are spilt when we say its relationship with women is particularly intriguing. Even the most strong-headed, guarded, composed female has been known to succumb to the ungodly powers of this commanding confection.
What is it about chocolate that makes us go weak at the knees or instantly brightens a not-so-sunny day? Is it just the exposure to glossy adverts that directs us to react a certain way or does it actually sooth the nerves and highjack our worries. Well, it’s the combination of both that has resulted in making chocolate on of the most celebrated (read worshipped) foods of all times.
American nutritionist Dr Susan Mitchell found that chocolate is hands down the number one food women crave. A potent combination of theobromine, (caffeine-like stimulant that perks you up), tryptophane (which increases the brain’s serotonin levels for a feel-good result) and phenethylamine (which releases endorphins, causing feelings of passion and love) makes it an instant hit. Add to this the unbeatable combination of fat and sugar and you’ve got yourself the winning formula.
Chocolate not only satisfies your sweet tooth; many are now giving it a starring role in savoury dishes as well. Be it a table-for-two or a weekend family gathering, here’s a recipe to try for an invigorating cocoa twist.
Spaghetti Bolognese with Chocolate (serves 2)
• 2 onions
• 1 tbsp of olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic
• 0.5 tbsp of dried basil
• A pinch of salt and black pepper
• 3 tbsp tomato puree
• 450gm lean mince
• 2 tins chopped tomatoes
• 400gm spaghetti
• 1 tsp of cocoa powder
• 1 tbsp of grated dark chocolate
• Peel the onions and heat olive oil in a deep frying pan to a medium heat.
• Add onions to the pan and slowly soften, making sure that they do not burn.
• Once softened add garlic, basil, salt, pepper, tomato puree and the teaspoon of cocoa powder. Stir constantly for a couple of minutes.
• Add minced beef and fry until it is brown and incorporated into the sauce.
• Add in 2 cans of tomatoes and bring to a simmer. When the liquid starts to bubble, reduce the heat slightly and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
• While the sauce is simmering, cook spaghetti and drain into a serving dish.
• Once the spaghetti is cooked, increase the heat on the sauce until it becomes rich and thick.
• Add sauce to the spaghetti and sprinkle in the tablespoon of grated dark chocolate.
• Serve and enjoy!