How to Make Chocolate Taste Good in Just About Anything
To most in the western world, chocolate is associated with desserts and drinks that, because of their sweet, high calorie nature, should be enjoyed in moderation. Chocoholics claim that anything is better with chocolate, from chocolate covered ants to chocolate flavored bacon and the more common chocolate covered cherries, strawberries, and other sweet fruits. Candy, cakes, cookies, pies, milkshakes, even alcohol -- the list seems endless.
What often goes overlooked by chocolate fans is that at its origins, chocolate was meant as an additive for savory foods and main dishes. To the Aztecs, who originated the use of the cocoa bean to make an unsweetened drink that many considered an aphrodisiac, the idea of using it in sweets was unheard of. Later, Mexicans began using chocolate in foods and concocted mole (pronounced MOH-lay) sauce to be served with turkey and chicken as well as pork and other meats. The recipes for mole seem as numerous as the cooks who make it. The most popular is a mix of turkey pieces, chilies, chocolate, cinnamon, almonds, and vanilla that is used in American dishes. In Europe, chocolate has made its way into Catalan-style Spanish dishes and in Italian meat pasties and versions of salsa agrodolce.
Still, for the true chocolate junkie, nothing says sweetness like a chocolate cake smothered with chocolate icing, topped with chocolate ice cream and drizzled with fudge sauce. The folks at Recipe 4 Living, in fact, have helpfully collected a list of nearly 1,300 recipes for chocolate desserts and drinks. First up, earning five chef hats of approval is the Upside-Down Chocolate Cake. This is made in a crock pot by mixing Bisquick with sugar, milk, cocoa, and vanilla, and topping it with a sauce using the same ingredients, without the Bisquick, mixed with hot water. Genius! Serve with whipped topping or more chocolate sauce and enjoy a spectacular chocolate fix.