Calling All Chocolate Lovers

March 18, 2010
Issue #025

1. Cool Chocolate Facts
2. Chocolate Recipe Contest (Entries Close on March 31)

1. What is chocolate?

Making chocolate isn’t easy. In fact, it’s a long and complicated process. First chocolate is made by fermenting then drying cocoa beans that come from the tropical cacao tree. Next in the process is sorting and roasting the cocoa beans, cracking and husking them to reveal the beans (nibs), then grinding the nibs until they become cocoa mass, a thick, brown liquid. The cocoa mass is squeezed to make cocoa butter and cocoa paste (cocoa paste is then dried to make cocoa powder). Next a conching machine mixes up cocoa mass, cocoa butter, sugar, and other flavorings to make chocolate. This whole process takes a long time.

What are the different types of chocolate?

Dark Chocolate – chocolate with more cocoa mass, less sugar, little or no milk solids, more bitter than milk chocolate. The three types of dark chocolate are semi-sweet (most common dark chocolate), sweet (lowest percentage of cocoa solids), and bittersweet (highest percentage of cocoa solids, less sweet, more bitter).

Milk Chocolate – chocolate with milk solids, very sweet and creamy to taste, less cocoa mass than dark chocolate.

White Chocolate – chocolate with no cocoa mass, only cocoa butter, lots of sugar, extremely sweet.

Check out these Cool Chocolate Facts:

  • According to the World Cocoa Foundation, people throughout the world eat more than 3 million tons of cocoa beans every year.
  • Switzerland is the country that consumes the most chocolate in the world. The Swiss eat about 23 pounds of chocolate per year per person.
  • Americans eat 12 ½ pounds of chocolate per year.
  • Australians eat more chocolate Easter eggs than anywhere else in the world.
  • Cocoa and dark chocolate contain anti-oxidants which are good for your health.
  • Never feed chocolate to a dog – the theobromine is a stimulant that could kill your dog.
  • According to the Guiness Book of World Records, the biggest chocolate bar was made in the year 2000 and weighed 5033 pounds. Now that is big!

So go out there and make a wonderful recipe with chocolate!

2. Chocolate Recipe Contest Open to All Chocolate Lovers

If you think you've got a really great chocolate recipe, then please enter it in the Easy Kids Recipes Chocolate Recipe Contest (click here for details).

Send in a recipe that contains: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, cocoa beans, cocoa nibs, or cocoa powder - make sure your recipe truly is a "chocolate" recipe. For the best chance to win, add your story and a photo.

Hurry, the contest closes on March 31.

First place winner will receive a $100 gift certificate from CHOCOLATE.COM.

Second place winner will receive a $50 gift certificate from CHOCOLATE.COM.

Please take a little time to check out the fabulous chocolate recipes sent in so far and rate them.

You can also check out the awesome Holiday Recipe Contest winners from the last recipe contest. Thanks to all who entered the holiday contest. There were some wonderfully creative recipes sent in!

Happy Kid Cooking and Happy Chocolate Recipe Cooking!

Clarissa the Mom Chef
Easy Kids Recipes