Want an excuse to eat chocolate? I’m about to give you one.
Let’s not fool ourselves, the current state of chocolate consumption in the majority Western world is seriously out of control. Like most, chocolate is my achillies heel. There have been countless occasions where I’ve smugly resisted pizza or chips, but fallen at the last chocolate-covered hurdled and gorged on cake, ice cream or any cocoa based delight. The combination of the bitter cocoa with the sweet creaminess somehow bypasses all my self-restraint, as soon as the prospect of eating chocolate even crosses my mind I know I’m going to cave. Literally… I’ve just taken a break to go scavenge in my cupboards for some but all I could find was cocoa powder and I’m seriously tempted just to eat it straight. I clearly have a problem.
If you recognise these addictive behaviours in yourself then join me in finding a solution. Chocolate as a luxury.
Indeed, that is how chocolate was was initially perceived – the Aztecs, who first created chocolate, considered it as “food of the gods.” Cocoa was so revered it was painted on temple walls and consumed only during religious occasions and weddings. These days chocolate is not so much anticipated but has come to be as expected as a daily occurrence. From morning to evening it is an option, with chocolate cereals at breakfast to hot cocoa before bed to ensure the day ends in a chocolatey finish.Eating chocolate every day devalues the experience, so we are able to eat mindlessly with out appreciating how damn good it tastes. We are living as if chocolate is a core food group we require to function. But unfortunately, as cocoa beans are in short supply, the trajectory of chocolate consumption is expected to rapidly change.
Though inflation of chocolate prices may seem rather devastating, perhaps a price influx is what we need to limit our intake. This can be the very thing that forces chocolate to become a luxury. Think how much better a creme egg would taste if you only get one every Easter or if chocolate cake was genuinely only eaten on Birthdays. Not only would we probably be happier and healthier but the expectation and value place upon chocolate would elevate the pleasure derived from the whole experience.
The team at Understory are doing just that – making an limited edition, luxury chocolate product from the rarest cocoa bean in the world. Each bar tells a story, making your chocolate consumption a theatrical event to look forward to. Products like this will turn chocolate into an exciting and anticipated experience, hopefully helping us to ditch average shop bought bars and perceive chocolate as the Aztecs did, like a food of the gods.
Here’s decadent recipe you can turn to for special occasions – it’s so naturally sweet you’ll be thanking the Aztecs as you eat.
Chocolate and blueberry chia jam squares:
Buttery biscuit base:
1 1/2 cups raw almonds
1 1/2 cups porridge oats
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp water
12oz fresh blueberries
4 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp honey
2 bars dark chocolate
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp honey
1. Grease a square cake tin.
2. For the jam, puree the blueberries and honey in a blender. Mix in chia seeds and leave in the fridge for 20 minutes.
3. Whiz all the base ingredients in a food processor until combined into a buttery biscuit base (ha) and layer it across the bottom of your tin. Bake in the oven for 15mins.
4. Once cooled, spread a thick layer of jam on top of the base.
5. Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl above hot water, then add coconut oil and honey.
6. Pour the chocolate mixture evenly on top of the jam.
7. Freeze for about 20 minutes until it gets firm. Take out of the freezer 5-10 mins before service and cut into squares just before service.