Nothing says Love or Valentine quite like Chocolate! No one knows for sure where, when or how the two came together, but chocolate has always been thought to be valuable, decadent and even divine, so what would be a more appropriate gift to a woman than chocolate?
Technically speaking, chocolate or cocoa is derived from the seed of a tropical tree know as Theobroma Cacao. Originally, it was cultivated in Central and South America as early as 1400 BC. The Mayan’s used it for ceremonial purposes, as a drink or in recipes. It was considered a Royal Drink by the Aztecs.
Chocolate contains an estimated 300 chemicals and some of its positive effects include help in fighting cancer, stimulating the brain, preventing cough, as well as help lower blood pressure. Even though its aphrodisiac effects have not been proven in a lab yet, one of the substances in chocolate, phenylethylamine, simulates the same sensation as that of falling in love. I don’t know about you but the taste and smell of chocolate gets me in the mood.
On this Valentine’s Day, I want to share my love of perfumes and all things naturally fragrant with all of you, so here are some of my favorite chocoholic recipes:
Chocolate Massage Oil:
Fill a 4oz glass pump bottle with Sweet Almond oil and add 60 drops Cocoa Absolute. You will have to shake with each use as Cocoa Absolute doesn’t completely dissolve in oil. It will, however, be worth the extra work!
Luscious Cocoa Scrub:
• 1 tbsp Cocoa nibs (found in health food stores)
• 4 tbsp raw Turbinado cane sugar (same as “Sugar in the Raw”)
• 2 tbsp of Sweet Almond oil
• 4 drops Cocoa Absolute
Finely chop (food processor works best) cocoa nibs, add Turbanado sugar and blend in the Sweet Almond oil and Cocoa Absolute. You can add more or less of the Sweet Almond oil for texture preference. Take into shower with you and scrub away all your woes.
Mayan Ritual (Drink):
• 1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
• 1 cup Milk or Water
• 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
• ¼ tsp Pure Vanilla
• Dash of Nutmeg
Bring water or milk to a low boil; add Cocoa, Pepper, Vanilla & Nutmeg. And for a little zing, add a tiny pinch of Cayenne Pepper. Enjoy!
And if you’re brave, try my
Death by Cocoa (Drink):
• 12 oz Evaporated Milk (1 can)
• 1/4 cup of Heavy Cream (you don’t drink this every day, so live a little)
• 3 tbsp of Cocoa Powder
• 3 oz of Semisweet Baking Chocolate, Chopped
• 6 tbsp of Sugar (adjust to taste)
• 2 tsp of Cornstarch (mixed into 1 tbsp of water)
• 1/4 tsp Pure Vanilla
• Dash of Nutmeg
• Dash of Cinnamon
• Pinch of Salt
• 2 tablespoons Ginger Syrup (optional)
Bring milk and cream to near boiling. Reduce heat to prevent boiling. Add the Cocoa, baking Chocolate and the sugar. Stir with a whisk for about 5 minutes to really dissolve the ingredients. Now add the remaining (& optional) ingredients.
Prepare cornstarch in a separate cup by adding cornstarch to water mixing thoroughly do avoid clumping. Add the mixture whisking briskly. Turn off the heat and let sit for a minute (the drink will thicken as it cools). For an added zing, try adding a tiny pinch of Cayenne Pepper. Enjoy!