If I were to drown in a sea of 72% cocoa chocolate in this, my 25th year, rest assured, I would not have died in vain. I’m not attempting to sound morbid but coughing and spluttering chocolate as it’s silky bittersweetness wrapped itself around me- it couldn’t be that bad could it? You only have to click my recipes page to witness my incontestable bias towards said ingredient* and though I try to steer myself away from time to time to give others a chance to step up to the plate, I always end up thinking:”it would be even better with some chocolate”. Caviar, overrated, foie gras, take it or leave it, filet mignon, well if I must, chocolate, mmmm….
And though I favour chocolate in my baking above all other notable additions, nothing beats a square, or two, or oh heck, the whole bar of 72% cocoa on its own in all its heavenly decadence. There are few instances in my day where I actually get to sit back and think about what I’m eating and yet when my teeth snap off the corner of a piece of chocolate, my pursed lips close around it and my tongue rubs it against the roof of my mouth… I close my eyes and have a moment. Yes, really, I have moments when I eat chocolate- stop judging. My sister has always poked fun at me for how long it takes me to eat a morsel of chocolate, savouring every last milligram, placing it down in between each bite to reflect, breath, enjoy. Some people need yoga, red wine or a hot bath to relax- for me it’s chocolate. Chocolate is my zen. It is no wonder that I was never any good at that childhood game where you had to run into the middle of a circle dress up and try and eat as much of a bar of chocolate as you could with a knife and fork before somebody else rolled a set of doubles with the dice and replaced you. I’d have one square and want to lie back and sleep- satiated on first bite.
I hazard to suggest my relationship with chocolate is so resolute because we share so many synonymous qualities. Chocolate after all is temperamental (I shan’t deny it) and it needs to be tempered so that it does not self destruct (It’s true, I’m a sensitive soul). Chocolate is silky smooth (hello!), sexy (grrr), it’s perfect alongside a glass of champagne or a cup of tea (yes please) and thus is why chocolate and I have such an undeniably strong bond. Whoever said opposites attract was miles off the mark- it was love at first site for chocolate and I and its been enjoying prime cupboard real estate ever since.
The path to true love never did run smooth though and like Romeo and Juliette, ours was a tumultuous affair. My family was always partial to Cadbury’s milk or Nestle’s Milky Way and it was only in my late teens that I realised how deprived I had been- dark chocolate had always been too bitter, or too sweet, too bland- too Bournville. But I will always remember my first sighting of 72% cocoa- a bar of Green & Blacks, my auntie Carrie was offering me “full of antioxidants” she had said and then there was no going back. Milk and white varieties were sidelined and my love affair with real dark chocolate began…temperamental soul mates. And aren’t soul mates supposed to be content to die in one another’s arms? Death by chocolate? Yes please.
*If you fancy death by chocolate, why not start with one of these, or even better click on the link above to read and vote for other chocolate lovers ( hey, I never claimed monogamy).
Chocolate revel bars, go on revel in it
Millionnaires shortbread, a little gluttony goes a long way
Chocolate cocoa nib shortbread, not for the faint-hearted
The best chocolate cake ever, for break-ups, weddings and inlaw’s