Chocolate Relaxation

Chocolate relaxation? The mission of not only preparing a chocolate dessert but also deciding on a less conventional recipe, during Thanksgiving, re-ignited the excitement of not only sharing my cake but also the process of making it.  Personally, melting chocolate is a truly relaxing and an enjoyable experience. ‘Chocolate therapy’ does not only mean indulging in that cake or the fact that the leftover mixture is of course savored.

Amaretto Chocolate Cake FS

A rich luxurious chocolate dessert will put a smile on almost anyone! Christmas and many other holidays can give us an excuse to make desserts that we would not often take the time to prepare at home. You are just too busy, life is chaotic and well I would affirm it is best to not have a chocolate mouse cake sitting around in your kitchen on any random day! Moderation…

While it may be convenient, and less work to waltz into a high end chocolatier or bakery, (I can name affirm some favorites…. La Maison, Neuhaus) there is something special about making your own chocolate cake, truffles or any other decadent dessert even if only a few times a year.

I have had this chocolate encyclopedia my mom gave to me as a gift probably 14 years ago. I shall say this is one of the most important books on my shelf! Even though the cover is faded, it has notes where I checked off ingredients, and it is a bit heavy to carry into the store, this book has served me well. Remnants of dusted cocoa powder or melted chocolate visible on the pages are a reminder of which recipes I tried, and some with more success than others! Of course, you can pull recipes and get inspiration from various sources, that dessert you remember having at a café, a family tradition or even let’s not forget the modern visual tool called Pinterest.

Also, anyone that loves melting chocolate can appreciate a proper double boiler and quality baking chocolate!

If you feel that Christmas and the winter holidays can feel more stressful than exciting try and perhaps relax with chocolate in the kitchen, savor the aroma, the texture, and enjoy the experience of either making a dessert you already know will be fabulous or go ahead and try something new!  The Chocolate Amaretto Marquise cake above may not have had a perfect shape and I probably could have crushed the almonds even more but it tasted amazing! Sometimes you need to improvise.

On the heels of a desire to share the message of chocolate relaxation, I was inspired to watch Chocolat again last weekend. Well it is simply a great film and how can it not be with Johnny Depp. There is a sense of calm when melting chocolate and the smell of the cocoa that makes you feel at ease (with or without that liquor added to the ganache) Juliette Binoche couldn’t demonstrate better, the natural radiance emanating from a woman’s skin and subtle smile present when both preparing chocolate but seeing the smile on the face of others when they have just one taste!

A chocolate dessert made with love is good for the heart in more ways than one!

Red Apron with Chocolate Amaretto Cake FS