Cuckoo For Cocoa

Updated: Jul 27


Since chocolate spread to Europe from Mesoamerica in the 15th century it has become a staple sweet and one of the most produced confectionaries in the world. Advances in culinary techniques have rendered modern chocolate unrecognisable compared to its original form (a bitter cocoa drink) that was served in the court of Montezuma but its core component remains the same. Made from the beans of the cacao tree, cocoa is the main ingredient in almost every variation of chocolate.


We have long been warned not to eat too much chocolate as it’s “unhealthy” and “rots our teeth” but the ingredient cocoa should not be lumped in with unhealthy sweets. Cocoa has a wide range of health benefits that covers blood pressure, brain function as well as anti-oxidising properties. Cocoa contains flavonoids with its best example being flavanol, a strong antioxidant shown to lower blood pressure and prevent some types of cancer. It also mitigates the negative impacts of sleep impairment on cardiovascular health. These same flavanols are good for your brain as well as your heart, with studies showing a link to improved cognition and memory, boosted concentration, as well as verbal fluency. In particular for the ageing population, flavanols have been shown to protect against age-related cognitive decline.

Not only does cocoa benefit the mind and body it can influence mood. Cocoa contains polyphenols, which have been shown to alleviate anxiety when consumed daily in high amounts.

The key to enjoying this treat guilt-free is to go for dark chocolate with 70% or more cocoa solids.

Here’s a simple recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies from the #soupedup kitchen.

Method

1. Set oven at 160°C.

2. Sift both flours, in a separate bowl cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla essence, mix well.

3. Add flours and chocolate chips and mix into a firm dough.

4. Transfer on to a lightly floured board and knead until smooth.

5. Roll to 5 mm thickness. Cut into shapes with either a cookie cutter or knife or shape into balls and flatten with a fork.

6. Place on a try. Glaze with milk.

7. Bake until biscuits are pale in colour, approximately 10-15 minutes.

8. Cool and dust with icing sugar.

Made it? Snap a photo and hashtag it #soupeduprecipes. We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook!