This month I have been the lucky recipient of 3 bars of premium Amano Dark Chocolate. Amano Artisan Chocolate has nabbed many awards in the foodie world. "The company is one of the few companies in Utah in the United States that obtains superior-quality cocoa beans direct from the source and artfully transforms them into finished super-premium chocolate."
Part of the allure of chocolate has to do with the taste of course. It is a deliciously rich concoction that would satisfy the most intense craving and have us drooling on our screens. There are also several chemical reactions at work whenever we bite into a piece of luscious chocolaty goodness. Chocolate stimulates the secretion of endorphins, producing a pleasurable sensation similar to the "runner's high" a jogger feels after running several miles. About 40% of women and 15% of men report chocolate cravings.
The higher cocoa, lower sugar content and antioxidant properties of premium dark chocolate are making it a more attractive treat for the health-conscious. As much as I would love to believe it not all chocolate is heart healthy. Milk chocolate and white chocolate, which is not really chocolate at all, may expand the hips rather than contain the flavonoids that improve the blood flow.
**Dark Chocolate Rum Souffles**
For the soufflés:
4 oz (110 g) dark chocolate (75 per cent cocoa solids)
2 T rum
2 T double cream
4 large egg yolks
6 large egg whites
a little melted butter for greasing
a little golden caster sugar for dusting ( I determined this was demerara sugar)
For the sauce:
3 oz (75 g) dark chocolate (75 per cent cocoa solids)
2 T double cream
10 fl oz (275 ml) double or single cream
a little icing sugar for dusting
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).
You will also need a medium-sized baking tray; six 3 inch (7.5 cm) deep ramekins, with a base diameter of 2½ inches (6 cm) and a top diameter of 3 inches (7.5 cm) (or six similar-sized heatproof dishes).