Chocolate and Coffee: A Sublime Combination
If you're a true connoisseur, you've probably already realized that chocolate and coffee make a nice combination. But how have you tried it?
The combination of chocolate and coffee isn't necessarily an extreme one, but it's usually extremely delicious. If you've ever had a mocha latte (and what chocolate extremo hasn't?), then surely you know what I mean. Ain't it great to be able to combine two perfectly legal mind-altering substances in perfectly legal ways?
There are many options for imbibing your coffee/chocolate combos, and in this article, we'll discuss a few interesting ones. But first, this public service message!
The Health Benefits
As tasty as coffee and chocolate are, together or separately, it seems that your average caffeine/theobromine shot is actually good for you.
We all know that chocolate has a positive effect on blood pressure and heart health if taken in moderation, and it seems that it may also be able to slow the growth of cancer cells. Recent research reveals that a synthetic cocoa chemical based on natural flavanols called procyanidins has anti-tumor properties.
And That's Not All!
Other researchers have discovered that people who drink a lot of coffee tend to live slightly longer than people who don't, despite the fact that coffee-drinkers also tend to drink more alcohol, exercise less, and smoke more.
No guarantees, of course -- but if you just mix chocolate with your coffee, cut the booze, and actually take care of yourself more, you could add years to your life. Great news for us chocolate lovers!
You can easily make your own cafe mocha by directly putting chocolate into your coffee. You could even do it with standard chocolate syrup or cocoa powder, if you don't mind going into a sugar coma; as you know, most of those products are made to power children.
I like mixing a rich, dark unsweetened cocoa into a bracing cup of strong coffee; the hotter the better, at least at first, because that helps the flavors mix nicely. It may take you a little while to find the right unsweetened powder, but it's worth the effort. You can also grate solid baker's chocolate into your cup, if you like.
Here's an interesting alternative to the standard method of mixing coffee and chocolate: grind up some cocoa nibs and brew them directly in your coffeemaker along with the coffee grounds. This allows the flavors to mix directly into a single unified drink before either ingredient reaches your cup. Heavenly!
Needless to say, sugar is optional, based on your preferences.
Due to space considerations, I haven't even discussed one of my favorite solid choco-coffee combos, the gateau l'opera. Therefore I'll soon devote a whole article to this chocolate and coffee pastry, so be on the lookout for that!