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+61 2 6685 7974

LOVE BYRON BAY ....SPECIALISTS IN INTERNATIONAL AND LOCAL CHOCOLATE.

Love Byron Bay creperie and chocolate boutique is dedicated to sourcing, creating and sharing a quality chocolate experience from Byron Bay, Australia. We'll cultivate your understanding of cocoa, stimulate the palate with a discerning appreciation, fire the imagination with unique chocolate encounters and share the passion for this legendary food of the gods. Exceptional chocolate infused with delicious flavours, irresistible aromatic characteristics and high quality cocoa. 

Blog

Choc Recipes, Choc Facts, Choc Travels and our regular Chocoholic-not-so-Anonymous feature. All this and more in our weekly blog.

Filtering by Tag: dark chocolate

Choc Fact: Milk Chocolate vs. Dark Chocolate?

James Lamont

With all the recent talk about how certain types of chocolate are indeed good for you, an excuse to eat it isn't all that hard to find. But before you go and start eating chocolate bar after bar though, there is a small catch to all this good-for-you business. Chocolate, no matter the type, is still a source of calories and because it tastes oh-so-good to so many of us, it's easy to over do it.

Dark choc vs milk.jpg

Plus, not all chocolates are created equal. To get the health benefits chocolate provides, you really have to know which chocolate bar offers the most amount of nutrients and the least amount of calorie-ridden fat and sugar.

Milk Chocolate vs. Dark Chocolate Although milk chocolate may taste great, it's not nearly as good for you as dark chocolate is. This is because milk chocolate contains less of the original cocoa bean than dark chocolate does. Although milk chocolate does contain cocoa solids, it's often diluted with the addition of milk solids, sugar, and cream. Since milk chocolate does contain some cocoa solids though, its not completely void of all nutrition; however, the nutritional quality is minimal in comparison with dark chocolate, which typically has more of the original cocoa present. This is important because the more cocoa that is present, the higher the nutritional quality. Cocoa is a fabulous source of flavonoids, a special class of antioxidants that are the primary reason chocolate is now considered to be a good-for-you treat.

The more cocoa, the more flavonoids, and the better for you the chocolate becomes. Plus, dark chocolate varieties often have less added sugar and fat which can also improve its overall nutritional value.

The Benefits of Flavonoids Flavonoids are often found in wine, fruits, vegetables, and, of course, dark chocolate. These flavonoids have been shown to reduce the amount of cell damage often implicated in heart disease. Flavonoids also help improve vascular function and can assist in lowering blood pressure. They can also enhance the power of vitamin C and prevent inflammation throughout the body when eaten in proper amounts. Some studies have also shown that they may be beneficial in keeping blood glucose levels stable and may help normalize cholesterol levels as well. 

Of course, the claimed health benefits of flavonoid-rich chocolate comes from mostly short-term, uncontrolled studies, so more research will be needed to confirm how truly beneficial these properties of chocolate are.

Picking the Best Chocolate You want to make sure that you are consuming chocolate in moderation and choosing dark chocolate varieties that contain at least 65% cacao. Don't assume your grocery store check-out dark chocolate bar is best; look for the percentage of cacao first. You may also want to consider rearranging other areas of your diet to make room for your chocolate consumption. Just be smart about it and make sure you aren't removing nutritious options from your regular meal plan so that you can eat more chocolate. Instead, limit yourself to no more than three ounces of chocolate per day and look for ways to incorporate it into other healthy dishes. Fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt, and high fiber cereal are just a few nutritious dishes that a sprinkle of chocolate would pair well with. Although consuming chocolate is one way to promote a healthy heart, other dietary changes can be just as beneficial in protecting your cardiovascular function. Instead of consuming a whole bar or even the full three ounces of chocolate, look for other ways to incorporate flavonoids into your day. Fruits and vegetables are always a good choice and you don't have to worry as much about going overboard. Plus, fruits and vegetables are rich in so many other nutrients that eating enough on a regular basis will guarantee not only better heart health, but better overall health as well.

source: www.fitnessmagazine.com

Choc Recipe: Tasty Raw Chocolate

James Lamont

This is a simple way to make healthy raw chocolate. You can make them for yourself, friends, family or the little ones. They’re a great way to spark a table and they taste absolute delicious.

raw choc.jpg


Ingredients

  • 200 grams (1 cup) raw cacao butter or raw, extra virgin coconut oil (or a combination of 100gram of each), melted

  • 30 grams (¼ cup) cacao powder

  • 2-4 tablespoons sweetener (honey, maple syrup or rice malt syrup) you can adjust the sweetness to your taste

Method

  1. Simply melt the cacao butter or coconut oil over a very low heat (I find placing in a bowl over hot water is best), or Thermomix (temp 50, speed 1) until just melted. If making with just coconut oil, it only needs to be softened, not melted to make it. 

  2. Add the cacao powder and sweetener, mix until well combined. Pour into chocolate moulds or mini cupcake baking cups. You can also spread out over a baking sheet to make a bark. 

  3. Place in the freezer immediately to set (don't delay with this). 

  4. Once set, keep in an airtight container in either the fridge or freezer.

Tips

  1. A few people have had issues with the sweetener and base fat not combining completely. Make sure you don't over heat the mixture, it should be barely luke warm (not hot). 

  2. If you happen to overheat it, try mixing with a stick blender or whipping it up in a blender just before pouring into a mould and get it into the freezer to set asap!

  3. Because both coconut oil and cacao butter melt when exposed to even a little heat, these chocolates always need to be kept cold (especially important if you use coconut oil for the fat). So, unfortunately, they are no good for picnics or lunch boxes (unless packed against an ice pack).


Variations:

Coconut-free

Choose cacao butter rather than coconut oil. 

Fructose friendly

Choose rice malt syrup as your sweetener. You can also sub the sweetener for stevia if you enjoy the taste.

Add nuts

Roasted nuts are delicious set into this raw chocolate. 

Vegan

Choose maple syrup or rice malt as your sweetener.

Source: wellnourished.com.au

Choc News: Three chocolate bars a month can reduce heart failure

James Lamont

Eating three chocolate bars every month can drastically reduce your risk of experiencing heart failure, scientists have claimed.

Many people often believe that in order to live as healthily as possible, they need to eliminate all forms of sugary snacks from their diets.

Chocolate Bar.jpg

However, a recent study presented at the European Society of Cardiology conference in Munich states that moderation, not deprivation, is key in preventing heart issues later on in life.

A team of researchers assessed more than half a million adults in order to determine how consumption of chocolate impacts heart health. They came to the conclusion that eating up to three chocolate bars a month can reduce risk of heart failure by 23 per cent in comparison to those who don’t eat any chocolate at all.

However, eating too much chocolate can lead to a 17 per cent increased risk of heart failure, which is why it’s important not to go overboard. Dr Chayakrit Krittanawong, resident at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and lead researcher of the study, explained how the flavonoids found in chocolate can be beneficial for one’s health.

“I would say moderate dark chocolate consumption is good for health.”

The team who conducted the study examined five separate studies for their research, which consisted of 575,852 individuals in total.

They stated that further research is needed to explore the connection between chocolate intake and heart health.

Earlier this year, a study carried out in California concluded that eating dark chocolate can have a positive effect on your mental health by relieving stress and boosting memory function


Source: www.independent.co.uk


Choc Recipe : Toasted Quinoa, Dried Fig & Dark Chocolate Granola Bars

Alison Campbell

Happy New Year to all our lovely Love Byron Bar customers! You're probably all in the thick of healthy post-festive season diets so we thought we'd hit you up with these yummy superfood bars - crammed full of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax, chia, quinoa and oats! A perfect energy bar for after an early morning beach workout. Enjoy. :)

Ingredients

1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup organic or homemade sunflower butter
1/3 cup honey (or coconut palm syrup if vegan)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 cup dried figs, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips

Method

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Add oats, quinoa, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds to a large baking sheet and spread around evenly. Once oven is preheated, toast the oats and quinoa for 8-10 minutes. Once done toasting, pour oats and quinoa into a medium bowl and set aside.

While quinoa and oats are toasting, add sunflower butter, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and sea salt to medium saucepan over low heat. Stir every so often until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes, then add to the bowl with the oats and quinoa. Stir well to incorporate. Fold in flaxseed meal, dried figs and chia seeds.

Line an 8x4 or 9x5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper; pour mixture in and spread out evenly, then press mixture down in the pan very firmly. Next melt chocolate chips for 20 seconds over low heat in a saucepan. Drizzle over bars. Place pan in freezer for 30 minutes or until mixture has hardened. Remove bars from pan and cut into 10 bars. Store bars in the fridge. Enjoy!

Makes ten bars.

Source: ambitiouskitchen.com

Choc Recipe : Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Truffles

Alison Campbell

The season of jolly and complete indulgence is upon us. Yey! Here at Love Byron Bay Creperie and Chocolate Boutique we are BIG fans of chocolate truffles. So, let's kick off a month of festivities with these delicious spicy pumpkin chocolate truffles from the lovely Sophie at The Green Life. If you aren't following her blog you should be. Deets below. :) 

Ingredients

For the Filling
1 cup raw cashews (soaked for 2-4 hours and then rinsed well)
10 large Medjool dates, pitted and chopped (if your dates are not soft enough, soak in water for about 10 minutes to soften)
¾ cup pumpkin puree*
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon + more for sprinkling
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp nutmeg
⅛ tsp ginger powder
A big pinch of sea salt

For the Chocolate
100 g. quality dark chocolate, chopped – I used 80% cacao (about ¾ cup chopped)
1 tbsp coconut oil

Method

Place soaked cashews in your food processor and blend for a few minutes, until you get a creamy consistency. Add chopped dates and blend again. Then add pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger and a good pinch of sea salt. Blend until all the ingredients are well combined and you get a creamy paste (it might take a few minutes).

Transfer the mixture into a small bowl and place in the freezer for 30-45 minutes, or until very firm.

When the paste has firmed up, take it out of the freezer. Scoop out mixture using a ½ teaspoon and place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If you are able to shape balls by rolling the mixture between your hands, do so. If it’s still too sticky and soft at this point, that’s ok. Simply form little mounds and set the tray back in the freezer for another 30 minutes, or until the mounds are firm enough to roll.

Place a double boiler (or a stainless bowl placed over a pot of water) on low heat and bring to a simmer. Add the coconut oil and chopped chocolate and whisk. Let melt slowly until you have a thin chocolate sauce.

Remove the tray from the freezer. Roll each mound between your palms to form little balls. Using two forks, dip each ball in the melted chocolate, until completely covered. Scoop the ball out with the fork and let the extra chocolate drip off.

Gently place each truffle back on the parchment lined sheet. Set the tray back in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes, or until the chocolate has firmed up. Dust with extra cinnamon before serving. Store in the refrigerator.

* To make pumpkin puree, slice a pumpkin in half, remove seeds, and place the two halves cut side down in a baking dish or baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 50 minutes at 400F (cooking time will vary depending on the size of your pumpkin), or until the flesh is really soft. Scrape flesh and place in your food processor or blender. Pulse until you get a smooth puree.

Makes 20 truffles.

Sourcethegreenlife.ca
Photos: Sophie Bourdon

Choc Recipe: Chocolate Orange Truffle Slice

Alison Campbell

A choc-orange fix for grown ups. Super-short orange-scented biscuit adds crunch to a whipped truffle ganache, while candied orange and a slug of orange liqueur bring the luxe factor. It's rich, dark and not for the faint-hearted. :)

Ingredients

For the orange sablé biscuit
180 gm plain flour
60 gm icing sugar, sieved
Finely grated rind of 1 orange
90 gm chilled butter, diced
2 egg yolks

For the chocolate ganache mixture
540 gm dark chocolate, finely chopped
320 ml thickened cream
Juice of 1 orange (rind reserved for orange sablé)
4 egg yolks
50 ml orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
2 tbsp caster sugar
150 gm glacé orange, diced, plus extra to serve
Cocoa for dusting


Method

Preheat oven to 160C and line an oven tray with baking paper. Pulse flour, icing sugar, orange rind and 1 tsp salt in a food processor, add butter and pulse to fine crumbs. Add yolks, pulse until dough just comes together, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a disc. Roll out to a rough 3mm-thick rectangle, place on prepared tray and bake until golden brown and crisp (15-20 minutes). Cool completely then break into rough pieces and set aside.

Line a 20cm-square cake tin with baking paper, leaving paper overhanging. Combine chocolate, cream and orange juice in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth (3-4 minutes), then set aside. Whisk yolks, liqueur and sugar in a separate bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until thick, pale and fluffy (3-4 minutes), then whisk in chocolate mixture, transfer to an electric mixer and whisk until fluffy and cooled to room temperature (6-8 minutes).

Pour a third of the chocolate mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly. Scatter with half the sablé pieces and half the glacé orange, pour over another third chocolate mixture and repeat layering, finishing with chocolate mixture. Smooth top, refrigerate overnight, then cut into pieces using a hot wet knife.

To serve, dust with cocoa and scatter with glacé orange. Chocolate-orange truffle slice will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 30 pieces.

Source: gourmettraveller.com.au
Photo: Ben Dearnley

 

Choc News: Chocolate as Sunscreen

Alison Campbell

German researchers have shown that ingesting types of chocolate rich in cocoa solids and flavonoids—dark chocolate—can fight skin cancer. Their findings come from a trial of just 24 women who were recruited to add cocoa to their breakfasts every day for about 3 months. Half the women drank hot cocoa containing a hefty dose of flavonoids, natural plant-based antioxidants. The remaining volunteers got cocoa that looked and tasted the same but that had relatively little of the flavonoids.

At the beginning and end of the trial, Wilhelm Stahl of Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf and his colleagues conducted a host of tests on each volunteer. One assessment involved irradiating each woman's skin with slightly more ultraviolet (UV) light than had turned her skin red before the trial began. The skin of the women who had received the flavonoid-rich cocoa did not redden nearly as much as did the skin of recruits who had drunk the flavonoid-poor beverage. Women getting the abundant flavonoids also had skin that was smoother and moister than that of the other women. 'Overexposure to UV light can foster the development of skin cancer so a dietary source of skin protection might offer some innate defense for sunny days when an individual doesn't use sunscreen,' Stahl's team said. Chocolate, these scientists note, is just the latest in a range of antioxidant-rich foods holding the potential to shield skin from sun damage.

The researchers recruited women between the ages of 18 and 65. Each volunteer received packets of a dry powder to mix each day with 100 milliliters of hot water—roughly a half cup. Half of the women received powder containing 329 milligrams of flavanols, a type of flavonoid, per serving. The rest got powder delivering a mere 27 mg of flavanols per serving. The primary flavanols were epicatechin and catechin.

Stahl's team reports that the women drinking the high-flavonoid cocoa had 15 percent less skin reddening from UV light after 6 weeks of cocoa consumption and 25 percent less after 12 weeks of the trial. Both figures are comparisons with the same women's response to UV light before the study started. The women drinking the cocoa with low flavonoids showed no change during the trial.

So, could a person realistically add enough flavonoids to his or her diet to produce the benefits suggested by the study? Flavonoid quantities in the richer cocoa were "similar to those found in 100 grams of dark chocolate," Stahl's group reports.

The cocoa drink provided its flavonoids in a serving that delivered only about 50 calories—far below the 400 to 500 calories ordinarily encountered in candy providing a walloping dose of flavanols. Schmitz concludes that people can, in theory, get this efficacious dose without blimping out.

Photo: youbeauty.com
Sourcesciencenews.org