Theobroma cacao (Mayan: Kakaw, Nahuatl: Cacahuatl), also cocoa tree is an evergreen tree in the family Sterculiaceae, native to the deep tropical region of the Americas. Its seeds are used to make cocoa powder and chocolate. There are two prominent competing hypotheses about the origins of the domestication of the originally wild Theobroma cacao tree. One is that wild examples were originally distributed from southeastern Mexico to the Amazon basin, with domestication taking place both in the Lacandon area of Mexico and
vast empire. The Maya believed that the kakaw (cacao) was discovered by the gods in a mountain that also contained other delectable foods to be used by the Maya. According to Maya mythology the Plumed Serpent gave cacao to the Maya after humans were created from maize by divine grandmother goddess Xmucane. The Maya celebrated an annual festival in April to honor their cacao god, Ek Chuah, an event that included the sacrifice of a dog with cacao colored markings; additional animal sacrifices; offerings of cacao, feathers and incense; and an exchange of gifts. In a similar creation story, the Mexica (Aztec) god Quetzalcoatl discovered cacao (cacahuatl: “‘bitter water”‘), in a mountain filled with other plant foods. The cacao beverage as ritual was used only by men, as it was believed to be toxic for women and children. By the 17th century, chocolate was a fashionable drink throughout Europe, believed to have nutritious, medicinal and even aphrodisiac properties. But it remained largely a privilege of the rich until the invention of the steam engine made mass production possible in the late 1700s.
The first Europeans to encounter cacao were Christopher Columbus and his crew in 1502, when they captured a canoe at Guanaja that contained a quantity of mysterious-looking “almonds.” The first real European knowledge about chocolate came in the form of a beverage which was first introduced to the Spanish at their meeting with Moctezuma in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan in 1519. Cortez and others noted the vast quantities of this beverage that the Aztec emperor consumed, and how it was carefully whipped by his attendants beforehand.The name theobroma cacao was first applied to the cocoa tree by Carolus Linnaeus-the father of modern-day taxonomic plant classification. The name was published in his classic work Systema Naturae in the mid-1700s. While there was barely any trade in cocoa at the time, it may be more than a coincidence that he applied such a name to a plant that would have such a rich future in world history.
Chocolate contains Phenylethylamine (PEA) which is the adrenal related chemical that the brain releases like being in love. Real Raw Cacao is high in antioxidants, minerals and has amazing healing powers for the body and mind. Raw cacao can be eaten plain or used in any of your raw recipes such as smoothies, raw puddings, raw chocolates, cakes and many other type of desserts.The combination of cooking with chili and and chocolate originated in Mexico with the Aztecs- it is very popular now worldwide. The Mexicans call thier chilli chocolate sauce “Mole”. In Aztec society cocoa was prized so highly that prostitues were paid in cocoa. So here are two easy to make dessert recipes with chocolate as the main ingredient. Enjoy!
12 oz of white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 pint milk
2 medium ripe mangos, peeled and cut from the pit
2 scoops of vanilla ice cream
Chocolate strings, to garnish
Over low heat melt the chocolate in small saucepan with the milk, stirring until smooth. Let stand until just melted. Pour into a bowl and let it cool. With a spoon, stir the chocolate into cups, twirling the spoon in a spiral from the base upwards. Cool in refrigerator while making the batter. Peel the mango skin, and mash the pulp in a food processor.
Process until mixture is smooth. Then add the rest of the chocolate, milk and ice cream. Mix on medium-high speed until fluffy. Pour the mango puree mixture into individual serving dishes. Chill. Garnish with white Chocolate strings and sprigs of mint, if desired.
3 ovos grandes
180 g de farinha de trigo
80 g de chocolate branco em tablete
120 g de manteiga sem sal
150 g de açúcar (usei apenas 100)
1 pitada de sal
1 1/2 colher (chá) de matcha
1 colher (chá) de fermento em pó
Derreta a manteiga. Coloque o chocolate branco picado numa tigela refractária e derreta em banho-maria. Peneire a farinha com o fermento.
Unte e enfarinhe uma forma de bolo inglês e forre com papel vegetal. Pré-aqueça o forno a 170ºC. Bata os ovos com o açúcar na batedeira até ficar uma mistura fofa e clara. Junte a farinha com o fermento e misture manualmente com um fouet. Junte o sal e a manteiga derretida e misture.
Divida a massa em 2/3 e 1/3. Junte o chocolate derretido ao 2/3 reservado e o matcha ao 1/3. Coloque metade da massa branca na fôrma. Despeje a massa verde por cima e termine com o resto da massa branca. Com um garfo faça movimentos escavatórios na massa, misturando-a levemente.
Leve ao forno por cerca de 50-60 minutos. Faça o teste do palito para verificar. Cubra com papel de alumínio caso não esteja pronto mas esteja a ficar corado por cima. Retire e deixe amornar alguns minutos na forma antes de desenformar.