On July 7, people from all walks of life unite to celebrate World Chocolate Day, an occasion dedicated to indulging in the mouthwatering treat that has captured our senses for centuries.
From its humble origins as a treasured Mayan beverage to its status as a global confectionery icon, chocolate has evolved into an irresistible symbol of pleasure and luxury.
The History Of Chocolate
The history of chocolate spans thousands of years, intertwined with the rise and fall of empires, the discovery of new lands, and the quest for indulgence. What began as a sacred beverage in ancient Mesoamerica has evolved into a global obsession, ruling hearts and taste buds alike.
The story of chocolate dates back to the ancient Mayans and Aztecs, who revered cacao as a divine gift from the gods. They believed that the cocoa tree had been bestowed upon them by the deity Quetzalcoatl, and the resulting elixir was reserved for royalty and sacred rituals. The Mayans’ bitter cacao drink, often flavoured with spices and herbs, laid the foundation for the chocolate we know today.
In the early 16th century, Spanish explorers encountered cocoa during their conquest of the Americas, and brought cacao beans back to Europe, where the beverage quickly gained popularity among the aristocracy. However, it wasn’t until the addition of sugar, cinnamon, and other sweeteners that chocolate became a widespread indulgence accessible to all.
As time passed, chocolate spread throughout Europe and earned a place at royal courts, where chocolatiers and confectioners crafted elaborate chocolate creations. The invention of the steam engine and industrialisation in the 18th century paved the way for the mass production of chocolate, making it more accessible to the general public.
In the 19th century, the Swiss perfected the art of chocolate-making, developing smooth and velvety textures that delighted the palate. The creation of milk chocolate by Daniel Peter and the conching process by Rodolphe Lindt elevated chocolate to new heights of creaminess and melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
Fast forward to the present day, and chocolate has become a universal treat cherished in every corner of the globe. From artisanal bean-to-bar chocolatiers to large-scale multinational companies, the chocolate industry continues to innovate, offering a diverse range of flavours, textures, and combinations to suit every taste.
World Chocolate Day serves as a reminder of the journey that chocolate has embarked upon. It is a day to savour the rich heritage, the meticulous craftsmanship, and the pure joy that it brings to our lives.
So, as we honour this beloved treat on World Chocolate Day, let’s take a look at four delectable dessert recipes that will make your entire year!
Double Fudge Brownie by Bobbie Lloyd, Chief Baking Officer, Magnolia Bakery
Portion: one 9 × 13-inch pan; 12. 16, or 24 brownies
1 cup (135g/4.8oz) All-Purpose Flour
½ cup (60g/2.15oz) Unsweetened Dark Cocoa Powder (22 to 24%), sifted
½ tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Salt
2 cups (400g/14.2oz) Granulated Sugar
1 cup /2 sticks (226g/8oz) Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup (180g/6.3oz) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- Position an oven rack in the centre of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 9 × 13-inch pan with nonstick spray or butter, then line it with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on the sides.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, melted butter, and vanilla until creamy. Whisk the eggs into the butter and sugar mixture, one at a time, until creamy. Add the flour mixture and whisk together until just combined. Using a large rubber spatula, fold the chocolate chips into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Using an offset spatula, spread the batter evenly, getting into the corners
- Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out slightly wet, with moist crumbs attached.
- Let the brownies cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack. Remove them from the pan by lifting the sides of parchment or foil. Cut them to your desired size.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. These brownies also freeze beautifully for up to 1 month (if you can keep them that long)!
Chocolate Eclair Recipe by Chef Amiel Gourmet, Founder & Executive Chef – Amiel Gourmet
Portion: 8 nos
For Éclair Shell
45 ml Water
45 ml Milk
1 gm Salt
2 gms Sugar
1 gm Vanilla Powder
50 gms Butter
50 gms Refined Flour
2 gms Eggs
For Chocolate Pastry Cream
250 ml Milk
65 gms Sugar
30 gms Corn Flour
10 gms Dark Chocolate
15 gms Butter
2 gms Egg
For Dark Chocolate Glaze
55 gms Dark Chocolate
10 gms Sugar
10 gms Liquid Glucose
20 gms Butter
10 ml Water
For the Éclair Shell
- Mix water, milk, salt, sugar, vanilla powder and butter in a pan and bring this mixture to a boil.
- Gradually add in refined flour to the boiling liquid while whisking it to avoid lumps.
- Once the flour cooks and thickens, remove the heat and keep whisking it to cool it down a bit before adding in the eggs.
- When the flour mixture has cooled down sufficiently, add in the eggs one by one until they are well incorporated.
- Preheat the oven to 225*C. Pipe the Eclair dough onto greased oven trays and bake for 20 mins. Once baked, rest the shells outside to cool down.
- Then proceed to fill up the shells with chocolate pastry cream and garnish with a chocolate glaze.
For the Chocolate Pastry Cream
- Mix eggs, sugar and corn flour together until they homogenise.
- Boil milk thoroughly and add it gradually to the egg mix until it is fully incorporated. Put the egg and milk mixture back onto the stove and cook until it thickens.
- Remove the stove and add in butter and chocolate. Transfer to a bowl and keep it covered.
- Let it cool completely before piping it into the eclair shells.
- While piping, pipe from the bottom of the shells by making small holes with a knife or a pair of scissors.
For the Dark Chocolate Glaze
- Chop the chocolate and keep it in a bowl together with butter.
- Boil water, sugar and liquid glucose together and add it to the chocolate–butter mixture and incorporate until it’s smooth in texture.
- Glaze the top of the eclairs with it and serve. Same can be made with white chocolate too.
Noisette Recipe by Ashish D’abreo, Q Grader, Coffee Roaster and Co-founder of Maverick & Farmer Coffee
Portion: 1 serving
60 gms Good Quality Cooking Chocolate
15 gms Smooth Peanut Butter
One shot Strong Black Coffee (espresso or similar)
150 gms Milk
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and stir in the peanut butter until it’s evenly mixed in.
- Use about 1/2 of this chocolate-peanut butter mixture to line the inside of a serving glass, as seen in the image.
- Extract the coffee shot using an espresso machine or a Moka pot, or make a really strong black coffee.
- Mix the remaining chocolate peanut butter mixture into the coffee and pour it carefully into the serving glass.
- Heat the milk and use a French press or a cocktail shaker to make the milk foamy.
- Pour it over the coffee mixture and serve hot!
Brik Oven’s Hot Chocolate Recipe by Chef Anirudh Nopany, Co-founder of Brik Oven
Portion: 1 cup
70 gms Callebaut Chocolate Chips
120 gms UHT (ultra high temperature) Milk
- Heat up the milk and set aside.
- In a kettle, measure and add in the chocolate chips and pour in hot milk and mix well for 5-10 seconds.
- Heat the mixture again in the steamer for 10 -12 seconds and mix well.
- Pour it into the glass and serve it hot!