There’s something about chocolate.


Who doesn’t love chocolate? Okay, well there are some people out there that don’t like chocolate, but surely they’re in the EXTREME minority, right?

World Chocolate Day is on 7 July, so we’re celebrating everything good about chocolate including sharing some of the best chocolate dessert recipes.

The history of chocolate.

Before we get to some of the best chocolate dessert recipes, let’s first take a brief look at the history of chocolate.

Chocolate’s origins date back to around 450BC in the region of Mesoamerica – an historical region situated in what we now know as Central America. The cacao beans were often used as a form of currency, they were so valuable! Christopher Columbus even got in on the action, discovering its value to the indigenous people on a voyage in the early 1500s.

As a food item, the cacao was originally served as a drink, bitter in taste, that was mixed with spices and other ingredients, and which at times was used as an aphrodisiac. The cacao beans made their way to Europe in the early 1500s, thanks to Christopher Columbus, where sugar or honey was added to counteract the bitterness, increasing its popularity in use. It wasn’t until the 1800s, that the Europeans found the secret to turning chocolate into a mouldable food. This created chocolate in the form that we know it today.

Some of the original names and businesses associated with chocolate in these early days are still around today – Nestle, Lindt, Hershey, and Cadbury!

World Chocolate Day - Chocolate and cacao beans


The benefits of chocolate. Why is chocolate so good?

George Bernard Shaw saw the benefits of chocolate, saying “What use are cartridges in battle? I always carry chocolate instead.”
But, is chocolate good for us? Of course it is! Well…it can be, in moderation.

Chocolate is good for our brain.

According to research published in 2016, chocolate intake is associated with better cognitive function. Another study published in the same year, found that chocolate consumption may even lower the risk of cognitive decline in older people. Ah…pass the chocolate please!

Chocolate is good for our heart.

Chocolate, or more specifically, the cacao beans, contain phytonutrients which act as antioxidants. The beans also are a good source of iron, copper, magnesium, zinc and phosphorous. The right amount of chocolate and type of chocolate (i.e. the darker, the better) is still being assessed, however there are some correlations between chocolate consumption and reduced risk of heart problems.

Chocolate is good for our mood.

The original use of chocolate as a bitter, spiced drink was as an aphrodisiac, and even to this day, chocolate is associated with positive effects on mood. The cacao beans contain substances that stimulate the brain in the same way cannabis does, but in lower concentrations! According to an article in a 2013 in a Pharmacology journal, chocolate may interact with neurotransmitter systems that contribute to appetite, reward and mood regulation, such as dopamine, serotonin and endorphins.

Best chocolate dessert recipes.

Okay, so enough of the back-story. Now we know the benefits of chocolate, we’ve put together a list of some of the best chocolate dessert recipes around to help you satisfy that chocolate urge. Here’s a few to keep you busy:

·        Best Chocolate Brownie – BBC Good Food

·        Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies – AllRecipes Australia

·        Self-saucing Chocolate Pudding – Donna Hay

·        Matt Preston’s Chocolate Self-saucing Pudding – Delicious

·        Chocolate Celebration Cake – Jamie Oliver

·        Super Moist Chocolate Cupcakes – Sally’s Baking Addition

Strawberries are a great combination with most chocolate dessert recipes

Best Dessert in Port Macquarie.

Hastings Coffee Co. at The Westport Club has a fabulous range of house-made chocolate desserts including chocolate cake, opera cake, chocolate tarts, chocolate brownies and chocolate cookies…oh the list goes on! You can also try out our famous in-house Chocolate Domes which are a real hit.

So if you’re looking for a great café in Port Macquarie to help satisfy that chocolate fix, come down to Hastings Coffee Co and grab some of the best desserts in Port Macquarie.

What’s more, you can enjoy your chocolate treats while relaxing with the peaceful views overlooking the Hastings River.

What are you waiting for? World Chocolate Day is the perfect reason to join us!