Chocolate is a worldwide passion. Do you ever wonder how much chocolate is consumed around the globe?
Europe has always been renowned for its chocolate and when you look at consumption tables categorized by country, you know where to find exceptional chocolate.
Every year, the average Swiss person eats just under 20 lbs of chocolate. Neighboring Germany is also a nation of chocoholics with annual consumption per capita amounting to 17.4 lbs.
The Irish also have a sweet tooth and they come joint third with the United Kingdom with 16.3 lbs per year. The United States cannot compete with Europe in the chocolate consumption league and it comes in ninth overall – the average American eats about 9.5 lbs of chocolate each year. (Forbes).
Surprisingly, the United States falls way behind Switzerland and Germany. That’s a challenge that would be fun to take on.
Chocolate is a decadent indulgence, but there are health benefits. And while it hasn’t yet been dubbed a “health food,” researchers and studies are showing there are definitely health benefits to chocolate. WebMD says, “Chocolate and its main ingredient, cocoa, appear to reduce risk factors for heart disease. Flavanols in cocoa beans have antioxidant effects that reduce cell damage implicated in heart disease. Flavanols — which are more prevalent in dark chocolate than in milk chocolate — also help lower blood pressure and improve vascular function.”
So. On to chocolate!
Fair warning. If you’re a chocolate lover, you’ll be craving something chocolate after reading this post and perusing 15 (plus-1) chocolatey, decadent images. I would imagine you’ll be searching out a taste of chocolate sometime today. Me too.
1. Molten Chocolate Lava Cake by Tasty Kitchen
You know those desserts at restaurants that are individual chocolate cakes filled with molten chocolate? This is them! And they’re so easy your kids can do them while you’re finishing dinner.
Recipe for Old Fashioned Chocolate Buttermilk Cake – An old-fashioned chocolate cake so moist your guests will think it came from a bakery!
Super easy, super quick prep work … but oh so delicious results. If you’re a brownie fan, this is a keeper!
4. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
If you love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and chocolate chip cookies … you will adore this cookie.
I love watching people stare at macarons in shops like Pierre Hermé and Ladurée in Paris and Chantal Guillon and Miette in San Francisco. The little sandwich cookies in myriad pastel colors turn perfectly sophisticated adults into eager children.
This Fudge Brownie No-Bake Cheesecake is a rich chocolatey lover’s dream. Made with double chocolate brownie, chocolate-chocolate chip no-bake cheesecake and a homemade fudge, need I say more?
This beautiful tower is a snap to make and provides a wonderfully dramatic centerpiece for your table.
This chocolate ice cream is super chocolatey and rich. It’s easy, with just a handful of pure ingredients. No hassling with the tempering of eggs. Perfect for those with egg allergies.
9. Double Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies
A rich, chocolaty treat, drenched in dark chocolate and espresso. These delectable morsels are rich … but divine … and when you have that chocolate craving … they completely satisfy.
Today I’m sharing a super easy dessert recipe that you can have ready in 15 minutes with very little effort and just three ingredients! I like to bake these chocolate bites when we are craving something warm and sweet but I don’t want to go through the trouble of making cupcakes or cookies!
11. Chocolate Peanut Cake Pops
These Chocolate Peanut Cake Pops are the perfect treat for any celebration. Mold the soft, moist cake crumbles into balls, then dip them in this recipe’s delicious chocolate-peanut butter concoction. The nuts sprinkled over the outer shell add a savory crunch.
Rich salted caramel oozes between layers of chocolate buttermilk cake. Use a candy thermometer to ensure that the caramel turns out perfectly.
This dramatic dessert has a reputation for being temperamental, but it’s actually very simple and mostly calls for staple ingredients.
Marshmallows, chocolate chips, and chopped nuts top these deluxe brownies. Use your choice of cashews, pecans, walnuts, or almonds.
15. “Perfectly Chocolate” Hot Cocoa Recipe
This perfectly creamy, rich hot cocoa is best paired with a blanket and a book by the fire.
16. Chocolate Dip
Match souvenir spoons with a bit of sweetness. To make, simply scoop peanut butter or marshmallow creme onto each spoon. Dip the spoon in melted chocolate (how-to video, below), then sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs or pink salt. Serve with an end-of-the-evening coffee bar to add a little warmth as the fireworks begin. Watch a how-to-video.