While Mother's Day allows us to pay tribute to the women who supported us throughout our lives, it also allows us to buy heaps of chocolate to give and hopefully enjoy as well. I had the pleasure of taking my mother to Co Co Sala for Mother's Day brunch, which was delicious. French toast s'mores, breakfast flat breads, and cheese magic were one the menu in addition to the many desserts occupying the dessert bar. Since Co Co Sala is a chocolate lounge, chocolate was the primary theme and we all experienced a chocolate high about midway through our meal. It was all worth it though and we promised to return next year to celebrate.
I was surprised at my ability to handle this much sugar because only last Thursday did I have the opportunity to participate in a cooking with chocolate class at the Bolivarian Hall of the Venezuelan Embassy. All of the chocolate featured at the event originated in Venezuela. Susan Cohen of Biagio Fine Chocolate introduced numerous ways chocolate can be incorporated into your diet without being unhealthy. The menu included:
- Chocolate Crostini: French bread brushed with olive oil and topped with semi-melted 64% chocolate pieces.
- Cold Drinking Chocolate: Melted chocolate combined with water to create a drinkable chocolate. When making a chocolate beverage, it is best to use water because it will bring out the most intense flavors of the chocolate.
- Cocoa Nib Caponata: A nib is the purest piece of chocolate, which makes it the healthiest way to eat chocolate. Combined with wine, yellow raisins, garlic, eggplant, chocolate balsamic vinegar, semi-sweet chocolate, and much more the chocolate mixture adorns a typical caponata. A caponata is made of cornmeal and is often served for breakfast in Venezuela.
- Spicy Chocolate Wings: Sauteed with olive oil and marinated in tomato sauce, this contributes to the meaty texture of the chicken despite using chocolate.
- Flourless Chocolate Dessert: Similar to an English creme sauce, this dessert is made of fondant and is essentially a solid creme sauce. Serve with berries to add a balance of chocolate and fruit.