Hershey's Kisses. M&M's. Ghiradelli. Godiva. Dove. Ferrero Rocher.
Absolutely one of the yummiest candies in the world. Solid in room temperature, but melts into creamy goodness when tasted. Popular during holidays, especially Valentine's Day, when the boys give a heart shaped box of chocolates for the girls...at least for English-speaking countries. For some Asian countries (i.e. Japan, Korea), girls give chocolates to boys instead...and some girls even make their own chocolate to give! Last year on Valentine's Day, Cooking Club got together in an apartment lounge to make chocolate truffles, regular and oreo truffles. For my mother's birthday last year, I gave her white chocolate coated strawberries (our very favorite chocolate is white chocolate!). Chocolate is very delicate to deal with, because it's easy to burn! For an almost foolproof way to melt chocolate, I recommend using the double boiler method rather than the microwave.
Unlike me, Willy Wonka is a genius when it comes to making chocolate. I watched the newest movie adpatation of "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory" starring Johnny Depp today. Now I've heard many friends say it's not as good as the original, and believe me, I read the book, but I really enjoyed this movie! It was a good modern take, and it made the plot more well-rounded by adding more background to Willy Wonka's personal life.
One of my favorite parts in the movie was the chocolate river. As Willy Wonka claims, "There is no other factory in the world that mixes its chocolate by waterfall." The scenery in the Chocolate Room is very beautiful; I couldn't believe that everything in the room is edible! Willy Wonka was funny on this line (not the exact words): "Everything in this room is eatable. Even I am eatable, but that is called cannibalism, which is usually frowned upon in most customs." The ride on the pink seahorse boat seemed so fun! Who wouldn't want to splash around with chocolate, except for Mike Teavee who claims to hate it? Also, who wouldn't want to watch a Willy Wonka commercial on TV, and be able to physically take a chocolate bar out of the TV to taste it? And imagine the creative things that Willy Wonka came up with for candy, like endless gobbstoppers and a three course meal on a single gum piece. His passion for coming up with creative candies is truly expressed in this film.
Apparently, a British theme park named Alton Towers opened a Willy Wonka boat attraction. As quoted from Wikipedia: "Guests travel around the chocolate factory in bright pink boats on a chocolate river. In the final stage of the ride, guests will enter one of two glass elevators where they will join Willy Wonka as they travel the factory, eventually shooting up and out through the glass roof." I would love to go on this ride! Here's the link: http://www.altontowers.com/theme-park/magic-young-fun/charlie-and-the-chocolate-factory/
Watching the movie made both my sister and I crave chocolate - we were eating and savoring it so much more than usual! Chocolate makes us happy. Go endorphins!
For a healthy chocolate snack, we decided to make chocolate dipped strawberries. I used two medium squares of Ghiradelli dark chocolate with 60% cacao for the dip. I microwaved them in a bowl for 1 minute on high, stopping halfway to stir. They turned out very delicious! Eating dark chocolate in moderation helps lower your "bad" LDL cholesterol to prevent heart disease, and eating strawberries, high in antioxidants and Vitamin C, fights cancer and boosts your immune system. What a sweet combination!