COME TO THE DARK SIDE - THE POWER OF DARK CHOCOLATE

It's soul food, it's health food, it's my food! IS IT YOUR FOOD?

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Scientists have been harping on about the health benefits of dark chocolate for years!

Guess what?? I'm believing it's all true and so should you!  I'm saying it's music to my ears, food for my soul.

I've decided to do a little research and capture a few of the good things about dark chocolate that will surely benefit your life..perhaps change it! I came across this quote that instantly resonates with me, do you feel the same?

The smell of chocolate slows brain waves and makes us feel calm
— Neurolove.me

There are two products to consider here, dark chocolate and pure cacao powder, both are elixirs to our health. If you are super strict about what you eat and what goes into your body, raw cacao powder is for you. I absolutely love it, but I love dark chocolate too, so it's both for me!  Later on, I'll talk about a delicious raw hot chocolate I love to indulge in, especially in winter.

'm not going to lie, there isn't a lot of spare time these days, which I know we all can relate, so I went directly to Pinterest to do my research. 

Firstly, there are some nutritional facts that show it's jam packed with goodness. Dark chocolate contains key vitamins and minerals including Magnesium, Iron, Copper, Selenium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Fibre.

ALL THE RIGHT REASONS TO COME TO THE DARK SIDE:

IMPROVES BLOOD FLOW ~ the flavanols in dark chocolate help arteries relax, improving bllod flow and preventing blood clots.

LOWERS RISK OF HEART DISEASE ~ compunds in dark chocolate fight against chlesterol, lowering risk of heart disease, stroke and heart failure.

IMPROVES BRAIN FUNCTION (oooh I love this one) ~ dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain.

HELPS PREVENT DIABETES ~ an Italian study focused on 15 patients who ate approximately 3 ounces of dark chocolate daily for 15 days found their insulin resistance was lowered significantly.

REDUCES STRESS ~ eating dark chocolate produces stress busting endorphins.

MAKES YOU HAPPY & HELPS FIGHT FATIGUE ~ dark chocolate enhances the actions of the transmitters in your brain, like Serotonin, to help regulate mood & sleep. It also enhances endorphin production, which creates feelings of happiness and pleasure.

GOOD FOR YOUR TEETH ~ dark chocolate contains theobromine, which has been proven to harden tooth enamel.

IMPROVES GASTROINTESTINAL FLORA ~ dark chocolate is a probiotic food.

ANTI-OXIDANT FUELED ~ One study has shown that cacao and dark chocolate contained more antioxidant activity, polyphenols and flavanols than other fruits they tested, that included blueberries and Acai berries.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST - WEIGHT LOSS! ~ dark chocolate is full of MUFAs (mono-unsaturated fatty acids) and studies show eating diets high in these healthy fats can rev up your metabolism to burn fat and calories. It may also help in curbing cravings for salt and unhealthy food choices.

References: Pinterest (Dark Chocolate Health Benefits); www.guthealthproject.com; 

So the dark side is calling!! Many of you are all ready lovers of dark chocolate, but I know there are some of you out there that are hesitant to to switch to dark chocolate. I hope this entices you, I mean, all those health benefits, surely they are pretty attractive. The dark side is not all bleak after all, in fact, it's fun and good for you to live on the dark side!

I couldn't end it here and leave you standing, unless you've squealed out of the driveway, racing to get yourself some delicious dark chocolate. I'm going to share with you my signature raw cacao hot chocolate with you, it's like an elixir with all the benefits mentioned above and with winter knocking on the door, I think you might like this one:

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Raw Cacao Winter Elixir

with Cinnamon & Honey


 

You will need:
2 tbsp raw cocoa
3/4 hot water
1/4 cows milk (alternatively use goats, coconut, almond or soy milk)
1 tsp organic honey
1 or 2 sticks cinnamon
*optional - Star anise, vanilla seeds, nutmeg

Method:

1. Combine the cacao with a little of the hot water into a paste.

2. In a small saucepan, combine paste and remaining ingredients.

3. Bring to boil and simmer for a further 3-5 minutes.

4. Pour into your favourite huggable mug, leave a cinnamon stick in it.

5. Enjoy and absorb all the benefits.

Stay tuned for more dark chocolate recipe blogs, I have so many and would love to share them with you.

Oh and before I sign off, I wanted to mention, I am a chocolatier enthusiast and have a small range of dark chocolate products that I handcraft in small batches. Check out the the link below.

So there you have it, dark chocolate is not all doom and gloom as some of you may have thought, so I welcome you the the DARK SIDE to reap the POWERS of dark chocolate.

Vicki XO

KEEP CALM AND EAT DARK CHOCOLATE
— Adixions Luxe Chocolates

How do you not get cake mixture all over the patty pans?

Do we even still call them patty pans? or are they called cupcake papers these days..not sure but I am sure we are all on the same page! How on earth do you not get cake mixture dripping on the 'patty pans' so your cupcakes look pro!!

 

I've been baking for a loooong time and only up until the last few years I would stand over the patty pan tray which before I got to it, was looking pretty and perfect with all the empty patty pan papers lined up.. Then I would start with a spoon in one hand, a spoon in the other and juggle and twirl the spoons like I was a clown on a unicycle trying to keep my balance, trying not to let the mixture touch the papers..

So only up until a few years ago, while I was browsing through one of my fav shops, Wheel & Barrow Homewares, I stumbled across something that looks like a drink bottle, but in fact a great invention to cure those dirty dripping cupcake sagas!! Ok, so here is the invention...a lot of you out there probable new about this years and years ago, but hey! I'm a late bloomer!

It comes in four pieces, a bottom lid, top lid with opening, top cap and the tube part!  All you do after you have made your yummy cake mixture, make sure you have the bottom lid on secured tightly and pour in your cake mixture..

Then screw on the top lid, put the cap on tightly and turn the thing upside down. Tap it so all the mixture is down near the top lid with opening. So then all you need to do is take the cap off, and squeeze the mixture into the patty pans. I've added a few pictures to try and explain my explanation!

 

So there you have it.. NO MORE messy patty pans and you have PRO cupcakes!

I hope I have helped some people out there that have patty pan injuries just like I use to! If anything, hope you enjoyed the read!

Bake on and keep having fun in the kitchen.

With love,

Vicki XO

What to gift to welcome precious babies into the world?

How beautiful is it when a child enters the world...such a special miraculous time for the parents and joy for the the family and friends that love and surround that precious life! We all feel immense love for that life and immediately adopt and desire to assure this precious child feels the love a trillion time more of what we are feeling..xo

This gorgeous Sloth is so soft to cuddle & cute, available online!

A gift can be a token of appreciation or often a small gift given as a gesture of gratitude and in this case sheer happiness for this little person coming into our lives. When choosing a gift, you want it to be something that also contributes to the life of this precious baby.

To name a few, we buy:

  • beautiful baby clothes
  • soft plush toys for them cuddle...and chew
  • mini cutlery sets for when they are ready to delve into the world of solid food and perhaps not use their hands
  • their first crockery set
  • the first of their learning books
  • beautiful linen for for when they eventually grow out out of their cot and are ready for big bed
  • their first building blocks
  • early learning toys for them to exercise their developing minds..

The list goes on and oh so many ideas to celebrate those first stages of their brand new life!! 

On the Adixions online store there are a few carefully selected gorgeous items, perfect gifts to welcome the new little person into this wonderful crazy world of ours! 

We source our gift cards, gorgeous paper garlands (you will see some further down) and other creatives from the very talented Piccolo Studio, an Australian brand based in Sydney!

Our Plush toys have been uniquely selected and sourced from Annabel Trends, the items we have chosen are keepsake gifts. That cute Sloth you saw at the top of the Blog is my fav, I just couldn't manage to get a good pic of him, but you can get a good look on our website. He is gorgeous for both little ladies and little men! 

And just how sweet is Ballerina Bunny Plush below:

Ballerina Bunny Plush - Caramel
36.95

Dance, hold and love with this new Ballerina Bunnies by Annabel Trends. Just too cute with her floppy ears, tutu and ballet slippers. 

We beautifully gift wrap your purchase and if you would like a gorgeous gift card, pop over to our gift card section..xo

Dream Guardians - Poppy
79.95

Dream big and protect your dreams with these loving dream guardians by Annabel Trends. Each one specially hand knitted and sealed with a loving heart.

This soft feel & huggable quality of Poppy will make a loving addition to any family.  Poppy has a gold trim making it a timeless gift. Guardian Poppy comes packaged in a beautiful gift box. SIZE: 18.5cm x 42cm and Poppy is 18cm x 38cm.

We gift wrap your purchase and if you need a gorgeous gift card, check out our gift card section, they are adorable.xo

 

Ok, so this gorgeous set is to do with food..one of my favourite topics! This porcelain set with the gorgeous Rabbit feature is so keepsake. It comes in a craft gift box that's also pretty special and has it's own gift card with 'This belongs to' on the back. Need I say more... 

Further down you will also see little Mini Hug Me Mugs, again more suitable for when they are a little older, but definitely statement gifts, you can even bundle these up to make a stunning select of special items.

Our homeware are sourced from Robert Gordon Australia..just love what they create!

Kids Sets - Woodlands Black Rabbit
34.95

Porcelain cup, plate and bowl with gorgeous rabbit design. Microwave and dishwasher safe. Comes gift boxed and we beautifully gift wrap your purchase. A keepsake gift for that special little one. 

Designed in Australia by Robert Gordon Australia.

(Cutlery not included)

 

 

 

Mini Hug Me Mug - Blue Stripe
14.95

Gorgeous petite porcelain Hug Me Mug for kids.

Come in a beautiful box and we will gift wrap your purchase. Tee this us with one of our fun Piccolo Studio gift cards to make a beautiful gift!

Capacity 200mL.

Designed in Australia by Robert Gordon Australia.

 

Oh Baby, I hope the ideas are now flowing a plenty!

But above all, our role is to love, protect, positively guide the precious new lives that enter our world. Allow them to be themselves, not mold them into something we want, let them shine! 

With love,

Vicki xo


Source: http://www.adixions.com.au/shop

Want to know about the most delicious Olive Oil Chocolate Almond Cake?

It is gluten-free and so damn good!! Keep reading for my recipe review..

This one is a keeper!! Why you ask? Because this recipe I came across is from the beautiful human, Nigella Lawson! 

https://www.nigella.com/

Just when you thought you had to tone down the chocolate cake intake!! Well you can get those negative thoughts out of your head and whip up this moist, delicious cake!!

I came across this amazing recipe when a client asked me they wanted a delicious chocolate mudcake for their birthday, but it had to be gluten-free and actually taste like real chocolate cake at the same time. They say this because they've tried gluten-free chocolate cake before and they just haven't been right.

So I was then blessed to find this divine Olive Oil Chocolate cake recipe by Nigella! Seriously, she saved the day..YEAH! 

Check out Nigella's recipe in the source link at the end of this Blog. It is filled with so much goodness, olive oil (I used my dad's very own), almond meal, pure cocoa, sugar, eggs & vanilla.

I highly recommend this recipe, it is truly devour-able and the fact that it is gluten-free is a winner!

It doesn't stop at the recipe alone, you can get creative with it! So get jiggy with it!!

Here are some of my creations:

This beauty was 3 layers of Olive Oil Chocolate cake, filled with delicious vanilla mascarpone buttercream filling, mixed berries, morello cherries, roasted hazelnuts, toasted coconut & pretty edible pansies! 

Couldn't resist a full view of that gold-dusted chocolate sail!

Here I made mini round Olive Oil Chocolate cakes and topped with divine piped drops of chocolate ganache, edible pansies and gold leaf! Yes I ate one! 

So I thank you Nigella Lawson for being so fabulous at what you do..this recipe, I will say it again, is a keeper!! 

Enjoy this one and I truly hope you enjoyed the review!

Vicki XO

FOOD BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER ON MANY DIFFERENT LEVELS. IT’S NOURISHMENT OF THE SOUL AND BODY, IT’S TRULY LOVE.
— Giada De Laurentiis

If you at all were eyeing off that very cool charcoal back dotted plate the mini cakes were sitting on, they are available on our online store..xo

Source: https://www.nigella.com/recipes/chocolate-...

Dark Chocolate Truffles

You seriously have to try these delicious melt-in-your-mouth drops of happiness!

 Dark Chocolate Truffles

Dark Chocolate Truffles

They are definitely one way to impress your guests or whip these little babies up and have them as your very own special treats at home! 

I have made these simple and easy to do and you can you use this truffle chocolate as the base for your very own signature creations! Add half a cup of crunchy roasted slivered almonds...yum..my personal favourite! Even add a 1/4 cup of your favourite liqueur to give them a little pop of flavour! Or add 1/4 cup granulated coffee to get that latte feeling..

Once you have made your first batch, you won't stop, you'll want to keep on creating these and you'll want to experiment with other flavours too..it's endless..actually it's dreamland!!

Here is what you will need:

180ml thickened pouring cream  I  600g of good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped  I  1 cup Dutch cocoa

I know what you're thinking.. "Is that all??" YEP!

Here is what you need to do:

Place cream in a saucepan over high heat and bring it to the boil. Then you will a heatproof bowl and place the chopped dark chocolate in it.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Then put the heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir the chocolate and cream with a metal spoon until its all smooth and shiny..oh so good!

Allow the chocolate mixture stand at room temperature for a about 10-15 minutes, then you will need to refrigerate this for approximately 2 hours or until it is firm to touch.

Time to roll:

Grab a teaspoon and spoon out roughly a teaspoon of the firm'ish mixture and roll into rough balls. Place these on a metal tray and lined with foil. Once you have finished your rolling, dust them generously with fine Dutch chocolate, do this by placing the cocoa in a hand held sieve and dust away!

There you have your Dark Chocolate Truffles.

NOTE: If you want to add the coffee, put it in the cream when you are bringing it to the boil.  Roasted almonds or your nuts of choice, turn them through the chocolate mixture once it has stood at room temperature for 10 minutes or so. Same goes for the liqueur. 

Any questions about these little balls of heaven, feel free to email me!

Enjoy and always have fun in the kitchen! XO

 

 

Source: http://www.adixions.com.au/adixions-blog-s...