- Tarun Kapoor is executive chef at Doha’s Horizon Manor Hotel. Send your feedback to:
[email protected]

Yes you read it right: chocolate and yet healthy. Medical studies show that people who eat dark chocolate have healthier cardiovascular systems, better blood circulation and lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
If you are already a dark chocolate lover, you now have a valid reason to munch on your sweet treat. Eating dark chocolate provides our body with energy, fat, minerals and antioxidants.
These benefits come from the cocoa beans that are roasted, ground and mixed with cocoa butter and sugar in different proportions to form your favourite chocolate bar. Always check the cocoa contents in the chocolate on its wrapper— the higher the cocoa content, the better the nutritional value of the chocolate.
The cacao tree is native to central and South America. Today it is cultivated around the equator and can be found in the Caribbean, African, and Southeast Asia.
Also if you want to add chocolate to your diet, do it in moderation as most commercial chocolates have ingredients that add fat, sugar and calories. And consuming too much of it can contribute to weight gain, and put you at a greater risk for high blood pressure and heart disease and diabetes

Nutritional aspect
Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content is actually quite nutritive.
A 100 gram dark chocolate bar with 70-80% cocoa contains around 10 grams of fibre, 67% of the recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for iron, 58% of RDA for magnesium, and 89% of the RDA for copper, 98% of the RDA for manganese and is also rich in potassium, phosphorous, zinc and selenium.

The shelf life for most chocolate is one year and two years for dark chocolates. Always store the chocolate at ambient room temperature around 20 degrees Celsius.  
But in hot climate like the Middle East or in summers, it is advisable to store chocolate in fridge as the heat will not spoil the temper of the chocolate (the whitish coating also called bloom on melted and re-hardened chocolate is actually the cocoa butter coming to the chocolate surface). And to store the chocolate in fridge it should be kept in an airtight wrapper and container to avoid moisture in the fridge from spoiling the chocolate.
Dark Chocolate Tart
For crust    
Biscuit crumble 1 cup
Unsalted butter 5 tbsp
Castor sugar ¼ cup

For filling
Cooking cream 1 ¼ cup
Dark chocolate 250 gm
Eggs 2 no
Vanilla extracts
few drops
Salt ¼ tsp

For glaze
Cooking cream 2 tbsp
Dark chocolate 50 gm
Corn syrup 1 tsp
Warm water 1 tbsp

Chocolate chips 4 tbsp
Pistachio crushed ½ cup
White chocolate 2 tbsp
Combine biscuit crumble and unsalted butter and castor sugar.
Line a 9 inch tart pan and press onto bottom and 3/4th inch upside of tart pan.
Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes at 180 degree Celsius for 10- 12 minutes.
Once the tart mould is ready, allow it to cool on rack for 15 to 20 minutes.
For the filling, bring the cream to boil in a heavy bottom pan and add dark chocolate and let it stand for 5 minutes until the chocolate is completely dissolved. Stir gently until smooth.
Whisk eggs with vanilla essence and salt in another bowl and then stir into melted chocolate.
Pour the prepared filling into the prepared crust.
Bake until the filling is set about 3 inches from the edge but the centre is still wobbly (about 20 to 25 minutes). The centre will continue to set as tart cools down.
Cool completely on a cooking rack for about 1 hour.
For the glaze bring the cream to boil and remove from heat. Stir in dark chocolate until smooth and stir in corn syrup and warm water.
Pour the prepared glaze on tart and tilt and rotate the tart so glaze coats the top evenly.
Pipe melted white chocolate on top on parallel lines.
Using a tooth pick, cross the parallel lines from one side to the other to make the pattern shown in picture.
Coat the sides of the tart with crushed pistachio by applying some cream to the edges so that the pistachio sticks to the tart shell.
Cut into desired size and serve cold.

Note: you can remove the sugar in the recipe to make a healthy version of the recipe.

Cooking tip of the week

While melting chocolate don’t let the chocolate heat too fast. The best way to melt the chocolate is to melt it on double boiler. If you aren’t stocked with one then fill a wide pot with water on kitchen burner and set a smaller pot inside the first. Chop chocolate into dices and place them into the inside pot and stir to melt the chocolate evenly.

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