Chocolate and coffee offer a variety of flavors are incredibly complex in flavor independently, but can also provide us with delicious flavor combinations when paired together. Research also indicates that there are health benefits to these two famous products.

Health benefits of coffee and chocolate:

Coffee and dark chocolate is high in beneficial vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, and has been known prevent many diseases.

Some facts:

Specific microbes in our gut convert a portion of the cocoa into anti-inflammatory compounds. These can be used by our body and can prevent some forms of cardiovascular disease.

Our colon ferments dietary fiber, which makes up 30 percent of cocoa powder. John Finley, a researcher on this study and professor of food science has reported the benefits of chocolate, but avoids the fat and sugar that often come with it by adding two tablespoons of cocoa powder to his oatmeal in the morning—the amount he found to produce beneficial effects.

Several observational studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of getting type II diabetes, a serious disease that currently afflicts about 300 million people worldwide. More evidence has shown that a little high-quality dark chocolate can relax blood vessels, making them more flexible.

So moving on to the sweet stuff!

Chocolate Pairings

Chocolate and coffee are not strangers. Besides both being a fermented fruit, cafe mocha and chocolate-filled pastries are popular menu items in many cafes. Quality is more important than quantity. When you are looking for the ideal chocolate to pair with coffee, avoid the large chocolate bars available in supermarkets, many of which contain oil and corn syrup. Instead, try the highest quality chocolates you can find.

Some Coffee roast combinations

  • Lighter roasts that retain more of the beans’ acidity work best with the sweeter, more delicately floral notes of our milk chocolates.
  • Dark chocolate goes well with a bold coffee, such as Italian roast. Serve small chunks of dark chocolate with freshly brewed coffee for a sweet and ultimately satisfying end to a meal.
  • Milk chocolate goes best with a medium roast, like Colombian, Kenyan, or Kona coffee. A breakfast blend is sensational with a few pieces of creamy milk chocolate!

If using an AeroPress – make sure to brew a strong cup so that its flavors won’t be diluted when milk is added in; alternatively, if using an espresso machine, any milk based drink – a latte, cappuccino or flat white would be good.

Cakes and treats

Waffles
In Holland, baristas put the stroopwafel (or syrup waffle) on top of coffee cups! As it starts to soften up from the steam and curl over the edges it becomes infused from the coffee aroma.

Donuts
Donuts were first made to dip into a cup of coffee! First choice would be the plain round ones with a slight dusting of icing sugar. A variation on this could be to dip one chocolate in the center.

Coffee cake
These two items where definitely not meant to be alone, so here’s a quick recipe to get you going as featured on http://www.food.com/recipe/easy-streusel-coffee-cake-109899

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
3. Combine egg, milk, and oil.
4. Add flour mixture to egg mix and mix well.
5. Pour into 9 inch greased pan.
6. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over batter.
7. Bake for about 25 minutes.

Latest craze: Coffee in an Easter egg

Chocolate fans have around the world have gone wild for this Easter treat! Karvan Coffee in Perth Australia has posted a series of mouthwatering videos , showing shots of coffee being poured into hollow Easter eggs, melting them a little making them all the more delicious.

Check out the vid here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6aAhg3phpw

The treat itself is simple enough to replicate at home. Just pop a medium-sized milk chocolate egg with the top removed in a regular coffee cup. Pour your cup of espresso inside, and get ready for the magic!

Mocha Coffee Recipes

Like a caffè latte, caffe mocha is based on espresso and hot milk, but with added chocolate, typically in the form of sweet cocoa powder, although many varieties use chocolate syrup. Mocha’s can contain dark or milk chocolate.

Simple Mocha Recipe

1 cup of brewed coffee
4 tablespoons of your favorite chocolate bar shavings or cocoa powder (roughly 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup of cream or milk
You can make this work with any amount of milk or chocolate as long as you keep it roughly 2 parts milk to 1 part chocolate.

Directions:

From here, it’s pretty easy! Brew 8 oz. of coffee with your regular brew method. Add your chocolate into your milk and heat it up slowly using a double broiler or microwave. If melting in a microwave, heat the mixture for 30 second intervals and stir, until creamy and fully combined.
Add the warm chocolate and milk mixture to your coffee and enjoy!

Variations:

Add whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top to simulate a fancy coffee-shop mocha.
Add a shot of Baileys Irish Creme, whiskey, or your favorite liquor for a very “grown up” mocha drink (double mm mm).
If you have an espresso machine, the “traditional” Italian mocha drink involves simply layering a shot of espresso, cold cream and, finally, shaved or melted chocolate on top– no mixing! Then you drink the espresso through a layer of cream and chocolate.

Here’s wishing you a blessed Easter, with coffee, chocolate and family!

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