It’s official, eating chocolate is good for you!
Chocolate makes you live longer Researchers at Harvard University in the U.S. studied 8,000 men for 65 years and found that those who ate modest amounts of chocolate up to three times a month, lived almost a year longer than those who didn't eat any. They concluded that this is likely to be due to the fact that cocoa contains antioxidants called polyphenols, also found in red wine, which prevent the oxidation of harmful cholesterol. Antioxidants are also known to protect against cancer.
Chocolate is good for stress
This is thought to be because it contains valeric acid, which is a relaxant and tranquillizer. Also, the sugar in chocolate may reduce stress, sugar has been shown to have a calming and pain-relieving effect on babies and animals because sweet tastes activate the opiate-like substances in our brain.
Celebrate Chocolate Pudding Day with this delicious chocolate and orange pudding served with orange segments and chocolate sauce by James Martin from House call:
- 125g/5oz butter
- 125/5oz caster sugar
- 2 oranges, zest and flesh cut into segments
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 170g/6oz self raising flour
- 3 heaped tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp milk
Chocolate Sauce Ingredients
- 50g/2oz dark chocolate
- 1 tbsp golden syrup
- Hot water, to mix
- Lightly grease four small pudding basins with a little butter. Put the remaining butter, sugar, orange zest, eggs, flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a large bowl and beat until smooth and thoroughly combined. Add enough milk to give a dropping consistency.
- Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin and smooth the surface. Cover with greased greaseproof paper and foil, both pleated in the middle. Secure with string.
- Put the basins into a steamer or saucepan of simmering water, making sure the water comes halfway up the side of the basin. Cover and steam, topping up with boiling water as needed, for about 30 minutes.
- While the puddings are cooking, make the chocolate sauce. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water and add the golden syrup. Add enough hot water to mix to a coating consistency.
- To serve, turn the puddings out onto warmed plates, garnish with orange segments and top with a spoonful of chocolate sauce.