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By Crystal Baldwin
What's the perfect gift from the heart, in the shape of a heart for the one that you love? —Chocolate hearts of course! The perfect Valentine's gift or the anytime "I love you gift".
Homemade chocolates are decadent and so special as you get to customize them for the person you will be giving it to or for yourself. You get to add the herbs you want or need.
The other added bonus is that you get to control every ingredient that is in it. This is also great if you have food allergies and are concerned about cross-contamination with store bought chocolates or want to decrease your sugar intake.
Want to make some sexy chocolate for you and your partner? Add some powdered aphrodisiac herbs to spark things up. Different herbs have a different affect and you can combine several for your desired outcome.
How do aphrodisiac herbs work?
There are many different avenues to increase libido and sexual function. Herbs help in several different ways:
Here are a few favorite "Love Herbs"
Powdered Maca has a chocolaty flavor or add some powdered damiana for a slightly herbaceous fig like flavor (works well with a little cayenne pepper for a spicy chocolate).
Try adding a sprinkle of cinnamon for a sweet spice and to increase circulation or ashwagandha to soothe your adrenals, reduce stress and boost your libido.
Of course ginger & ginseng increase heat, stamina and desire. You may have everything you need right in your spice cabinet.
Try these herbs:
Of course you can make these chocolate hearts just because they taste darn good! Add any combination of herbs you would like (you don't have to stick to my recipe). You can also make this chocolate plain without any herbs.
For an on-going problem, add these herbs into your daily life and use them like a tonic to tone the tissues, relax the body and open the heart.
Nothing could be better this valentines than you taking care of you with chocolate!
Tempering your chocolate
The fat in Cacao butter has a crystal structure, just like sugar. When you raise the temperature of cacao above 90°F it loses the crystal structure and comes out of “temper”. This can make your chocolate set with a matte look and with white streaks (bloom) or spots. It will often be crumbly or soft instead of the typical snap that chocolate should have.
Tempering is an important process to create smooth chocolate that snaps, has a shiny look and a smooth feel in the mouth. The way that you temper chocolate is by heating it up to around 115° then cooling it down to around 88° - 90° just before pouring. Instead of using special equipment that chocolate makers use we use the “seed” method where we keep aside some of the cacao butter that is already tempered and add it back it to help the fat crystals come back together. This is much easier than many other methods and gives you great chocolate.
Tips for making good chocolate and avoiding problems
Download Recipe Here
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No more guilt with this queso recipe, it is full of vegetables, healthy fats and protein so, you can eat till your heart's content and you can feel good about what you are eating!
So what exactly is in this vegan queso? The main ingredient here is sweet potatoes! Don't worry, if your not wild about he taste or texture of a sweet potato, this dish gets so transformed you can't even tell it is full of them. It just becomes creamy, smooth textured and full of spices and flavor.
If you have some fun twists on old favorites it does spice things up and leave people talking about what a great party it was for sure. Changing things up can be easier than you think and a lot of fun. This is the time to get creative and have fun while wowing your guests.
If you need a break from cooking between the holidays or you still have a house full of people to feed and need a quick and easy meal...it doesn't get much easier than this dish!
If you have leftover shrimp cocktail from a party and want to use it up, you can do that with this dish as well. If not, grab a bag of uncooked shrimp from the freezer and get your dinner done in about 20 minutes.
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