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Chocolate Cravings on Valentine 's Day

With Valentine 's Day come stores stacked full with every variety of chocolate possible. Have you ever wondered why we crave chocolate? A 2014 article from Psychology Today explains how the craving for chocolate is driven by the pleasure system in our brains. As human beings, when we experience anything (yes, anything) enjoyable, our brains release a neurotransmitter called dopamine. This neurotransmitter travels throughout our body via neurons and provides feelings of pleasure and enjoyment. This explains our craving for chocolate; the moment that a piece hits our mouths, a neuron signals our brain to release dopamine and we are overcome with pleasure and enjoyment. Unfortunately for us, this experience is short lived, which often results in us craving more and more chocolate. And with chocolate cravings increasing for Valentine 's Day, we have found a great recipe from Smitten Kitchen that pairs fruit and chocolate in a way that you and your brain won 't be able to resist! Chocolate Oat Crumble Chocolate Oat Crumb Chocolate Oat Crumble (Photo source: smittenkitchen.com) Topping
  • 1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
chocolate crumb topping (Photo source: smittenkitchen.com) Filling
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 pears, peeled, halved, cored and diced into small chunks (cooking times for other pear varieties will vary)
  • 1 cup raspberries
chocolate crumb filling (Photo source: smittenkitchen.com) Directions Heat oven to 350F (180C). In a small dish, combine chocolate, oats, maple syrup and set aside. In a small/medium ovenproof skillet (mine was 8-inch/1-quart), melt butter over medium heat. Add sugar and cook together, stirring, until it becomes golden at the edges. Add pear chunks and cook in this caramel-y syrup for 5 to 8 minutes, until slightly softened or half-cooked. (Bosc pears always take longer for me; ripe Bartletts, less.) Scatter raspberries over top. Sprinkle with chocolate-oat mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until fruit is soft and the oats crisp. Note: This is a sloshy crumble, because there 's no thickener in the base. We loved the fruit syrup over ice cream, but you can easily stir 1 to 2 tablespoons cornstarch before baking it to give it more body. Recipe source
Posted by vivadmin at 2/14/2015 5:30:00 PM
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