Valentine’s Day makes me think about how much I LOVE chocolate. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t eat chocolate. It could be in the form of a cookie, a muffin, an imported chocolate bar, or by sipping a hot or cold beverage. It seems as if I’m not alone. According to Mintel, 88% of US households consume chocolate confectionary (Mintel Chocolate ConfectionaryMay 2020). And, while chocolate confectionary sales have been flat for the last five years, the COVID-19 pandemic is providing an uptick in the category as consumers seek out solace with indulgence and familiar comfort foods.
Chocolate remains one of the most popular food ingredients in the world. Today, chocolate is known to be smooth, velvety, bitter, and creamy and when combined with other ingredients such as peppers, bacon, salt and fruits. However, chocolate wasn’t always a delicious confection: the Olmec civilization, indigenous to Central South America, used cacao in a ceremonial drink dating as far back as 1500 BC. It would be centuries later when the Aztecs brought cacao to a new level, thinking of it as a gift from the gods. I think most of us believe that this is still true today.
The U.S. industrial revolution laid ground for the sudden popularity of chocolate. This eventually led to the chocolate wars between Hershey, Nestle, Mars and later M&M Mars. These companies battled for the top spot in chocolate confections for decades.
Mintel reports that 52% of Americans currently struggle with stress while 55% feel that certain ingredients have a beneficial effect on their mood. According to The International Journal of Health Sciences, cocoa polyphenols (a bioactive compound found in chocolate) is one of those ingredients shown to reduce stress in highly stressed and normal healthy individuals.
CraftMark Bakery formulates with dozens of varieties and shapes of chocolate – from familiar semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips to fine chunks that contain up to 72% cacao. CraftMark uses millions of pounds of chocolate annually. Chocolate was once only served to royalty but today, CraftMark Bakery’s chocolate chip cookies and double chocolate muffins are fit for nobility.
This Valentine’s Day, enjoy a decadent chocolate dessert or confectionary. It will do you good!
Chocolate Extreme Muffin
- CraftMark Bakery’s 5.4oz. Double Chocolate Pre-deposited Frozen Muffin Batter.
- Defrost and put chocolate confectionary on top of the middle of the muffin batter. It will sink slightly when baked to create a slightly viscous center. You can experiment with different flavored confectionaries such as strawberry or mocha to give the chocolate muffin a twist
- Bake according to instructions
- Let cool and top with your favorite RTE frosting
- Sprinkle with chocolate shavings or other indulgent toppings