IN the Kitchen – From Bean to Bliss with Heavenly Hash Delights

WHO DOESN’T LOVE TO INDULGE in the delectable delicacy of chocolate? There is good reason to love this delicious and well-loved treat. Chocolate produces physical and psychological feelings of pleasure, excitement, and euphoria with each bite, so what’s not to love?

Chocolate is harvested from the Amazon Rainforest’s tropical Cacao tree when farmers gather cocoa pods with a machete. The fermentation process comes next, and the beans are placed on banana leaves on the jungle floor for several days, turning to shades of red and brown as they develop that cocoa flavor we all love. While still developing their color and flavor, the cocoa beans are placed on bamboo mats to dry. This lasts up to a week. Finally, the beans are roasted, and their shells are removed using winnowing.

Eventually, the beans are ground into cocoa powder and roasted at high temperatures. Cacao (raw) and cocoa (roasted) are both bitter, so we add sugar to our hot chocolate. Chocolate has cocoa butter fat, cocoa solids, and added sugar, making it taste delightful!

The health benefits of Cacao, Cocoa, and Chocolate are many, so the next time you indulge in chocolate, don’t feel guilty! And while you are indulging, enjoy this HEAVENLY chocolate treat from my kitchen.

  • 1 Cup of Butter
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons non-GMO cocoa Powder
  • 4 cage-free eggs
  • 2 cups Organic Granulated Sugar,
  • 1 ½ cups of King Arthur all-purpose Flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of favorite salt
  • 1 ½ cups chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 -10 ½ oz bag of miniature marshmallows
  • 1 – 16 oz bag of Confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons of cocoa
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons of evaporated milk

Preheat the oven to 350º. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; remove from heat and let cool. Add the cocoa and stir to mix; set aside. Whisk the eggs and granulated sugar until well blended.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and the salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. (Whisk to mix well.) Fold in chopped pecans.

Pour mixture into a 9x13x2 baking pan. The batter will be thick.

Bake for 30 minutes. Watch closely, the batter will be dry if overcooked. Remove the cake and immediately pour the marshmallows evenly over the top of the hot cake to soften them.

For The Topping

Sift the confectioners’ sugar with the cocoa. Melt the 4 tablespoons of butter and most of the evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium to low heat and remove.

Combine the sugar and cocoa mixture with the butter and milk mixture. If icing is too thick add a teaspoon at a time of milk to reach a syrup consistency and pour over the warm cake.