Is Chocolate sexy? by @TaylorLeeWrites

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
Charles M. Schulz

Chocolate Candy

In answer to the question above, the answer is ‘Heck Yes!” Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but if you’re a Romantic Suspense writer like I am, love and romance is a 365-day-a-year adventure. While science and romance may seem to be at odds, I love it when science studies issues critical to those of us who write (and love) Romantic Suspense. The scientific study below (reported by Diana Herrington @DancinginLife) asks: Which is a more powerful sexual turn on – a piece of chocolate or a kiss from the person you love most? Think you know the answer? Read on.

A Study of Chocolate

“According to a study at Mind Lab chocolate stimulated the brain more intensely than a kiss with a partner. They had 6 couples in their 20s wear heart and brain monitors. Each person in the study placed a piece of dark chocolate on their tongue and let it melt without chewing. Later, the couples kissed in the way they normally would. What the study found was that when the chocolate melted in the mouth, all areas of the brain were stimulated far more intensely. Their hearts even beat faster for longer after the chocolate than the intimate embrace.

Chocolate is famous for containing a ‘Love Drug’ because it triggers feelings of attraction, euphoria and excitement, mimicking the brain chemistry of a person in love. Dr. David Lewis, one of the researchers at Mind Lab, said: “There is no doubt that chocolate beats kissing hands down when it comes to providing a long-lasting body and brain buzz. A buzz that, in many cases, lasted four times as long as the most passionate kiss.”

Chocolate Boosts Mood, Eases Depression

Chocolate contains approximately 380 known chemicals, some of which promote serotonin production which boosts our mood and eases depression. They give a hormone rush that is similar to the rush of love-making as the pleasure center of the brain is triggered somewhat similarly to the peaks during an orgasm.

Chocolate has had a reputation as being an aphrodisiac throughout history. This dates back to the Mayan period from about 250 AD to 900 AD. The Mayans were chocoholics and highly valued the cacao bean. A man could hire a prostitute for eight to ten cacao beans. Rumor has it that the Aztec emperor Montezuma known for being a hot lover, drank 50 cups of cacao a day before heading off to his harem.

Nonetheless, the actual truth is cacao has never been fully proven to be an aphrodisiac. It does have the chemical composition, but in quantities so small you would need to consume as much as the emperor Montezuma did (which is not recommended).

A Feel Good Food

Without question, chocolate has been proven to be a “Feel good food.” Research proves that its ingredients help relax us mentally and physically and brings a sense of wellbeing which can promote sexual interest. Since chocolate improves mood, it can improve sex, but it does not need to strictly be an aphrodisiac.”

Back to the question: “Which is more powerful —a yummy piece of chocolate or a kiss from the person you love the most?”  My answer:  Why choose?  Double your odds.  Have them both!

Here is a tasty decadent chocolate recipe full of healthy ingredients using dark chocolate:

Cherry Pecan Dark Chocolate Bar

Ingredients:

  • 4 squares (approx. 112 gm) unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 Tbsp organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid light stevia
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1/4 cup pecans, roasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried unsweetened cherries, chopped in half

Directions:

  1. Dry roast pecans in a toaster oven or in frying pan (stir frequently so they do not burn).
  2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or very carefully in a saucepan.
  3. Use coconut oil to oil a small pan of approximately 8 inches square.
  4. Evenly sprinkle the cherries and pecans in the pan.
  5. When the chocolate is melted; remove from heat.
  6. Mix in the coconut oil and stevia.
  7. Then mix in honey.
  8. Pour melted chocolate mixture over the cherries and pecans.
  9. Let cool in refrigerator or freezer.
  10. Once set, then cut into squares. Store in covered container in refrigerator or freezer, if desired.

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As you are nibbling on your chocolate and having found a great person to share it with, grab: 

Jorden

JORDEN

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  • An Assistant US Attorney fights the legal battle of his life. This time Jorden’s on the defense and his children are at stake. 
  • An evil woman isn’t about to let her children and former husband go without a fight. And this woman fights dirty! 
  • A family drama that calls for the best and the worst of the two passionate lovers. Unfortunately, Jorden and McKenna discover that Justice—like Love– isn’t always fair or

WARNING: Romance so HOT it singes the pages.  HOT, tough, explicit. Not for the faint at heart.  Definitely bring a fan!

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Flourless Chocolate Cake #Recipe for #Foodies

I follow King Arthur Baking Co. on Facebook because I enjoy the recipes they share online. They also offer lots of tricks and tips for baking and cooking. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to bake and cook and try out new recipes. King Arthur Baking posted this recipe for Flourless Chocolate Cake just a few days ago. Wow! Talk about rich and decadent!

Flourless Chocolate Cake
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Ingredients –

Cake:

  • 1 cup (170g) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 8 tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (149g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons espresso powder, optional
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (43g) Dutch-process cocoa

Glaze:

  • 1 cup (170g) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (113g) heavy cream
Directions –
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a metal 8″ round cake pan; cut a piece of parchment to fit, grease it, and lay it in the bottom of the pan. See “tips,” below.
  2. To make the cake: Put the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat until the butter is melted and the chips are soft. Stir until the chips melt, reheating briefly if necessary. You can also do this over a burner set at very low heat. Transfer the melted chocolate/butter to a mixing bowl.
  3. Stir in the sugar, salt, espresso powder, and vanilla. Espresso enhances chocolate’s flavor much as vanilla does; using 1 teaspoon will simply enhance the flavor, while 2 teaspoons will lend a hint of mocha to the cake.
  4. Add the eggs, beating briefly until smooth. Add the cocoa powder, and mix just to combine.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake the cake for 25 minutes; the top will have formed a thin crust, and it should register at least 200°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into its center.
  7. Remove it from the oven, and cool it in the pan for 5 minutes.
  8. Loosen the edges of the pan with a table knife or nylon spreader, and turn it out onto a serving plate. The top will now be on the bottom; that’s fine. Also, the edges will crumble a bit, which is also fine. Allow the cake to cool completely before glazing.
  9. To make the glaze: Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until it’s not quite at a simmer, but showing fine bubbles around the edge. Pour the cream over the chocolate and then stir very briefly to combine. let rest for 5 minutes. Stir again — at first slowly, then more vigorously — until the chocolate is completely melted and the glaze is smooth. If any bits of chocolate remain, reheat briefly in the microwave or over a burner, then stir until smooth.
  10. Spoon the glaze over the cake, spreading it to drip over the sides a bit. Allow the glaze to set for several hours before serving the cake.

Chocolate Sponge Cake #Recipe by @KatyWalters07

I do love this recipe for Chocolate Sponge Cake. It is easy and always has perfect results. This cake is a good size and will last a family of five approximately four to five days. It is also the base for a number of sponge cakes; for instance, the Victoria Sponge with a delicious strawberry jam filling.

Ingredients for the Chocolate Sponge Cake:

For the cake- Chocolate Sponge Cake

  • 6 ozs Self-Rising Flour
  • 6 ozs Butter or Margarine, softened
  • 6 ozs Castor Sugar (Granulated)
  • 50 gm Cocoa Powder
  • 4 Medium-Size Eggs

For the filling and top (see image)-

  • 175 gm Butter
  • 375 gm Icing Sugar (Confectioner’s)
  • 90 gm Cocoa Powder
  • 2-4 Tablespoons Milk

Directions to make the Chocolate Sponge Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C (350F) – Fan Gas 4. Spray two 7-inch round cake tins with baking spray, then set aside.
  2. Add flour, butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and eggs into the bowl of an electric stand mixer.
  3. Mix on medium speed until all ingredients are thoroughly combined and creamy.
  4. Divide into two 7-inch cake tins and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Let the cakes sit for about 10 minutes, then remove from pans. Allow cakes to cool on a cooling rack before filling and icing.

Directions for the filling/top:

  1. Add butter, sugar, and cocoa to the bowl of an electric stand mixer.
  2. Mix on low, adding only enough milk to make a spreadable icing/filling (see cake image).
  3. Spread half of the mixture on top of one layer. Top with second layer. Spread remaining mixture on top of the cake.

Hurrah! Chocolate Sponge Cake is decadently rich. However, it is a fantastic treat for the family, or for your hubby. Above all, it is a wonderful treat for YOU. Why? Because you can’t have too much chocolate.

~  ~  ~

Look for A LADY IN DISTRESS, Book 1 of the Lords of Wessex

An exciting Regency Suspense Romance

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Katy Walters