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Chocolate lovers have new ways to enjoy treat

Published: Wed, January 2, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Family Features

Humans have adored the taste of chocolate for thousands of years.

Though generally viewed as a sweet treat today, it likely started as a bitter beverage drunk by the Mayan people.

Chocolate has seen many iterations since then, including the beloved chocolate candy we know today; however, there are other ways to enjoy chocolate in addition to the bar or bonbon.

Chocolate expert and historian Beth Kimmerle offers some new uses for chocolate that you might not know about.

Ditch the preconceived notions. Think chocolate is just for ice cream and late night snacks? Think again. Cocoa powder, a trendy spice for savories, is great on meats, while cocoa nibs can be used as a substitute for nuts in everything from baked goods to salads.

Cook with cocoa. Try cocoa butter in place of cooking oil. Not only does it add great flavor, but it also imparts extra smoothness to desserts such as cookies and brownies.

Drink it (not just in hot chocolate). Chocolate and red wine naturally complement each other and now, instead of tasting them side-by-side, you can enjoy them together in one glass. ChocolatRouge Wines blend fine red wine and rich chocolate flavors in one bottle, creating a deliciously different twist for chocolate and wine enthusiasts. You can even use the wine in a cocktail inspired by a classic cake, and in a fruity sangria.

For more information and recipes, visit www.Choco-latRougeWine.com.

Chocolate Sangria

(Serves 4)

1 apple, cut

1 orange, cut

Handful of sliced grapes

1 bottle ChocolatRouge Sweet Red

5 ounces soda water

Dash of brandy

Combine wine and fruit in a pitcher and let sit for one hour. Then, add soda water and brandy.

Serve over ice with a twist of orange as a garnish.

Red Velvet

2 ounces ChocolatRouge Milk Chocolate

Several splashes pomegranate syrup

Blend ingredients with ice until smooth, and serve.

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