Foodie Friday: Chocolate Souffles!
-1/3 cup sugar, plus powdered sugar for dusting
-5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
-3 large egg yolks at room temperature
-6 large egg whites
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (Fahrenheit). Generously butter a souffle dish and sprinkle with sugar, tapping out excess.
2. Melt chocolate in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and stir in yolks (the batter will stiffen).
3. Beat whites with a pinch of salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until forming soft peaks. Add 1/3 cup sugar, a little at a time, continuing to beat at medium speed, then beat at a high speed until forming stiff peaks. Stir about 1 cup of the whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten, then add mixture to the remaining whites, folding gently and thoroughly.
4. Spoon into souffle dish and run the end of your thumb around the inside edge of the souffle dish (this will remove any sugar particles on the inner edge, allowing the souffle to rise evenly). Bake in middle of oven until puffed and crusted on top, but still giggly in the center, 24 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately, with a light dusting of powdered sugar.
There’s no denying the power that chocolate has in our day-to-day lives. At work, my coworkers have often laughed as I’d turn down candy, but happily accept chocolate with the reminder that “chocolate is not candy, it is its own food group for which we have a separate stomach: the chocolate stomach.” From ice cream to cakes to souffles, just about anything sweet that can be flavored has a variant which includes chocolate, and it’s used in nearly every holiday celebration throughout the year in addition to its frequent appearance in romantic occasions and post-romantic occasions.
Kitchen witchcraft often conjures the image of a witch with a rolling pin, baking pies and cakes. So it should come as no surprise that chocolate - an ingredient frequently used in baking - would have its own place in such delectable witchery. And how could it not? There’s no denying the fact that chocolate can help ease depression and sadness, and that it can brighten anyone who isn’t allergic to it (and in the media, look no further than Harry Potter, in which chocolate is the immediate cure after having a run-in with a dementor - the manifestation of true depression).
Chocolate, of course, doesn’t immediately come as that creamy sweet bar that we can buy at the front of the grocery store or in a gas station. In its purest form, it is the cacao bean. Historically, cacao beans were used as currency in Central and South America in addition to being made into a frothy beverage. The fruit of the cacao tree was also consumed frequently, and when the Spanish arrived, the tree was being cultivated for its fruit and seeds.
Chocolate became a luxury item in Europe afterward, and its popularity (unsurprisingly) grew quite quickly. Today, most cacao is cultivated in West Africa for worldwide consumption.
In terms of magic, cocoa is easily linked to prosperity and luxury. Its use as money in Central and South America adds to this, and its popularity among the nobility both in the Americas and in Europe further reinforces this notion. But I would argue that chocolate goes beyond prosperity and money magic. Of course, there are sweetening spells, in which chocolate can easily be incorporated, as well as love and lust magic which can most definitely involve chocolate. I would say that chocolate can be used in health and healing magic.
There is, of course, the fact that dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, but I’m specifically referring to spells pertaining to mental health. It’s excellent for calming nerves for those suffering from anxiety, lifting the mood for those suffering from depression (keep in mind that depression isn’t just feeling sad… it’s losing all feeling, to the point where you just can’t feel emotion), and bringing joy to those who need it. Even when feeling physically sick, a cup of hot cocoa can help bring a bit more life to someone who is unwell. (When I had the flu last week, what was my hot beverage request made of my boyfriend? Hot chocolate!)
Incorporating chocolate into magic is fairly easy. Add it to foods such as baked goods and candy, or even to some more savory foods (chocolate goes particularly well with chili’s and pairs excellently with red wines). As an offering to deities, chocolate works well for deities linked with love or strong emotion or wealth.
Play around with ways in which to incorporate chocolate. It doesn’t have to be the candy bar, either. In a spell for self love, consider using cocoa powder as an ingredient. In sweetening spells, powdered hot chocolate can be incorporated easily!
To to cap it all off, chocolate is a food whose origins are linked to royalty, money, and prosperity. It’s grown to become a food linked with love and romance, but can also be very helpful in spells for mental health. Consider different ways in which chocolate impacts your life, and see where it’s magic can take you!
And may all your meals be blessed! )O(