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Woman biting into a chocolate slab

Source: David Malan / Getty

National Milk Chocolate Day

 

On July 28th dive into the ever-popular National Milk Chocolate Day. When it comes to chocolate, this sweet easily pleases.  Indulge…Indulge…Indulge……

On average, we recognize three chocolate holidays a month. Interestingly, July celebrates chocolate as often as February.

Solid chocolate, when combined with either powdered, liquid or condensed milk, is known as milk chocolate. While candy bar makers use milk chocolate to make their most popular candy bars, the treat isn’t the healthiest of the chocolates. Dark chocolate takes home the honors for nutrition. With added sugar and fat, milk chocolate packs on the calories. Add to that, milk chocolate’s popularity in baked goods, and the calorie count keeps going up. Don’t forget, we add it to specialty coffee drinks and other beverages, too.

In fact, we’ve been adding milk to chocolate beverages since the mid-17th century. But, in 1875 Daniel Peter invented milk chocolate by mixing a powdered milk developed by Henri Nestlé with the liquor. It’s been milk chocolate bliss ever since.

Since the days are heating up, melt that chocolate down. Drizzle it on some ice cream or mix it into some popcorn.

Try this recipe:

Decadent Vegan Chocolate Cake

For the cake

  • 3 cups (375g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2⁄3 cup (60g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (475ml) unsweetened nondairy milk, homemade or store-bought
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 3⁄4 cups (350g) sugar
  • 2⁄3 cup (160ml) melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the filling

  • 1 cup (245g) pumpkin puree
  • 1⁄4 cup (20g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1⁄4 cup (60ml) maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons almond butter or cashew butter

For the ganache

  • 6 ounces (170g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup (120ml) coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Coat two 8- or 9-inch (20 or 23cm) round springform pans with melted coconut oil.
  2. To make the cake, put the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk together the nondairy milk and vinegar until frothy. Whisk in the sugar, oil, and vanilla. Add about one-third of the mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a spatula or whisk, or use an electric mixer on the lowest setting. Repeat, adding the remaining liquid in two more additions, mixing just until incorporated after the final addition. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  4. Bake for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven but leave the cakes in their pans and let cool completely.
  5. To make the filling, process all the ingredients in a food processor.
  6. To make the ganache, put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Combine the coconut milk and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just simmering. Pour over the chocolate and stir until melted. Let cool to room temperature.
  7. To assemble the cake, remove the layers from their pans. Place one, top side up, on a serving platter and gently shave off the rounded top with a sharp knife. Spread all of the filling over the top. Place the other cake layer atop the filling. Pour the ganache evenly over the top and let it drizzle down the sides. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
  8. Leftovers will keep in a covered container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

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