For the Lust of Food!

Sexy food? Edible delights in the bedroom? Little treats in your meal that would make you want your lover jump right into bed with you? (yeah, we know hot underwear would work too). Yes, we’re talking about aphrodisiacs – the wonder foods that boost your sexual desire, and make your after dinner party a little more, er, eventful. 😉

The name Aphrodisiac comes from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sexuality and love. Throughout history, many foods, drinks, and behaviours have had a reputation for making sex more attainable and/or pleasurable. However, from a historical and scientific standpoint, the alleged results may have been mainly due to mere belief by their users that they would be effective (i.e., the placebo effect). In particular, Western medical science has no substantiated claims that any particular food increases sexual desire or performance.

So we were snooping around (and experimented on our own love hamsters) for some delicious aphrodisiac foods that could be innocently used in your meals to ignite all senses in your partner. Here are top 5 aphrodisiacs that are a MUST.

5. Bananas: 

Well, we don’t mean to be dirty, (or maybe we do), but by the mere shape of the banana, its connection with sexuality is quite obvious. Also find that bananas are loaded with potassium, magnesium and B vitamins. It also contains chelating minerals and the bromeliad enzyme, said to enhance the male libido. No splitting after that banana split then, eh? 🙂

4. Figs:

This sexy fruit has long been thought of as an arousing stimulant and an open fig is believed to emulate the female sex organs. Figs are steeped in history and are one of the oldest recorded fruits. They are reported to be Cleopatra’s favorite fruit and the ancient Greeks held them as sacred and associated them with love and fertility. Pop in plenty of these figs with ricotta cheese, walnuts, lettuce and few tablespoons of honey Balsamic  vinaigrette to serve up an unforgettable salad (and possibly an unforgettable night) to your lover. 😉

3. Chocolate: 

Pure chocolate, the king of natural aphrodisiacs, contains a host of compounds including anandamide, the psyochoactive feel-good chemical, and PEA (phenylethylamine), the ‘love chemical’ which releases dopamine in the pleasure-centres of the brain and peaks during orgasm (this is our subtle way of highlighting the last word of that previous sentence). PEA is said to help induce feelings of excitement, attraction, and euphoria. Go on. Bake that chocolate cake and lick the batter right off each other’s fingers! You could find an easy fudge recipe here.

2. Oysters:

Oysters are probably the food most associated with being an aphrodisiac, and most people are aware of their reputation for increasing sexual desire. Oysters may be thought an aphrodisiac because of their high zinc content, which helps produce sperm and increases libido and also for their shape (stemming from sympathetic magic). Raw oysters are best served with a glass of chilled Champagne for a truly romantic meal. Nibble away!

1. Honey: 

Yes, this is the biggest surprise and  the winner of them all. Honey. The only edible that hasn’t spoled for thousands of years (and possibly contributing to keep this population number high). Sweet, sticky honey is a great source of boron, a trace mineral that helps the body use and metabolize estrogen, the female sex hormone. Studies have shown that this mineral may also enhance testosterone levels in the blood, the hormone responsible for promoting sex drive and orgasm in both men and women. So what’s it gonna be tonight? Honey chicken wings? Honey mustard dressed salads? Or just drizzle some honey over chocolates and bananas and see what pans out! 😀

And those are our top 5 aphrodisiacs that have certainly worked. Do share what works with you. And if you find none of them having any effect, a bottle of tequila and a lemon should do the trick, if you know what we mean! 😉

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Happy Chocolate Day!

It’s World Chocolate Day and we’re uber excited (not that we need a reason to have chocolate, but if you’re looking for some, then click here).  We’ve been shopping for all things chocolate and whipping up a storm in the kitchen. And we thought maybe you’d like to chocolate up your meals tonight too. Here are some Zoinkalicious! Recipes you’d love to make at home :

1. Tall, Dark and Handsome: 

Start off your meal with a chocolate liqueur drink which pairs very well with pretty much anything. Who doesn’t love a chocolate drink anyway?

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet cocoa mix, for glass rim
  • 2 shots vanilla vodka
  • 1/2 shot coffee liqueur
  • 1/2 shot chocolate liqueur

Method:

  1. Wet rim of martini glass on a damp paper towel and dip into cocoa mix; set aside.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Stir and strain into martini glass.

2. Spinach Salad with Chocolate Vinaigrette:

Ingredients:

For vinaigrette:

For salad:

  • 8 cups bagged baby spinach, washed
  • 1 1/3 cups freshly diced mango
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Method:

1. In a large bowl whisk together cocoa powder, sugar and vinaigrette. Add spinach and toss to coat.

2. Add mango, cranberries and walnuts. Toss together and transfer to a serving dish.

 

3. Chocolate Crostini with Sea Salt:

The biggest challenge with presenting this chocolate sea salt crostini recipe is getting people to stop thinking, “dessert,” and start thinking, “great special occasion savory snack.” For this to work as a savory bite, the chocolate must be very dark, bittersweet, and world-class.  Also, use only extra virgin oil to give it that perfect taste.

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces dark chocolate
  • 1/4 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 thin baguette slices, toasted
  • medium-coarse sea salt

Method:

  1. Melt the chocolate with the orange zest and olive oil in a small, heavy-bottom pot over ultra-low heat (if you’re a double boiler-lover, feel free to use one here), swirling it around occasionally.
  2. Give it all a good stir once it’s super soft but not completely melted and take it off the heat.
  3. Spread chocolate mixture on baguette slices and sprinkle with a generous pinch of sea salt.

 

4. Chicken in Chocolate Sauce: 

No, don’t wrinkle that face. Unsweetened cocoa powder with the sherry, spices and garlic glaze the chicken beautifully leaving you with an unforgettable taste in your mouth. The silkiness of the chocolate  combined with the  tenderness of the chicken is absolutely orgasmic.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken pieces, cut in strips
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 6 ounces dry sherry
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bay leaf
  • Cloves, to taste
  • Cinnamon, to taste
  • Thyme, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Method:

  1. Sprinkle chicken strips with spices. Add garlic and sherry and let marinate.
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan and brown chicken pieces. Add onion and continue cooking over low heat.
  3. Add marinade. Cook 20 minutes. Stir in cocoa. Cook 10 minutes. Remove chicken with slotted spoon. Reduce sauce, serve over chicken.

 

5. Super Gooey Chocolate Brownies:

Nobody can resist chocolate brownies, especially super gooey ones. The crispy choco base over the brownie and the gooey moist centre makes this for the perfect comfort dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 120 gms. unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup flour, or pancake mix
  • 1/2 to 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

Method:

  1. In a saucepan melt butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Remove from heat. Allow the mixture to cool 15-20 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the flour and chocolate chips. Pour mixture into a well greased 9 x 12 inch pan.
  2. Bake 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool and cut into squares.
  3. The brownies will solidify over time, to re-moisten, microwave for a few seconds and sprinkle over some icing sugar to serve 🙂

 

So these are our Chocolate based recipes this Chocolate Day. Try them and let us know how it goes! 🙂

Recipes Courtesy:

http://www.cooks.com
http://www.foodnetwork.com
http://www.cdkitchen.com
http://www.nourishnetwork.com

Uncooking anyone?

We’ve all had our turns at the stove where everything we did messed up and stank from here to high heavens. And that’s about the time when either we wish we had not started this venture or we could, errr.. uncook it. And amazingly enough, someone has unlocked the key to ‘uncooking’. You heard me right, it’s ‘Uncooking’! And we have the fathers of fine dining, ie the French, to thank for. Well,  one French guy in particular called Hervé This.

A little about Hervé before we go on. Heard of Molecular Gastronomy?* Well, this is the physical chemist who, along with physicist Nicholas Kurti, came up with the concept. He breaks down the science of everyday cooking, thus discovering more efficient way of assembling a recipe. For example, it’s been an old debate among cooks, how to make  béchamel sauce ie white pasta sauce without lumps; whether to to add roux (cooked butter and flour) to milk or vice versa. Also whether the milk should be hot or cold. Turns out one of the polymers is not water soluble and another dissolves only in hot water. Dissolving starch in hot water creates a gel that makes lumps. The solution? Add the roux to cold milk. Who knew that the dreaded chemistry lab would help us make that perfect pasta!

Check out his CHOCOLATE CHANTILLY recipe. It has only chocolate and water with sugar optional! Now if that the not the shortest ingredient list you have seen for a mousse then I don’t know what you been making!!

INSTANT CHOCOLATE MOUSSE (CHOCOLATE CHANTILLY)

As easy as Chocolate Chantilly?!

Recipe by Herve This & Heston Blumenthal

Ingredients

4 servings

  • 9.35 ounces (265 grams) bittersweet (%70 cocoa solids) chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • 4 tbsp sugar, optional

Method

  1. Place a large mixing bowl on top of another slightly smaller one, filled with ice and cold water (the bottom of the large bowl should touch the ice). Set aside.
  2. Put chocolate and water (also sugar and/or liquor if you’re using) in a medium-sized pan and melt the chocolate over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour the melted chocolate into the mixing bowl sitting on top of ice and water, and start whisking with a wire whisk (or an electrical hand-held mixer) until thick. Watch the texture as you whip and make sure not to over-whip as it will make the mousse grainy. If the mousse becomes grainy (which is possible at your first try), transfer it back into the pan, reheat until half of it is melted, pour it back to the mixing bowl and whisk again briefly.
  4. Divide into four serving cups and serve immediately.

And you can also flavor it with cinnamon or add a tablespoon of liquor like Grand Marnier, Chartreuse or Tia Maria. Just make sure the amount of liquid stays the same (subtract the amount of liquor from water). Or boil the water first, take off heat, place a couple of Earl Grey tea bags, let infuse and then use it as your liquid. You’ll have Earl Grey scented mousse in no time. Watch this video for finding out the perfect consistency from the man himself,Heston Blumenthal and he tells you why it works!(Applause!!)

Best part is that since it doesn’t lose it’s consistency it can be used as filling for cakes or any kinda bakes! 🙂

Anyways, got side track there, din’t we? Back to ‘uncooking’. We are not at a place where we can uncook that really complicated  ‘pate en croute’ yet, but we can start with the humble egg. And you can try this at home, just that it takes about ,say 3 hours! 🙂 It’s just easier watching the video!

Check out how to uncook an egg:

Ps: ignore the last 5 secs.. have no idea why Chucky! :-/

Well, that’s a lot of new things you learned today! Let us know how you liked it! 🙂

* If you have not, then more on that in later posts! 🙂

10 Reasons Why We Love Chocolate! :)

It’s as simple as gets, although we are certain no one really needs a ‘reason’ per se to love chocolate.

"I'd give up chocolate. But I'm not a quitter!"

10. Chocolate makes you happy:

Chocolate contains tryptophan, a chemical in the brain that is used to produce the neurotransmitter, serotonin. High levels of serotonin stimulate the secretion of endorphins, and produce feelings of elation. Serotonin is found in the antidepressant Prozac, and the designer drug “ecstasy” produces its effects by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. So… antidepressants, illegal drugs, or a Hershey’s bar.  You pick.

9. Chocolate may help people live longer:

 In a Harvard University study conducted in 1999, researchers tracked 8,000 men and found those who ate chocolate lived almost a year longer than those who didn’t. Although scientists don’t know why the men lived longer, they speculate it has to do with the antioxidants found in chocolate.  I speculate that it’s because these same men had enough chocolate around their house that they had no shortage of woman willing to come around and cook them healthy meals and clean their bathroom once in a while.  But that’s just a theory.

8. Chocolate is really good for you:

Dark chocolate contains chemicals that lower the risk of cancer and heart disease.  Flavanoids and antioxidants in dark chocolate have been shown to make a difference in cardiovascular health.  Scientists now recommend that you have a chocolate cookie or biscuit so your body gets more of those life-lengthening chemicals.  Skip those cookies & milk since some studies show that milk cancels out the healthful effects of eating chocolate by preventing those helpful chemicals from being fully absorbed in the body.  Hey – nobody said the science of chocolate was going to be simple!

7. Chocolate is a cardiac stimulant of heart:

Not that we actually care, but various beneficial substances are contained in chocolate. For example, some antioxidants and flavonoids can help us reduce the chances of getting cancer and cardiovascular disease. The substances contained in cocoa can also help us prevent the formation of heart disease. Therefore, if we feel tired, we can eat chocolate to support our heart.

6. Chocolate has just the right chemistry:

According to a study by the University of Michigan, chocolate contains chemicals called opioids.  Opioids are also found in opium which can dull pain and give you a feeling of well-being.  Therefore, people who eat chocolate produce natural opiates in their brains that can soothe their nerves and make them feel good.

5. Chocolate makes us feel more alive:

The caffeine content alone of dark chocolate can increase pulse, heart rate and alertness; chocolate also contains phenylethylamine, a chemical that has effects much like amphetamines. It’s a feeling of alertness, not unlike the feeling you get in the early stages of romance—very different from a slap-in-the-face coffee buzz.

4. Chocolate equals love:

Speaking of love, the association might not be completely physiological. Women crave chocolate more often than men do. Women are also habitually given chocolate as birthday and Valentine’s Day presents. In our culture, chocolate is thought of as a romantic gift. It’s outside the realm of mundane, day-to-day food, reserved for special occasions–and, for women especially, it’s associated with love and romance. That could be another reason why women particularly love chocolate: deep down, it makes them feel loved, cared for, and pampered.

3. Being Addicted to Chocolate won’t get you arrested:

Hell, it’s a drug alright, but you can get away with it. Nobody is going to say anything to you if you eat 2 whole bars of chocolates by yourself and get a sugar rush (er, we’re not counting your dietician or trainer, if you have one). You could bask your joys in bites of chocolate or drown your sorrows in that delectable cocoa taste, and can have as much as you want. Either way, you won’t get into trouble with the law.

2.  Chocolate is great for your sex life:

Even the Aztecs believed that chocolate has aphrodisiac properties.  There might be some truth to those old legends.  Recent studies have shown that women who eat a little bit of chocolate a day have significantly more sex than women who don’t.  Possibly because their boyfriends who show up at their doorsteps have a box of Truffles in hand maybe those brain-soothing chemicals found in chocolate encourages the brain to release more of those “feel good” chemicals as it’s eaten.  Chocolate just makes us feel good – which is a key ingredient for a healthy sex life.  The Moral of This Story?  Feel good, Look good, have good sex!

1. Chocolate melts at 97°F.:

That’s right, just below body temperature.  So it actually does melt in your mouth.  That also means if you put a Hershey’s Kiss on your sweetie’s stomach, it will slowly melt into a little pool of chocolate. Uh oh… you’d better clean that up.  And who knows where things will go from there! 😉

While we love chocolate, we also recommend you have it in moderate quantities (minus those occasional binges). Some dark chocolate a day would keep you happy and positively glowing! Do you have any other reasons as to why you love chocolate? Do leave your comments below. Team Zoink! would love to hear it! 🙂

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