Divine Chocolate for a Divine Cause [Recipe]
On a cold, rainy Sunday afternoon, I decided to warm things up in my kitchen with a warm, chocolate treat.
I had recently received a box of chocolates from Divine Chocolates to try them out. I love the story behind what Divine Chocolate does, which is so incredibly important.
In case you weren’t aware, Ghanaian cocoa has developed a global reputation for its quality and its taste and is one of the country’s main export. Most of the cocoa is grown by small-scale family farmers on 4-5 acres of land.
Farmers developed Kuapa Kokoo (good cocoa growers), a farmers’ co-op, that enables them to trade their own cocoa, manage the selling process more efficiently than the government cocoa agents, and empower farmers in their efforts to gain a dignified livelihood, increase women’s participation in all of Kuapa’s activities, and develop environmentally friendly cultivation of cocoa.
Kuapa Kokoo has done a lot of work to benefit and protect the livelihood of farmers, enabling it’s membership to grow quickly. In 1997, at their annual general meeting, the farmers of Kuapa Kokoo voted to set up a chocolate company of their own in order to return even more benefits to cocoa farmers. And with investment from The Body Shop and Twin Trading, and support from Comic Relief and Christian Aid, Divine Chocolate was born.
Today, Divine Chocolate is a leading the Fair Trade brand in the UK and a pioneer in the world of socially responsible enterprise. The success of Divine means that farmers have a secure source of Fair Trade income that continues to grow year on year.
The money from purchases of the chocolate helps Kuapa Kokoo to invest back into the community of its farmers. The incomes has gone into building schools, sinking wells for clean drinking water to villages, providing mobile medical clinics for farmers in remote growing regions, and fostering women’s income generation projects to help women earn additional income for their families when the cocoa season is over.
So when you purchase a Divine Chocolate bar, you aren’t just buying top quality cocoa, you are contributing the well-being and livelihood of a community.
What can be sweeter than that?
I wanted to inspire you to give the chocolate a try, especially during the upcoming holidays when the purchases of chocolate is in high demand. My hope is that this recipe will inspire you to check them out and if this particular recipe isn’t to your liking you can also ways check out the list of recipes from the Divine Chocolate website.
I attempted to make the Divine Velvet Cheesecake, except I didn’t have a few things – such as a springform, which I suppose you need for cheesecake. So instead I divide the filling into souffle dishes, and baked for about an hour and it was amazing.
I used biscotti instead of ginger snaps for my recipe as well. I topped off my dessert with homemade whipped cream (made with heavy cream and sugar) shredded a bit of the 70% Dark Chocolate with Raspberries, and fresh raspberries.
“Amazing Chocolate Wonderland” is what my 7 year old wants me to name my version of this chocolatey dessert, which I actually just might keep.
In the meantime, here is the original dessert from the www.DivineChocolate.com website, where you can also place an order.
Divine Velvet Cheesecake
1 hour 5 minutes
Makes 12 servings
- 1 ¼ cups (about 20) chocolate snap cookies or chocolate biscotti
- ½ cup pecans
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 (8-ounce) containers mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 (3.5-ounce) bars Divine 70% Dark Chocolate
- 1 (3.5-ounce) bar Divine Milk Chocolate
- 4 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, room temperature
For the crust:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Tightly wrap the outside of a 9-inch diameter springform pan with 3 layers of heavy-duty foil.
3) Finely grind the chocolate snaps, pecans, and sugar in a food processor. Add the melted butter and process until moist crumbs form. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan.
4) Bake the crust until it is set and beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. Cool. Decrease the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
1) Using a double boiler or a tempered glass bowl set over simmering water, melt the chocolate after breaking it into pieces. Take off heat and cool slightly.
2) Beat the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
3) Beat in the cooled melted chocolate and vanilla.
4) Add the eggs and egg yolk, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
5) Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan. Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
6) Bake until the center of the cheesecake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour 5 minutes (the cake will become firm when it is cold). To prevent cracking, leave in the oven with oven door ajar for 30 minutes.
7) Transfer the cake to a rack; cool for 1 hour. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.
8) Decorate with fresh raspberries if desired and serve and enjoy!