Thursday, May 27, 2010

Confessions of a Chocoholic

Hi, My name is Rachelle and I am a chocoholic. I love chocolate, but not just any chocolate---I am a bit of a “chocolate snob”. Hershey’s kisses are not at all tempting, but put me near an open bag of Dove Promises, and I am a goner. I come from a long line of chocoholics, so I guess it is not surprising that I am inflicted with the condition. My mom is a chocoholic, my grandma is a chocoholic, and several of my siblings are chocoholics. When I am choosing dessert at a restaurant, I don’t even give a second glance to things with words like “fruit” or “cobbler”. For me, it is not even worth it unless there is the word “chocolate” followed by something like “overload”, “indulgence” or “obsession”.

When I was in college I actually won an award for a speech I wrote about chocolate. It made a great conversation piece on my resume! No one was happier than me when the health industry announced that the antioxidants in dark chocolate were actually good for you. Then I had an excuse to eat chocolate every day---after all it was for “medicinal purposes”.

My favorite kind of cookies are----you guessed it---chocolate chip cookies (or chocolate, chocolate chip cookies). So, recently, I set out to determine which brand of chocolate chips were the best. Fortunately, I teach a night class in statistics at the community college, and my students were more than willing to be my guinea pigs. My first experiment compared Target Generic milk chocolate chips, Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips, and Hershey’s milk chocolate chips. Because Hershey’s chocolate in general (ie Hershey’s Kisses, Hershey bars, etc.) do not live up to my standards, I was sure that Ghiradelli would win and Hershey’s would be sent home in shame, but I was wrong! I had each subject sample each type of chocolate chip with the order determined at random. Each sample was rated on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being super yucky and 10 being “died and gone to heaven” delicious. Between samples, the subjects cleansed their palette with a glass of water. Samples were labeled only A, B or C so that subjects would not be biased by the brand name. Here is a graph of the results:

As you can see on the graph, Hershey’s outscored the other two. Subjects found no difference between Ghirardelli and Target Generic.

The next semester, I took the milk chocolate chip taste test one step further. This time I compared Hershey’s milk chocolate chips, the winner from the first test, to Nestle milk chocolate chips. Once again, Hershey’s was the clear winner!

Next semester I will have to see if Hershey’s can maintain the number one spot when comparing semi-sweet chocolate chips! In the meantime, I will be buying Hershey’s for all my cookies!

Rarely does a day go by when I don’t eat some form of chocolate. Lately, my favorite breakfast includes oatmeal with a packet of diet hot cocoa and a small spoonful of peanut butter mixed in. Of course, if I ate chocolate as much as I wanted to, I would be as large as the Good Year Blimp, so I usually try to limit myself to one low-cal chocolate treat per day (breakfast doesn’t count). Some of my favorites are a Healthy Choice Fudge Bar (100 cal), Chocolate Indulgence Jello Mousse Temptations (60 cal), Deep Chocolate Vitatop (100 cal) and Skinny Cow Choclolate Fudge Ice Cream Cone (150 cal).

If it is a special occasion or I am feeling super indulgent, some of my favorite restaurant desserts include TGI Friday’s Brownie Obsession (minus the nuts---in my opinion, nuts only take up space where chocolate should be), Cheesecake Factory Tuxedo Crème Cheesecake or 30th Anniversary Cake Cheesecake, and Carrabbas Sogno di Cioccolata (Chocolate Dream).

One of my favorite homemade chocolate desserts is aptly named “Death by Chocolate”. It has become a Christmas Eve tradition. Here is the recipe:

Death By Chocolate
2 Pkg. Chocolate Mousse made according to directions (I like the Double Chocolate Mousse Mix by Dr. Oetker)
1 brownie mix (9x13 pan size) made according to directions
1 Bag of Crushed of Heath Toffee
8 oz. Cool Whip

Crumble half of brownie into trifle bowl. Add ½ of mousse. Next Layer ½ Cool Whip. Sprinkle with ½ toffee.

Repeat and refrigerate.

Death by Chocolate

Of course it was almost inevitable that some of my children would also become chocoholics. From early on, we could tell that Rustin would struggle with chocoholism.

Rustin and Kyndall on their 2nd birthday--one cupcake was not enough for him!

Riley and Kaiya both have a love for chocolate, though their palettes aren't as developed as mine and they have a difficult time distinguishing the "good stuff" from the "bad stuff". :)

Riley (who loves chocolate so much that he made his cub scout pinewood car to look like a Hershey's Chocolate Bar)


Though Rustin has clearly shown a preference for chocolate, the rest of the quints haven't given much of an opinion on the subject. Perhaps it is because they haven't had a lot of opportunities to eat chocolate--I don't often give them treats, and when I do, I stick with something less messy!






All this writing about chocolate is making me hungry....I think I am going to go have some--after all, those antioxidants are really good for you, right?



Andrea said...

Interesting! I love research like this.:) Also, I had just gotten cozy with my computer and a bowl of Blue Bell Dutch Chocolate ice cream to read some blogs when I saw your post- perfect timing!

Stephanie said...

I've always just purchased whatever chocolate chips were on sale. (Of course this is coming from someone who thinks Hershey kisses are better than nothing.) Now I know that I need to pay attention to the brands of chocolate chips. It would be cool if Dove would start making chocolate chips.

Suzy said...

Hysterical!! Love the research, as well as the pics demonstrating your kids love of chocolate (or lack thereof). Too funny. Thanks for posting the Death by Chocolate recipe!

Nikki said...

I have to comment. I am from Canada and I don't love chocolate like you do but I believe we have better chocolate up here. I am picky however about my chocolate chips. I only eat Chipits milk chocoalte last I knew you couldn't buy them in the states but so good in cookies. They are Hershey's brand though.

Teresa Dawn said...

Love the pictures!!! I enjoy the occassional chocolate if it's a really good kind (like Lindt!!!)) but I don't care for it too much!

Julie said...

That is very interesting research you did! Thanks for sharing! I am totally with you on the nuts thing too! Who needs them?! And my favorite ice cream is Chocolate, Chocolate chip... My husband "gets on" to me when I top it with hot fudge! But I do it so rarely, that all I can do is enjoy it!
The kids are adorable!!!

Tobi said...

Hershey's semi sweet chocolate chips are my absolute favorite!!!!! I go through at least two bags a month because I make so many chocolate chip cookies.


Tiare said...

I love this post Rachelle! And we can probably guess why since I am just as big as a chocoholic! I am scared to think that all TGI Fridays are going out of business! I found out the one is Sandy is going out of business as well! I did look up the recipe for brownie obsession and we will have to try it!

Hayley said...

I want some chocolate now after reading this post! lol. Have you ever tried Cadburys chocolate? It's the best!!

James said...

I like Hershey's the best from your list (Nikki is right though, Chipits are better). I love experiments too!

Rachelle said...

I am definitely going to have to find some Chipits Chocolate Chips! Can you order them online?

Hayley--My biggest weakness at Easter are the Mini Cadbury Chcolate Eggs--Yum!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm french so I don't eat the same chocolate as you(the better for me is cote d'or), but I am always happy when I find people who love chocolate as much as I do! Rachel your blog is so refreshing, thank you!
A mom of 3 boys, Francois(13), Austin(6) and Marius (2 in september)

The Carlsons said...

I join you in saying "yes, I am a chocoholic!" "And proud of it too, I guess!" ;)

You are too funny! Hope you got to enjoy some chocolatey goodness! And hey, don't "they" say chocolate is good for you too? Well, at least a little bit of dark chocolate here and there I believe :D YUM!
-Maria, mom ot 2yo GGGG and a 6yo boy

rivaezra said...

I love it! I am a mom of 4 myself and would love to let you know that not all chocolate is created equally and there is a truly healthy choice available. I would love to tell you more. I think everyone should eat chocolate GUILT FREE :)

The Queen Vee said...

I'm a total chocoholic, although lately I've had to limit myself to two Hershey kisses or less a day.

As usual I'm impressed with your statistics and the effort that went into them.

Ritter Sport chocolate bars, Lindt Dark Chocolate Truffles and Suchard Express Hot Coco mix are just a few of my favorites. I make a mean chocolate mousse cake....may have to post that one on Wok the Dog.

Sarah said...

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Becky said...

I love reading about your funny kids (the post about trying to ouotsmart a two year old was pretty great). I, too, did a chocolate chip cookie study for my BYU stats project (but it compared crisco to margarine, not the actual chocolate chips). I love chocolate, too, and often said the same thing about nuts when my dad put them in brownies--they take up space where chocolate could be (my mom understands this, and puts chocolate chips in brownies, not nuts). Once I was debating which kind of chocolate cheesecake to get at the Cheesecake Factory. The lady at the counter said, "The Godiva Chocolate is popular, but some people think it's too much chocolate or too rich." That statement sold me, and I ordered it! I also love the chocolate fudge three-layer cake they sell at Costco. As my sister-in-law says, "It's enough to kill a person." I have started limiting myself to junk food one day a week and on holidays, which helps keep it in moderation, without feeling totally deprived.

Rachelle said...

Becky---I love the Chocolate Costco cake :-) What did you determine in your Crisco vs. margerine experiment? I have often wondered about that one too.

Mary said...

I'm a total chocoholic too...I'm more of a dark chocolate person, and I usually only eat fair-trade chocolate (boy, I'm SUCH a chocolate snob). My one exception (and my most favorite chocolate in the whole world) is Lake Champlain Chocolate's Hazelnut 5 Star Bar. Seriously the best chocolate ever. In fact, they're so good that someone even wrote a book about them. They're expensive, but so worth it!

Oh, and I have a really intense (and awesome) brownie recipe made from actual chunks of melted chocolate. I can send it to you if you'd like :-)