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chocolate

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Chocolate is one of the most celebrated and addictive foods on the face of the earth.

It has the mysterious ability to cure menstrual woes, break-up blues and even Mondays. In summary: It's powerful stuff.

Recently a fight to the death took place to finally decide which chocolate bar Ireland would lay down it's life for, and the results didn't take us by surprise.

bruce bogtrotter eating GIF

Over 7,000 votes were cast to discover the nation's favourite chocolate bar in a survey undertaken by CraicPack (famed for their Hangover Boxes and hampers).

32 of the country's most popular choices were pitted against one another, and it almost got ugly. Unsurprisingly, Cadbury's Dairy Milk came out victorious, with Galaxy Smooth Milk as the runner-up.

The CraicPack Chocolate Cup asked the public to vote, and Cadbury slayed the competition. Kinder Bueno came in third, and Cadbury Flake rounded out the top four.

Crunchie, Dairy Milk (Golden Crisp), Wispa and Boost were all in the top eight contenders, meaning that six of the top eight were Cadbury's creations.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“We’ve always known that Ireland loves Dairy Milk and we include one in every Classic Irish Box that we send abroad”, said the team at CraicPack, “we now have the proof to back it up.”

It's known all over the world that Ireland has a special relationship with Cadbury's Dairy Milk, with many associating it's delicious Irish smooth milk chocolate with the shores of the Emerald Isle.

Sort of like how Tayto is the national crisp of Irish emigrants? It's all about connection. 

valentines day eating GIF by Laff

Feature image: inews.co.uk

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Easter is almost upon us and you know what that means –  indulging in delicious Easter Eggs.

And now we have amazing news – you can now treat yourself to a mouth-watering Baileys or Guinness Egg.

Luxury or what?

Lovers of Baileys, the iconic Irish cream liquor, have a choice of two stunning creations – the Baileys Salted Caramel Egg and the Baileys Coffee Egg.

The Baileys Salted Caramel Egg (275g) combines a silky, milk chocolate shell speckled with crunchy salted caramel pieces throughout.

Yes, it sounds divine. 

This melt in the mouth egg is presented with six irresistible gold-shimmer chocolates; a crisp milk chocolate exterior filled with an oozing salted caramel centre.

The Baileys Coffee Egg (285g) is ideal for coffee-lovers with its blend of rich roast coffee, chocolate and of course, a touch of Baileys.

This egg is the perfect gift for a chocoholic who enjoys a Baileys coffee.

Any Guinness fans out there?

Then we have the perfect treat for you this Easter Sunday.

The egg balances the creamy notes of Guinness and the sumptuous chocolate – it also comes with eight mini dark and white chocolates with a Guinness flavoured centre, in the iconic Guinness pint shape.

These Easter Eggs are a great gift for Bialeys and Guinnes fans.

The Baileys Salted Caramel Egg (275g) and the Baileys Coffee Egg (285g) and hand-decorated, luxury Guinness Easter Egg are all priced at €13 and are available from selected Tesco, Dunnes, Supervalu, Spar, Eurospar, Londis and Mace stores.

Try a quirkier Easter Egg this Easter.

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Fan of KitKats?

This should brighten up your day.

Not only are KitKat Senses now available as fab single bars but KitKat made with Ruby chocolate goes on sale nationwide from today.

So sweet treats at lunch are sorted.

Nestlé is expanding the range of KitKat Senses, and that means two never-before-seen bars which are: Salted Caramel and Hazelnut. 

So what's in them?

They are the perfect combination of delicious KitKat chocolate and wafer with a thick layer of indulgent salted caramel filling infused with crunchy caramel flakes (Salted Caramel variant) or a layer of sumptuous praline and crunchy hazelnut pieces (Hazelnut variant).

Our mouths are watering.

And then we come onto the ruby chocolate.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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It launched in Tesco in 2018 and it was obvs hugely successful so now is being rolled out in retailers across the country from today.

It gets its rosy colour from ruby cacao beans, which have a gorge fruity flavour. 

And it offers a unique tasting experience – intense berry-fruitiness taste that occurs naturally without the addition of any flavour or colour.

Excuse us while we head to the shops for choccie snacks.

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Science has upped it's game.

Most researchers seem to be pretty busy with conducting medical studies and making valuable scientific discoveries for society's gain, but this latest survey really takes it to the next level.

Bloom & Wild have worked with London Metropolitan University to undergo an experiment to figure out when the 'love hormone', AKA oxytocin, is released.

The anti-anxiety and stress reducing hormone is pretty special, the chemicals are made when you're in love, and having some KICK-ASS sex. We heart it. 

The study measured how the brain reacts to receiving certain gifts, and it's led to some pretty interesting, and useful, results. We're not hugely surprised at what topped the list, they're all unreal.

Research also suggests that people in the first three stages of love reported higher oxytocin levels that last for roughly six months to a year. At a chemical level, can presents recreate this high of lovestruck heartbeats?

Scientists reported that the subjects of the study showed an average increase of 73pg/ml in the hormone oxytocin after getting chocolates, and 62pg/ml after receiving flowers. Feeling loved comes in all shapes and sizes, it would seem.

The official top five items or experiences included on the list which trumped having sex were; chocolate winning the number one spot, then flowers, food, shopping and booking a holiday.

Receiving chocolate apparently creates a high increase in oxytocin the same rise in oxytocin comes from sex, so a quick nip down to Butlers could solve your stress issues. 

Flowers can spark the same feeling as love, relationships and sexy times, and a study by Havas Worldwide revealed that 57 percent of millennials think that food is better than sex. Damn.

hungry jennifer lawrence GIF

Retail therapy also made the list, according to the experiment. The neurologist David Linden, in his book The Compass Of Pleasure, explains that the experience of shopping triggers dopamine circuitry in the brain's mesolimbic pathway.

In plain-old-English, the mesolimbic pathway is a key part of how we experience entertainment and happiness, so having a sneaky online shop at ASOS is good for you. Thank God we have a valid excuse to do this now…

Booking a holiday is better than having some intimate. alone time with a partner, according to research. 16% of Brits claim to support this, so those Aer Lingus January sales must have had people feelin' pretty damn euphoric.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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To carry out their research, Bloom & Wild and London Metropolitan University split 30 volunteers into three groups.

Each were to receive a gift of flowers, chocolate, or water, and took saliva samples before the gift arrived, and then again 10 minutes after delivery, and finally 40 minutes after receiving the gift. 

It just goes to show, chocolate should always be cherished. We're in a loving relationship with Cadbury's Dairy Milk, and there are zero signs of a break-up coming our way.

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We have tried quite a few brands and recipes of chocolate chip cookies, and we have a statement to make: the recipe below is simply the easiest and tastiest you can ever make.

No complicated ingredient or technique involved in this recipe, you literally cannot bottle it. 

One piece of advice: double up the ingredients and freeze half of the batch so you always have cookie dough on hand! 

Ingredients

  • 250g flour
  • 125g melted butter
  • 100g white sugar
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 150g chocolate, chopped (milk, dark or white)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder

 Method

1. Preheat the oven to 165°C. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.

2. Add the beaten egg and melted butter, mix well, then stir in chocolate and combine. 

3. Form 12 balls and place on a lined baking tray, 6 at a time. Bake for 10 minutes (even if the cookies are still soft, then are cooked) then take out of the oven and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Enjoy!
 

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To be honest, we can't think of a better way to celebrate Sunday (and maybe help cure this nasty hangover) than a little chocolate treat!

With the following recipes, you will satisfy your sweet tooth and get a much needed chocolate fix. 

If you really don't feel like baking today, maybe ask the help of a friend…

1. Chewy gooey flourless chocolate cookies

2. Chocolate chip pecan blondies

3. 3-ingredient flourless chocolate cake

4. Cookie chocolate cheesecake bars

5. Frosted chocolate moka cupcakes

6. Chocolate crême brûlée

 

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Okay, we all want to be healthy and make smart choices when it comes to what we consume, but everyone deserves a treat. 

However, if you're an icecream addict like we are, putting down the spoon and stepping away from the tub can sometimes be harder than expected. 

With only three ingredients, no added sugar or dairy, this vegan ice-cream is the answer to your prayers. 

As if that wasn't enough, it only takes five minutes to make. 

Known as 'nicecream' in the vegan community, this frozen treat is almost too good to be true. 

You're welcome.

Ingredients

  • 3 bananas, sliced and frozen
  • 30g cacao powder
  • 100g dark chocolate chips

Method

1. Place frozen bananas and cacao powder in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles ice-cream.

2. Add the chocolate chips, combine with a spatula, then place in a container and freeze again (or eat straight away).

 

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Through good times and bad, the humble chocolate bar has always been there for us. 

Whether we're treating ourselves after a hard day's work, trying to drown our period cramps in a sea of hot cocoa, or simply just giving in to those pesky sugar cravings, chocolate is one of the few things we can always count on to put a smile on our face. 

Sure, it's all about moderation, but there are definitely worse ways to relieve stress – and science can prove it. 

Two studies from the Loma Linda University in California have found the the consumption of chocolate can have a positive effect on stress levels, as well as inflammation, mood, memory and immunity. 

However, before you start chomping down on that last emergency Easter egg, you should know that not all chocolate is made equal.

If you want to enjoy all the benefits listed above, you need to be eating dark chocolate with over 70 per cent cocao. 

The study looked at how the flavonoids contained in dark chocolate impacted the human brain, and found that the higher concentration of cacao, the more beneficial effects are to be had.

"For years, we have looked at the influence of dark chocolate on neurological functions from the standpoint of sugar content – the more sugar, the happier we are," says lead researcher Lee S. Berk.

 "This is the first time that we have looked at the impact of large amounts of cacao in doses as small as a regular-sized chocolate bar in humans over short or long periods of time, and are encouraged by the findings.

"These studies show us that the higher the concentration of cacao, the more positive the impact on cognition, memory, mood, immunity and other beneficial effects."

We can't argue with that…

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So unless you've been living under a rock for the last few months, you'll know that Prince Harry is engaged to the beautiful Meghan Markle. 

The pair will exchange vows on May 19 (we have it in the diary), and everyone is getting pretty excited about it. 

Naturally, a lot of companies are jumping on the royal wedding bandwagon – with special edition product being released all ove the place.

Our favourite so far? It has to be the chocolate treats with the couple's faces printed on them. 

To celebrate the Royal Wedding this May, ChoconChoc.co.uk have created luxurious white chocolate hearts featuring the royal couple themselves! 

The chocolates are available free at Harry’s Bar in London, with every purchase of the ‘Harrypolitan’ cocktail (yes that is a thing) or can be bought online from Choc on Choc’s website for just £4.99.

Small price to pay for genuine joy. 

The little white chocolate treats even come in a special box, making them a really cute gift idea for any royal enthusiasts. 

However, if you're not particularly in to the whole royal wedding, fear not, as Chon on Choc have so many amazing creations. 

For example, why not chow down on this impressive chocolate cheese board? No actual cheese involved, fyi.

Or what about a chocolatey 5-a-day?

Or, you could simply take a bite out of a Birkin? Yes please.

 

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If you're anything like us, Easter morning is often spent lounging around the sitting room surrounded by piles of torn wrapping paper and empty Easter egg packaging. 

The chocolate just keeps on coming and before you know it you've milled into half an chocolate orange, the ears of an unsuspecting Lindt bunny, and more creme eggs than you can even count – and it's not even lunchtime.

But hey, it's only one day a year, so you may as well enjoy it!

And to help ease the guilt, we've compiled a helpful list of all the reasons why a chocolate-based breakfast is actually good for you.

1. Chocolate makes you happy

A natural mood-enhancer, Chocolate is known to release a number of 'happy' hormones into the brain. 

It also contains a compound called phenylethylamine, otherwise known as the 'love drug', which arouses feelings similar to those that occur when one is in love.

Honestly, who needs a boyfriend when you've got a selection box and a chocolate Santa? 

2. It can help relieve stress

Studies have shown that eating dark chocolate everyday can reduce stress hormones in as little as two weeks. 

Chocolate everyday and not a care in the world? Don't mind if we do. 

3. You'll eat less throughout the day

Believe it or not, chocolate consumption may actually reduce your appetite, meaning you'll be less inclined to overeat throughout the day.

And given that all portion control generally goes out the window on Easter weekend, a chocolate-based breakfast might be just want to prevent a turkey induced coma later on in the evening. 

4. It can help with PMS

Dark chocolate acts as the perfect remedy for many PMS symptoms such as bloating, fatigue and irritability. 

It's antioxidants also also trigger the walls of your blood vessels to relax, lowering blood pressure and improving circulation.

Sounds good to us! 

5. It helps to wake you up

The caffeine content of chocolate can vary with the types of beans, however all chocolate will produce a slight stimulatory effect. 

It's nothing compared to the pick-me-up feeling you'd get from a cup of coffee, but we're willing to bet that if you ate enough of it you'd be alert all day. 

6. It's good for your skin

One of the less known benefits of chocolate is that if can actually do wonderful things for you skin. 

It can help you maintain a healthy glow by modulating healthy blood flow, while high flavanol cocoa powder has been shown to provide effective defence against sunburn. 

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We bloody love biscuits. On their own, with tea, crumbled up on top of ice cream. 

The opportunities are just endless. 

Hell, I'm eating a biscuit right now! 

Anyway, nothing truly excited us quite like a new delicious discovery – and this is the best one we've seen in a while. 

Milka chocolate fingers people… no we're not joking! 

Credit: Milka/Instagram

Can you even imagine how delicious these must be? 

Bad news though… they're not currently available in Irish supermarkets, HOWEVER you can hunt some down online if you're savvy enough.

And we know you are.

We've also observed the fact that in some places these goodies are actually known as Milka Lila Stix, which is important to note. 

However, as glorious as these may be… we are a sucker for the OG of chocolate fingers.

Image result for chocolate fingers gif

Cadbury's Chocolate Fingers predate the entire Milka brand, with its original biscuit first being released back in 1897 as part of an early Cadbury biscuit assortment.

However, the Cadbury Chocolate Fingers that we know and love were released in the 1950s. 

At the end of the day, we just love chocolate. 

In all shapes and forms. 

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Public service announcement:

Cadbury has been forced to shut down chocolate production at it's Birmingham site due to on-going water issues.

The confectionery company confirmed that last week's extreme weather caused a pipe to burst at the factor, and have temporarily closed as a result.

But don't panic just yet, water services are reportedly working around the clock to fix the problem and hope to get the site back up and running as soon as possible.

A representative also assured the public that the supply of chocolate will not immediately be impacted – thank God.

"While we have no water supply to our manufacturing site in Bournville, our supply of chocolate is not immediately impacted as we currently have sufficient stock available to manage through this hopefully short disruption," they said.

In the meantime, it's probably wise to stock up on as many Dairy Milks as you can get your hands on – you know, just to be on the safe side.

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