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Monday, July 20, 2009

Chocoholic Partyphile

Chocolate: the beginnings of a romantic relationship, the end to a satisfying dinner with the family, the in-betweens of Friday-night movie with friends. Yes, chocolate has been one of the most delicious ingredients to every other “happy” experience we have gone through in life. Whether we choose to share our stash with the rest of the family or barkada; or keep that whole box of Ferrero Rochers to ourselves, it remains true, that the Earth has become a Chocoholic’s haven.

Don’t worry, I won’t go on and on about how chocolates release happy hormones and other scientific stuff, you can find that on Google. However, I am going to suggest that you use chocolate in unique ways for your next party. Create your own chocolate dip, chocolate drink, and chocolate cake, invite your chocoholic friends over, because tonight, Partylandia turns choco-loco!

Chocolate Fountain: I know, this has become too cliché, but I’m sure your friends would be expecting to see a chocolate fountain on your chocolate party. So buy, borrow, or rent a chocolate fountain and provide little fun things to dip in it. Try fresh fruits like grapes, apples, bananas and mangos; or you could dip huge white marshmallows in your chocolate fondue. You could also try wafer sandwiches, wafer sticks, Oreos (dipped in chocolate fondue is only for the truly chocoholic crowd), chocolate chip cookies, graham crackers, or go crazy and try dipping popcorn (it’s not as bad as you think it is, salty and sweet has always been one of my fave combinations.

Chocolate Pizza: Mix some cream cheese and chocolate syrup and spread the mixture on top of some pre-made, frozen Pizza crust (you can buy this at any grocery). Top with strawberries (bananas, or whatever fruit you prefer), and some chocolate chips and bake until crust is golden and crunchy. You may also opt to serve this with chocolate ice cream.

Chocolate Martini: In a shaker, shake together a jigger of vodka and some chocolate liquer. Transfer to a frosted Martini glass lined with chocolate syrup, and you are good to go. You could also drop a chocolate kiss for a sweet ending to every drink.

Hot Choco: Personally, I love native hot choco, using the Tablea chips from Camiguin, but if you can’t buy those, you could buy huge tablets of Tablea, or some instant hot choco from your local grocery. If you want your guests to be extra happy, spike it with some vodka or Bailey’s Cream. However, if you want them to be really, really happy, just serve them some Bailey’s.

Chocolate Jelly: Everyone who has followed this column knows how much I lovew jelly shots, so for your chocolate party please include chocolate Jelly Shots. Cook some chocolate milk instead of water, mix in some Gulaman or clear, flavorless gelatin, and add in some vodka. Transfer to your preferred mold, and enjoy cold.

Hot and Cold Chocolate: This is a very easy recipe that plays on the temperature of chocolate. Make your own chocolate cake (there are a lot of chocolate-cake mixes int he groceries now) and bake them in little microwaveable ramekins. Pop them in the microwave right before serving, and top with chocolate ice cream. The sensation of the cold chocolaty goodness of the ice cream with the warm chocolate cake is enough to make any chocoholic truly loco over choco!

Other food: You could serve some hazelnut-chocolate paninis; gourmet chocolate chip cookies with vanilla or hazelnut infused chocolate milk, or some chocolate flavored chicken (well, you will have to send me a message, through my blog, for the recipe of this one).

Ambience: Everything should be plush and indulgent. Stick with colors that are most associated with chocolates like ivory, brown, and gold. Sprinkle affordable chocolate pieces (Flat Tops, Chocolate Coins) on your buffet table, and make your center piece a display of the most-loved chocolates in the world, crammed into a fish bowl. If you are not on a tight budget, you could even buy chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing, and serve them on a cupcake tower.

Going the extra mile: You could all watch the Johnny Depp version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, or the other Johnny Depp starrer, Chocolat, for an even more chocolaty experience. You could also play “Chocolate High” by IndiaArie, or”Chocolate” by Kylie Monogue.Just promise me that you are never going to play the

“Chocolate Song” (it’s the song that goes “choco-choco-lat-lat”). Oh and if you really have to smoke, try Black Bats (chocolate-flavored cigs).

I hope you make your next party a chocolate party, and I hope to see my suggestions amongst your spread. Please send me an invite, I am in dire need of a sugar high.

Please catch Confessions Of A Partyphile (the radio show) on 105.9 Mix Fm every Wednesdays, 6 to 9 PM.

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