"I knew if I was in business long enough they'd say chocolate is good for you," says Gayle Harte, owner of Gayle's Chocolates in Royal Oak, Mich.
"More and more people are trying dark chocolate now, and they are finding out dark chocolate is good tasting."
Harte started her chocolate business more than 33 years ago, making hand-rolled and -dipped truffles. They're still being made that way at her flagship store in Royal Oak and two outlets at Detroit Metro Airport.
"I think Valentine's is a truffle holiday," Harte says. "It's a special piece of candy, and I haven't seen them go in or out of fashion."
Homemade truffles can be a relatively effortless gift from the heart.
You can do as we did with our chocolate ganache truffles and cover them in a thin layer of chocolate to protect their melt-in-your-mouth center. Or take the simpler approach and merely dust them with cocoa powder. Looking for something even easier? Just roll them in chopped nuts for another little antioxidant hit.
For cupcake lovers, the dried cherries in our chocolate cupcakes also add some antioxidant power to the bittersweet chocolate. And there's more chocolate ganache in our tarts, an easy dessert for two that pairs the rich chocolate with caramel and a sprinkling of sea salt.
Despite all the good health news about chocolate, that shouldn't be a license to overindulge. (OK, it's Valentine's Day.) Chocolate still has calories, fat and saturated fat. There are no hard-and-fast guidelines, but a moderate portion of chocolate - 1 ounce - a few times a week is fine.
(c)2012 the Detroit Free Press
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