“The History Of Chocolate -The Gift From Quetzalcoatl”

Quetzalcoatl – Pixabay

Building up towards “International Chocolate Day” on September 13, I decided to pen a few articles around this unique ‘flavouring ingredient’! Originally considered a gift from the God of Wisdom – Quetzalcoatl, once used as currency, also thought of to be more precious than gold and a delight only to be partaken by higher-ups or royalty…makes one think that there must be more to it that just a dessert! So I started researching on it and it is with pleasure that I share my findings with you on this dark-hued pod!


Chocolate dates back to 450 BC in Mesoamerica. The Aztecs believed that cacao seeds were the gift of the god of wisdom – Quetzalcoatl and were of so much value that they were used as a form of currency. Originally prepared only as a drink, chocolate was served as a bitter liquid, mixed with spices or corn puree. It was believed to be an aphrodisiac and to give the drinker strength! The word “chocolate” is derived from the Classical Nahuatl /Aztec word “chocolātl“.

“Rumor has it that the 16th-century Aztec emperor Montezuma drank three gallons of chocolate a day to increase his libido! “

The Olmec, Mayan and Aztec civilizations found chocolate to be an invigorating drink, mood enhancer and aphrodisiac, which led them to believe that it possessed mystical and spiritual qualities.The Mayans worshipped a god of cacao and reserved chocolate for rulers, warriors, priests and nobles at sacred ceremonies.

Chocolate remained an aristocratic nectar until Dutch chemist Coenraad Johannes Van Houten invented the cocoa press in 1828, which revolutionized chocolate-making. The cocoa press could squeeze the fatty cocoa butter from roasted cacao beans, leaving behind a dry cake that could be pulverized into a fine powder, that could be mixed with liquids and other ingredients, poured into molds and solidified into edible, easily digestible chocolate. The innovation by Van Houten ushered in the modern era of chocolate by enabling it to be used as a confectionary ingredient, and the resulting drop in production costs made chocolate affordable to the masses.

The Chemistry Of Chocolate [2]

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Think chocolate can give you a high? Well…

  • For starters, the most widely used psychoactive drug in the world is found in chocolate [source: Fackelmann]. The compound 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine — better known as caffeine produces a stimulating physiological effect by exciting the central nervous system, which, in turn, increases heart rate and contracts muscles. Caffeine acts on dopamine and adenosine receptors in the brain, which then release their respective pleasure-producing chemicals.
  • Another compound that’s closely related to the active ingredient in marijuana (tetrahydrocannabinol-9) is also found in chocolate. When cannabinoids hit the CB1 and CB2 receptors (found most predominantly in the frontal cortex and the parts of the brain responsible for motor function and memory), a person starts to feel intoxicated and relaxed as a result [source: Medscape].
  • Chocolate also packs in another surprise…Phenylethylamine which is often called the “love drug,” since it releases the same chemicals that are introduced into the human body when love comes calling [source: Millward]. The compound produces a similar effect to the one produced by amphetamines, and is classified as a hallucinogen!

The Benefits Of Chocolate

Dark chocolate has a wealth of health benefits. Listed below are only some of them:


Chocolate helps combat excess free radicals given its high antioxidant content. Rich in flavonoids, it helps prevent premature aging of cells. It can also be used as a facial and body mask.


Chocolate is a stimulant that gives us an energy boost when we need it. This is essential to feel full of vitality throughout the day!

Eye health

Dark chocolate can improve eyesight due to its flavonoid content, which improves blood flow to the brain and the retina.


Chocolate contains a chemical called anandamide which improves our mood and overall state of mind, reducing the chances of depression. In addition, eating this food stimulates serotonin production in the brain, which helps us to feel happier, and prevents us from feeling anxious, moody or stressed.

Types Of Chocolate [3]

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Chocolate should be consumed in its purest possible state, without mixing it with milk and large amounts of added sugar, for it to be considered healthy and non-fattening. This is because milk and sugar add fat. The cocoa itself is not fattening. Dark chocolate is the best choice, as it is the purest form and provides the most health benefits. It goes without saying that chocolate and other similar products should always be consumed in moderation.

Dark chocolate

This must contain a minimum of 50% of cocoa paste to be considered dark, giving it quite a bitter taste. This chocolate is richer in the properties listed in the first section of the article, like antioxidants.

Milk chocolate

It is usually eaten more, especially by children, since it is sweeter. The proportion of cocoa is below 40%, though it can contain up to 50% in gourmet confections. Milk does provide calcium, but the chocolate itself is less pure so it provides less benefits overall, and it is more fattening than dark chocolate.

White chocolate

This type contains at least 20% cocoa butter, 14% milk solids, 3.5% milk fat and up to 55% sugar or other sweeteners. This mixture is made with cocoa butter instead of solids, so it acquires a yellow hue together with the milk powder and sugar. Bad quality white chocolates are completely white instead of yellow, as they do not have any cocoa butter at all.


International Chocolate Day coincides with the birth date of Milton S. Hershey (September 13, 1857), founder of The Hershey Chocolate Company.”

Chocolates in a row (Canva)


Coming back to our present times, roughly two-thirds of the world’s cocoa is produced in Western Africa, with Ivory Coast being the largest source, producing a total crop of 1,448,992 tonnes. Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon are other West African countries among the top 5 cocoa producing countries in the world.

Chocolate is a delicacy that is now easily affordable and the number of professional chocolatiers around the world has risen beyond expectation.


If you feel compelled to learn more about chocolate, there is an “Art of Chocolate” Professional Masterclass given by Industry experts in the heart of Brussels. You will experience the Belgian Chocolate Savoir-faire and learn from the best experts to acquire professional skills to create and sell premium chocolates.

They speak of a 4 key program with highly talented people from the industry, focusing mainly on: The art of perfecting, creating, making and selling of chocolate! They also offer tailored masterclasses dedicated to businesses and teams. Learn more: HERE

Laurence Koutny – Founder of “Art of Chocolate” and Winner of the 2013 Belgian Business Manager Trends Woman Award

Look out for my next article on chocolate where I will chat with Laurence Koutny, founder of “Art of Chocolate” and Winner of the 2013 Belgian Business Manager Trends Woman Award!

Thank you for joining me and hope to see you soon on ‘chriselda.blog


Contact Chriselda Barretto

[1] Source “The Sweet History Of Chocolate” by Christopher Klein

[2] Source “Can chocolate give me a happy-high?” by Josh Clark

[3] Source “Is Chocolate Fattening?” by Max D Gray

[4] Main article

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The Heel Challenge!

By Chriselda Barretto

I know how we all love our “Louboutins“! Some more than others… and I think I might be part of the guilty party! The thing is if you love shoes, please note I said love and not addicted :), then the newer the model, the better it is to show it off. But let’s be honest, we can’t possibly afford to have so many pairs, without buring a hole through our wallets!

So I decided to take on the challenge of trying to find the most similar and more economical versions of some of the trendiest shoes, stilettos and heels in particular! Don’t worry, I will also follow up with flats, sandals and other shoes, if time permits. So keep a look out for my future articles…you never know when my creativity peaks and I erupt out articles like this one :)!

Without further ado, here are some of the closest versions I found to the real thing. Fancy something? Well…then click on it, and it will take you to where you can purchase it economically ;)!

Have a look and enjoy!


As close as it gets

Qupid Women’s LYRA-30 Heeled Sandal

Shorter heels

DREAM PAIRS Women’s Lowpointed Low Heel Dress Pump Shoes

Anne Michelle Exception 10 Womens Single Band Open Toe Platform Heeled Dress Sandals Neon Pink 8.5



Guilty Shoes – Womens Cutout Gladiator Ankle Strap Platform Fashion High Heel Sandals Heeled Sandals, Blackv3 Pu, 8 M US

Shorter heels

TOP Moda LEVIN-27 Ankle Strap Open Toe Chunky Heel Platform Gladiator Sandal (Black, 8 M US)



DREAM PAIRS Women’s Oppointed-Lacey Nude Nubuck Fashion Dress High Heel Pointed Toe Wedding Pumps Shoes Size 8 M US

Jessica Simpson Women’s Cirrus Dress-Pump

ZriEy Women’s Heeled Sandals Ankle Strap High Heels 10CM Open Toe Bridal Party Shoes Nude Size 7



Elisabet Tang High Heels, Womens Pointed Toe Slip on Stilettos Party Wedding Pumps Basic Shoes NU 7 Nude

Shorter heels

Calvin Klein Women’s Brady Pump, Desert Sand Patent, 5 M M US

Shorter heels

Nine West Womens Flax Pump Barely Nude 8.5 M

JENN ARDOR Stiletto High Heel Shoes for Women: Pointed, Closed Toe Classic Slip On Pearl Dress Pumps (8 B(M) US, Pink)



DREAM PAIRS Women’s Show Coral Nubuck High Heel Dress Pump Sandals – 10 M US

Onlymaker Women’s Gladiator Ankle Strap Lace up Open Toe Stiletto Harmoni Heeled Strappy Sandals Black 15 M US

Women Ankle Strap Stilettos High Heels Criss Cross Sandals Open Toe Bridal Wedding Evening Dress Casual Party Shoes (10, Red)

Huiyuzhi Womens Chunky Ankle Strappy Sandal Pumps Lace Up High Heels (10 B(M) US, 1-Red)



Herstyle Charming Women’s Open Toe Ankle Strap Stiletto Heel Dress Sandals Elegant Wedding Party Shoes OrangeNeon 7.0

Shorter heels

Sam Edelman Women’s Patti Strappy Sandal Heel Jute Glam Mesh 6 W US

Sunday88 Women’s Stiletto Heel Lace-up Sandals Gold

Shorter, block heels

Madden Girl Women’s Beella Dress Sandal, Black Fabric, 8 M US



PiePieBuy Women’s Pointed Toe High Heels Ankle Strap D’Orsay Pumps Shoes Bow Wedding Bowtie Back Dress Sandals (9 B(M) US – EU Size 40, Leopard)

Ermonn Womens Leopard Stiletto Heels Peep Toe Ankle Strap Thin High Heeled Pumps D’Orsay Sandals

High Heels, Women Pumps Shoes 3.94 inch/10cm Pointed Toe Stiletto Sexy Prom Club Heels LP 7

Shorter heels

IDIFU Women’s IN3 D’Orsay Pointed Toe Ankle Strap Mid Heel Low Kitten Dress Pump Shoes (8.5 M US, Leopard Suede)



Olivia and Jaymes Women’s Strappy Triple Band Ankle Strap Chunky Platform High Block Heel Sandal for Wedding Party Office USA

DREAM PAIRS Women’s Hi-Chunk Floral High Heel Pump Sandals – 5.5 M US

Shorter heels

DREAM PAIRS Women’s Fiona Floral Fashion Stilettos Open Toe Pump Heeled Sandals Size 8 B(M) US



Cambridge Select Women’s Classic Pointed Toe D’Orsay Inside Cutout Stiletto High Heel Pump

LAICIGO Women’s D’Orsay High Heels Stilettos Pointed Toe Slip-on Wedding Party Pumps Shoes

JENN ARDOR Stiletto High Heel Pointed Closed Toe Slip On Dress Party Wedding Evening Pumps Shoes for Women Pink 7.5 M US



Sammitop Women’s 10cm High Heels Pumps Transparent Pointed Toe Party Club Office Dress Shoes US7

Mackin J 188-7 Transparent Pointed Toe Slip On Stiletto High Heel Pump (9, Clear Heel Transparent)

Miluoro Women Pointed Toe Transparent Rhinestones High Heels Party Wedding Pumps (7, Silver 4.72inches)



Jiandick Womens Rhinestone Ankle Bootie Prom Heeled Sandals Evening Dress Stiletto High Heel, Gold, 9 B(M) US

Allegra K Womens Strappy Rhinestone Heels Beige Heel Sandals – 7 M US

There you go, aren’t they all lovely? I hope you found a pair or two that you would like to have. Stay tuned for more of my articles on “Shoe challenges”!

Signup to my mailing list to receive a reminder to my future articles. Till then…chill, relax and take care! See you next time!


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Her Blog – chriselda.blog





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Trending on Instagram…But so NOT Trendy!

Hi Guys,

Welcome back to another one of my articles, this one all in the name of “fun”, not meaning to offend anyone or anything! Don’t we all just love browsing on Insta thinking ‘WOW’ most of the time and then suddenly you come across something so hideous…you don’t know if you should laugh or cry or maybe its just some kind of cruel, crazy prank, someone is playing on you!

I have been busy collecting some of these fashion “Faux Pas”, in the hope of making this entertaining read for you! Some of these ‘ideas’ defy logic and are simply impractical! I hope you have a good laugh like I did and concerning the people advertising these…WELL…they say ‘bad publicity is also publicity‘ (…Hahaha)!

So here goes…..have fun!

Photo by malcolm garret on Pexels.com

LOL…So btw this is supposed to be a shoe-bag! Please tell me they were kidding when they designed this “shoe on your back” thing! Maybe this is punishment if you bunk school, you get to carry this piece of work on your back? Who knows?

WHAT????…Need I say more! Are these different coloured Crab Claws? Like even her nail polish is chipped…this has to be a joke :)! Maybe I got this one wrong and this will be the next big thing?

🙂 Ladies…don’t we love glitter, but you agree that this is kinda overkill? I wonder if they are just stuck on…what happens if they fall into your food…would this be considered a choking hazard?

OK another nail one! Nice colours but…something’s wrong! The first two couldn’t possibly use a keyboard or a smartphone, I guess! Maybe they use it as a stylus? How do they manage to clean anything around them…like seriously LOL! No comment!

Ahem!…What are these even called? If you know, then please send me a message with its name! I seriosly think that this must be some kind of safety hazard, in the ‘Driving Law’ Rules and Regulations Booklet! Love the pink cat look…or is it ? 🙂

I love jewellry, especially rings, but this is what??? I mean like seriously, do the tassles go into your food, drinks, keyboard, etc… What about the normal things like writing, cooking or washing your hands…guess you either stay away from tasks like that or you don’t buy this!

Pretty as a picture, but….what happens when you open your eyes like the rest of us! 🙂 Maybe you can still see the details at the edge of your eye-lids, or you close your eyes again…just like in the pic and keep your nails close enough to show your attention to detail with the matching colours and all! Haha!

No comment here…I don’t want to offend…really! Hope they aren’t Swarovski!

Oh, this one had a video with it, showing the buckling of these “Cowboy thingies” on your pretty neat and normal ankle books! Maybe they add a bit of sparkle and a raunchy “Cowboy….sorry Cowgirl” look to it all!

Right! You better not eat, drink, kiss, nothing after you so nicely used all these lovely rainbow colours on your lips. Extremely artistic but…..! She started with 7-8 tubes of lipstick, quite handy carrying around 8 lipstick tubes with you everywhere, in your little handbag. I can’t find or mostly forget to carry even one tube… with great difficulty, imagine carrying around 8!

I saved the best for last…! Can somebody please tell me why this is considered trendy? It is repulsively disgusting! Maybe they love seafood? This probably was a joke gone wrong…!

That’s all folks for this round of “Trending but not trendy”! Hope to catch you around for the next one. Stay tuned and thanks for joining me :)! Take care…

By Chriselda Barretto

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My Top 5 Easy-Peasy Chocolate Delights

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You know what I find really difficult? It’s keeping up with a recipe and especially those ones that go into 3-4 pages, or with difficult-to-source ingredients, or are just overly-complicated! I don’t think I could compete on “MasterChef”…forget it :)!

I love keeping things simple so naturally I go for easy recipes as well, that create just as stunning a dish within a couple of minutes. That said, something else that we don’t have the luxury of is “time“… we don’t really have all the time in the world now do we?

So here are my top 5 Easy-Peasy Chocolate Delights. Some I sourced online, while others were handed down to me or shared. If you are as lazy as me when it comes to baking, yet to the one eating your chocolaty dish…you are going to look like an absolute pro! Promise they taste divine!

Here goes and “Happy Baking”

  1. Home-made Chocolate Ice-cream


1 1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup granulated sugar

 2 cups heavy cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract


  • Whisk together milk, cocoa powder, and sugar to combine. The sugar and cocoa should completely dissolve. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla extract
  • Refrigerate the chocolate ice cream base for at least 30 minutes before putting it in your freezer, so it is completely cold. (This will help it freeze faster, improve the texture, and allow the cocoa powder to be fully hydrated by the milk and cream)
  • Give the ice cream base one more gentle stir and freeze

Store your ice cream in an air-tight container, to help preserve its flavour and texture!

2. Simple Dark Chocolate Cake


200g dark chocolate

200g butter

225g sugar

5 eggs

2 tsp. of flour


  • Melt the butter and chocolate. Mix in the sugar. Crack in the eggs one at a time and mix. Add the flour, mix
  • Cook at 180C for 25-30mins

*Thank you ‘Margot’ for this delight!

3. Chocolate Chip Cookies


125g butter

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup caster sugar

½ tsp. vanilla essence

1 egg

1¾ cups self-raising flour

½ tsp. salt

½ cup chocolate chunks or chips


  • Preheat oven to 180°C or 160ºC (fan) and grease or line two baking trays with baking paper
  • Beat butter, brown sugar, caster sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy, add egg and beat until mixed
  • Sift in flour and salt, mix until combined before stirring in the chocolate chunks or chips
  • Roll heaped teaspoon sized balls of mixture and place on tray, press down lightly with a floured fork. Bake for approx. 12 minutes

4. Chocolate Molleux Cake


½ cup white sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

½ cup flour

A pinch of salt

½ cup butter, softened

4 ounces semisweet chocolate

1 tsp. vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 160°C
  • Line a muffin pan with paper baking cups or use any individual moulds that you have. If you are using ramekins, brush the insides with melted butter
  • In a large bowl, mix together the sugars, flour, salt and eggs and stir briskly until mixed. Put the butter and chocolate in a double boiler and melt, stirring frequently until melted. Let cool slightly and pour into the first mixture and beat until blended. Stir in the vanilla
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared pans, filling half full. Bake for about 15 minutes, but don’t over-bake. Remove from oven and turn out onto a cooling rack

5. Easiest Choco Mousse


200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces

3 large eggs, separated

50g caster sugar

softly whipped cream, to serve (optional)


  • Place the chocolate and 120ml of water in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of just simmering water – the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Heat gently, stirring, until the chocolate is melted
  • Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly, then stir in the egg yolks with a wooden spoon until well combined
  • In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites with the sugar until stiff peaks form, then gently fold into the chocolate mixture
  • Spoon the mousse into individual dishes and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Top with softly whipped cream (optional)


Most of these recipes are simple enough to do the whisking by hand, but what I use, and what makes it so much more easier is investing in a good hand mixer like the one shown below. It is so handy to have around and an extremely good buy!

KitchenAid – Ultra Power Hand Mixer

KitchenAid KHM512ER 5-Speed Ultra Power Hand Mixer, Empire Red

Thanks for joining me. Stay tuned for more of my upcoming lists and articles, especially for my follow-up articles around “Chocolate”. See you soon!


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