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Aaron Hale's Blog

Happy National Chocolate Day! Plus a Halloween Recipe!

Now, I know the “official” start of Autumn has already taken place, but to me – the beginning of the Holiday season is today, October 28th – National Chocolate Day!! 

Autumn weather is starting to arrive across the country – FINALLY!  Leaves are falling and tailgates are dropping for football games.  It’s the perfect time of year to treat yourself, friends and family to the most luxurious chocolate confections!  Whether for your enjoyment, a tailgate party, your Thanksgiving Dessert Table, or a gift for the sweet lovers on your list, is your one-stop shop…but don’t procrastinate, it’s always the right time for E.O.D Extra Ordinary Delights!

It’s National Chocolate Day, so I’ve included some facts and interesting tips to help you enjoy chocolate even more!

Fun Facts from the National Confectioners Association:

Research to date supports that chocolate can be enjoyed as part of a balanced, heart-healthy diet and lifestyle…of course I’m going to tell you the healthy part first!  Studies have demonstrated that one of the major saturated fats in chocolate does not raise cholesterol like other hard fats–meaning chocolate can be enjoyed in moderation.

Theobroma Cacao is the tree that produces cocoa beans, and it means “food of the gods.”  Hard to disagree with that!  Chocolate is made from its seeds.  It takes 400 cocoa beans to make one pound of chocolate.  Each cacao tree produces approximately 2,500 beans – that’s only 6.25 pounds of chocolate per tree!

Because cacao trees are so delicate, farmers lose, on average, 30 percent of their crop each year.  Cocoa is raised by hand, on small, family-owned farms, mostly in South Africa.

The leaves can move 90 degrees, from horizontal to vertical, to get sun and to protect younger leaves.  Some trees are more than 200 years old, but most give marketable cocoa beans for only the first 25 years.  The average size of a cocoa farm in West Africa is 7 to 10 acres.  Through some programs supported by industry and partners including foundations and governments, farmers are now earning between 20 percent and 55 percent more from their crops and most cocoa farms are NOT owned by the companies that make chocolate (like me!).

The average serving of milk chocolate has about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of decaf coffee.

In November, Germans celebrate St. Martin–a knight who shared his cloak with a beggar–with a lantern-lit parade, sweets and steaming hot chocolate…hmmm, hot chocolate – sounds like a great idea to me.  I may even add it to our products (more to come on that in the near future).

Savor It:

Chocolate contains two doses of cocoa butter—the natural amount from the bean, plus an extra dollop to bump up creaminess.

Smell It:

Put the piece of chocolate about an inch from your nose, close your eyes, and give it a sniff. What do you smell?  What does it make you think of?  Smelling your chocolate allows you to engage yet another sense and helps prepare your taste buds for the job ahead.  Plus, the smell of chocolate just makes you happy and puts you in the right frame of mind for what’s about to come!

Taste It:

The great moment has finally arrived! It’s time to place the chocolate in your mouth and savor it. Slow down!  Now’s not the time to rush things.  Take a small bite and let the chocolate sit on your tongue. Close your mouth and your eyes, breathe through your nose, and concentrate on the flavors being released as the chocolate melts on your tongue. As the chocolate melts, see if you can detect the different flavor notes for that particular piece.  If you’re enjoying our fudge, let your taste buds play with the ingredients that are masterfully combined for your enjoyment. Take your time between bites to let the flavors linger and evolve.  Savoring chocolate is a slow, almost meditative, process that we believe more people should take the time to delight in.

So get busy and order YOUR Extra Ordinary Delights now.  With the supply chain issues – buy early and often!

This National Day of Recognition is celebrated on October 28 each year, just in time for Halloween!

Speaking of Halloween…I have an idea for you that will blow your mind.  

Bake a chocolate cake inside of a pumpkin.  Yes, you read that right – bake a cake inside a cleaned pumpkin.

Check out the recipe below.  You can make the batter from scratch or use a cake mix, the choice is yours!

Here’s how to bake a cake inside a pumpkin!

You will need: 

-Pumpkins (not the large carving ones…try using two 5″ diameter pumpkins and one 7″ diameter pumpkin)

-Your favorite cake mix or homemade batter (chocolate is especially good)

-A knife and spoon

-Foil and a wooden skewer (to test doneness, but don’t puncture the pumpkin)


Thoroughly clean the outside of the pumpkins with a vegetable brush. With a knife, cut open the top of your pumpkin – make sure it is wide enough to scrape out the insides. Once you have completely cleaned out the insides, pour in the cake batter. 

Save the seeds and roast them for a snack later!

Wrap each pumpkin in tin foil, except for the opening on top.

Follow instructions to make your cake mix or make your own. Pour batter into the inside of a pumpkin cavity but don’t overfill in case your cake rises during baking. Filling a few inches below the opening is a safe bet. Repeat with other pumpkins.

Once filled, place pumpkins on a baking sheet and put into a preheated 350F oven. Baking time will depend on the size and thickness of your pumpkin. The 5″ pumpkins takes about 70 minutes to bake through; the 7″ pumpkin, about one hour and 50 minutes. Use a skewer to check for doneness around an hour, and check every 10-15 minutes thereafter. Make sure to insert the skewer all the way through without piercing the skin.

Remove pumpkins and let cool completely. The skins will be soft so take care in moving them. Enjoy the cake by cutting slices or eating straight from the pumpkin with a spoon. The pumpkin is nice and soft – it can be eaten alongside the cake. This recipe is especially good with chocolate cake!

Aaron Hale
US Army SSG EOD (Ret) Founder of
Extra Ordinary Delights

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