by Anna Fletcher
Today is a very special day that only comes around once a year. For many of us, it’s a day to appreciate one of the most important things in our lives. A day where we are encouraged to treat ourselves with a little indulgence. Chocoholics unite – today is National Chocolate Covered Anything Day! Smothered, drizzled, dipped or topped – anything is better with a little chocolate on it.
Whether you’re camping, backpacking or traveling, chocolate is great companion to bring along. Cacao is naturally packed with antioxidants, caffeine and healthy chemicals like flavonoids (which can help prevent sunburn), all of which help you keep moving and stay in high spirits while on the trail. Dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao) is a lot more filling than lighter chocolate and does not melt as easily. There are many types of chocolate made specifically for backpacking, such as ChocolateSmith Backpacker’s Pocket Paté – dark chocolate ganache covered in wax that makes it portable and weatherproof. Carry it in the front of your pack next to your hammock and your water bottle for easy access. That way, you can easily whip up some melted chocolate to drizzle over whatever else is in your pack.
Melted Chocolate Recipe
Pour 1 cup of heavy cream (you can use powder such as WillPowder Heavy Cream Powder) into a medium pot and, stirring constantly, heat until it just starts to boil. Remove the pot from the coals, add 12 oz of dark chocolate (chips or chopped) and stir it in until it melts.
And, of course, there are many chocolate dessert recipes to give your sweet tooth a fix after dinner around the campfire.
Campfire Banana Boats
Cut a deep slit in the banana from tip to stem, spreading it open like you would a baked potato. Stuff chocolate, marshmallows, coconut, nuts and any other delicious ingredients you want in the banana. Wrap in foil and place on the coals of the fire. Let it cook for about 5 minutes (until the chocolate is melted), take it out, unwrap and devour!
Camping Chocolate Cake
Gather these ingredients:
- 1 box Deviled Food Chocolate Cake Mix
- 1 box Jell-O Cook and Serve Pudding (NOT instant pudding)
- Chocolate chips
Make the Jell-O pudding according to the directions of the box (it requires milk). Add only the dry cake mix (no oil or eggs or anything) into the cooked pudding and mix well. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan or Dutch oven, sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts, cover in foil and bake in the coals for about 35 minutes. Cut and eat!
Put 1/2 cup cocoa powder, a 3-oz brick of cream cheese, 1 stick of margarine, 1 box of powdered sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla extract into a gallon Ziploc bag. Squeeze all the air out and seal. Put that bag into another gallon bag, squeeze all the air out and seal. Start squeezing the bag, allowing the warmth of your hands to mix the fudge ingredients. When you’re tired of squeezing, pass the bag onto the next person, who then squeezes the bag for a while before passing it to the next person. Continue squeezing it for about 30 minutes until it starts looking like fudge that you would make at home. Flatten the bag of fudge and place in a cooler of ice (or in the snow). When it’s solid, it’s ready to eat!
Dutch Oven Cherry Chocolate Cake
Combine 1 box chocolate cake mix, 1 16-oz can of cherry pie filling and 1 12-oz can of Sprite into a Dutch oven (in that order). Mix until blended, put the lid on and set over hot coals. Place about 6 coals on top of the Dutch oven lid and cook for about 15-20 minutes. The carbonation of the Sprite will make this cake airy and light!
Good Ol’ Fashion S’mores
This recipe has been ingrained in all of us since birth: graham crackers, chocolate bars and marshmallows. You can even get fancy by substituting the chocolate with Reeses’ or the graham crackers with chocolate chip cookies.