“You say ‘chocolate addiction’ like it’s a bad thing,” smiles clinical psychologist Dr. Holly Adams, who studies the link between nutrition and behavior disorders. “Chocolate numbers among Nature’s most powerful feel-good foods; and, in moderation, regular consumption of chocolate can improve your mood and contribute to your sense of overall well-being.” Dr. Adams explains that chocolate, naturally rich in serotonin and caffeine, acts as a mild anti-depressant. “Given the biochemistry of chocolate, it makes perfect sense that women use it as their best defense against pre-menstrual syndrome and mild depression.” In fact, Dr. Adams recommends chocolate for her mildly-to-moderately depressed patients, encouraging them to use it as an incentive for regular exercise. “Wouldn’t you go for a long walk or a brisk jog if you knew you got chocolate when you finished?” she asks rhetorically.

Smiling broadly, Dr. Adams stipulates, “Of course, if you’re going to do it, you should do it right—nothing but the world’s best.” Hence, a very short list of the world’s best chocolate treats.

The world’s best chocolate confections
Better even than becoming the chocolatier, imagine becoming the journalist who travels the world in search of the world’s best chocolates…and other “best of…” epicurean delights. Writer Pete Wells holds that enviable position at foodandwine.com, and he claims that Amedei Chocolate stands-out as far and away the world’s best. In addition to the testimony of his own palette, Wells brings evidence from last November’s international chocolate competition in London, where Amedei products swept the top three places in their category; “Chuao” won the first prize by a considerable margin. You may host your own competition, ordering an Amedei sampler from Chocosphere for just $50(US). When you find your favorite Amedei formula, you may order in bulk at about $100(US) per pound.

The world’s best chocolate cake
Okay, technically you would have to categorize it as “the world’s best chocolate cup cake,” but this decadent confection holds its own against competition ten times its size and weight: Made famous in several episodes of “Sex and the City,” the chocolate cupcakes at New York’s “Magnolia Bakery” draw fans and admirers from around the world. It is not unusual to see eager customers lined-up at 11:30 p.m., waiting patiently for their servings of pure chocolate ecstasy—sometimes even on school nights. Although Magnolia’s recipes have leaked via the internet, still no home made knock-off competes with the real deal, and no commercial competitor even comes close.

The world’s best chocolate chip cookies
CNN-Opinion Research, Inc. conducts an annual survey of consumer preferences in all the categories that matter—burgers, colas, and chocolate chip cookies. For the last several years, the “official” research has confirmed what everybody always already knew: Nestle Toll House Cookies remain by far the world’s favorite. Grandma’s old-fashioned recipe, the one right on the package of toll house morsels, beat its closest competition by more than thirty-five percentage points. Some controversy swirls around the desirability of nuts in the mix, but the survey shows beyond any reasonable doubt that Nestle rules the cookie world.

Other essential chocolates
Don’t forget chocolate-laced cocktails: For example, add Grand Marnier or Bailey’s Irish Crème Sherry to café mocha prepared with Ghirardelli chocolate and steaming hot whole milk, shaving Ghirardelli’s dark and white chocolates atop your little mound of fresh whipped cream. Savor your mix fireside on a cold winter night and experience the taste of sheer unadulterated bliss.

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Trufflehunter.co.uk is a site where you can buy truffles online, along with the finest Italian truffle oil