Whether it's melted into cake mixture, baked into brownies or mixed into cookie dough, chocolate is without doubt one of the first ingredients we reach for when we don our PVC apron and get baking in the kitchen.
And there's no need to feel guilty about adding a liberal helping of chocolate to our cooking or indulging in the odd bar every now and then - as with a little investigation it seems that the tasty stuff can be good for you.
Jennifer Earle, founder of Chocolate Ecstasy Tours, has pointed out that there are actually several health benefits to snacking on high-quality chocolate, especially when it is consumed in its purest form.
"In its natural form of cocoa beans, chocolate has more antioxidants than any other natural food on the planet," she says.
"A lot of antioxidants remain in dark chocolate and with more people eating dark chocolate, the manufacturers are becoming more careful in their selection and processing of the beans - which means the final chocolate bar is less likely to taste bitter."
Antioxidants, which are also found in abundance in tea, are nutrients that destroy cell-damaging free radicals, which many experts believe can help support the immune system and protect against colds and infections as well as more serious conditions such as cancer and arthritis.
And if that's not enough to convince you to break into the chocolate-chip cookies or start nibbling on some fudge cake, Jennifer goes on list even more health benefits to be gained from munching on the sweet stuff.
"As well as antioxidants, chocolate has a range of vitamins and minerals, which are beneficial and quite difficult to get from other sources - [including] copper, chromium, iron and others," she adds.
"It also contains phenylethylamine, which activates your dopamine receptors making you feel happier - how can that not be good for your health?"