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Chocolate: Indulge your inner chocoholic by…
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Chocolate: Indulge your inner chocoholic by Dom Ramsey (2016-09-01)

by Dom Ramsey

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Artisanal bean-to-bar chocolate has become all the rage in recent years, following hot on the heels of the booms in craft beer brewing and organic coffee roasting. Nationwide, companies like Chicago's Vosges Haut-Chocolat, Portland's Lillie Belle Farms and Brooklyn's Mast Brothers have sparked a craze for carefully crafted, small batch chocolate. Like wine and tea, chocolate is purported to have a terroir (or particular characteristic) as a result of the conditions in the region where it was grown so fine chocolate purveyors carefully source their product for the best marriage of flavors.

This gorgeous book (a companion to the previously published volumes Coffee Obsession and The Tea Book) provides the readers with a brief history of chocolate, onto the various regions where cacao beans are farmed and harvested, through the [extremely involved] process from bean to bar. Finally, they offer a collection of 23 classic chocolate recipes (including profiteroles, a Sachertorte and various iterations of truffles and fondue).

This is a perfectly lovely book that would make a great gift for your favorite chocoholic. The cover is a rich marbled pattern in gold and brown, the endpaper is decorated with a repeat pattern of line-drawn cacao beans and every one of the heavy clay pages is illustrated with mouth watering full color photos. However as far as its value as a cookbook, I'm less enthused. First off, while it's interesting to know how a bar of chocolate is made, I'll personally never actually make chocolate from a batch of cacao beans when I can just buy a quality bar at Whole Foods. Plus most of the recipes offered are complicated, old-school classics that don't really fit into my already super-busy lifestyle.

My verdict? An ultra-cool gift or neat coffee table volume but not a particularly useful recipe collection. ( )
  blakefraina | Nov 25, 2016 |
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