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Hot Chocolate by Michael Turback
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Hot Chocolate

by Michael Turback

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gift from Daniyel & Sarah
  solanum | May 8, 2011 |
This is a fairly small and unassuming cookbook, but it has an elegant flair to it. It includes notes on ingredients, tools, and techniques, including hints for blending the flavors and creating a creamy cup of hot chocolate. One of the problems I've had with hot chocolate in the past is that unlike cocoa, chocolate doesn't always dissolve as thoroughly or easily. However, with the techniques in this book it works beautifully.

The recipes are organized in chapters by type of recipe. First you'll find recipes that reflect the historical origins of chocolate, or "Ancestral Hot Chocolates." These tend to involve spices, including a "Hellfire Hot Chocolate" that includes both allspice and cayenne! The next chapter is one of European classics, including a white hot chocolate that is my favorite recipe in this cookbook.

A chapter of modern variations on hot chocolate includes some of the truly adventuresome and odd recipes in this cookbook, such as Tarragon and Black Pepper Hot Chocolate(!) and Bay Leaf-Infused Hot Chocolate. It also includes a few flavors reminiscent of modern candy trends, such as caramel, peppermint or peanut butter.

"Adults Only" hot chocolates include alcohol, and there's also a chapter of "nostalgic" recipes, including cold recipes, a Hot Chocolate Eggnog recipe, and even a fondue. The final chapter, one of hot chocolate pairings, presents recipes for various sides to include with hot chocolate. For instance, S'Mores Hot Chocolate with Graham Crackers (and yes, there's a recipe for homemade graham crackers!).

There are only a few mild concerns one might have regarding this cookbook. After all, the quality of the recipes is exquisite. First, many people simply aren't adventurous enough to try many of the recipes in this cookbook. Second, these are most definitely not lightweight recipes---many of them involve plenty of heavy cream, although you can find a decent selection that at least use whole milk instead; thus, if you're watching your weight, you may want to save these recipes for rare special occasions. And finally, some of these recipes are so insanely rich that we couldn't drink them as-is. Let me clarify---this is not a reason to avoid making some of the recipes; it didn't render them inedible. It simply turned them into what we preferred to think of as hot chocolate concentrate!

Full review at ErrantDreams ( )
  errantdreams | Dec 14, 2007 |
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