Friday, April 15, 2011

Top 5 luscious chocolate cookbooks for Easter

List by Danielle

'I've been making chocolate for more than ten years. Almost without noticing it, I find myself telling its story. Maybe through the telling of its story, I can also tell something about myself, something about the longings, the romance - the decadence.' ~ Max Brenner, 'Chocolate: a love story'

Something about chocolate seems to bring out the best in food photographers, I swear. These 5 books below with will seduce you with their pure decadence - we're talking edible gold leaf, gentle dustings of powdered sugar, the ripest strawberries and figs, antique silver table settings and crystal goblets of something gently effervescing off to one side... oh - and don't forget the marmite. Marmite?! Yes, marmite.

Honourable mention: Here at Auckland Libraries, we have oh so many chocolate cookbooks, and they're all bursting with goodness, take a look. Special props to Green & Black's organic ultimate chocolate recipes : the new collection; I heart Green & Black's promotion of Fair Trade chocolate, as the business of cocoa beans can be anything but fair in some areas.

La Maison du Chocolat : timeless classics with a twist / Gilles Marchal ; photographs by VĂ©ronique Durruty La Maison du Chocolat is one of the best-known high-end chocolate makers in the world. With eight shops in Paris and six in other locations (including New York), their award-winning creations are synonymous with gourmet chocolate. In this luxurious book, the brilliant chocolatier and pastry chef Gilles Marchal, head of La Maison du Chocolat, revisits the recipes that made the shop famous, and brings us a host of creative new recipes as well. The finished recipes are magnificently photographed by Veronique Durruty to convey the luxury and drama of these delectable chocolate creations.

Most interesting recipe: Chocolatier's Handbags Yes... actual handbags, made from actual chocolate! They were created for a catwalk show at a hotel bar. This book might lose a few points for not having the kind of recipes I'd dare to try, but the photos are crazily sumptuous and if you're a more daring cook than me (not too hard) then you might just be up to the challenge!

Willie's chocolate bible : chocolate heaven in recipes and stories / Willie Harcourt-Cooze Chocolate is without doubt one of the good things in life. Whether you like a sophisticated square of your favorite 70% cacao bar to give you a boost in the afternoon, or something altogether more indulgent like a sumptuous gateaux or creamy mousse, good chocolate is a pleasure not to be missed. And who better to help you indulge your passion than the irrepressible Willie Harcourt Cooze who brings all his knowledge together with over 150 of his very best chocolate recipes to create the ultimate chocolate bible.

Most interesting recipe: Basic chocolate pasta dough Toss-up between this and 'Sea salt and pickled lemon chocolate caramels', but the thought of making chocolate fettucine... ravioli... This book has the heft and matte gorgeousness of an interior design manual, and a section on Easter and Christmas, including tips on making your own Easter eggs.

Adventures with chocolate : 80 sensational recipes / Paul A. Young ; photography by Anders Schonnemann Shares the author's chocolate-making secrets. This book takes you on a chocolate adventure, showing you how to blend it with other ingredients from lavender to chilli to cinnamon. It helps you discover how to make wild strawberry and pink peppercorn truffles, sea-salted caramel tart and the best chocolate martini.

Most interesting recipe: Marmite ganache "You will either love this ganache or hate it..." No, ya think? Just one of the intriguing savoury pairings with chocolate found in this book, which almost deserves a number 1 spot based on it's wonderful photos. This is the most gold-dusted and elegant book on the list, and has the prettiest layout (and it's a tough competition).

Chocolate : a fine selection of sweet treats / recipes by Anneka Manning. Indulgence cholcolate will have you licking your lips in anticipation, from white chocolate to rich chocolate souffles this book will remind you why chocolate is still the queen of sweet treats.

Most interesting recipe: Chocolate and ricotta fritters Also a very pretty book, with the advantage of more basic recipes than any of the others on the list so far. I think even I could tackle some of these! Everything still looks ultra-delicious and decadent, but the ingredients are familiar, and the techniques look a lot more manageable.

Chocolate : a love story : 65 chocolate dessert recipes from Max Brenner's private collection / Max Brenner ; artwork by Yonatan Factor With gigantic vats of churning chocolate, desserts like their famous chocolate pizza, and 12 varieties of hot chocolate served in custom mugs, Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man has turned their line of hip, colorful themed restaurants into an international sensation.. Chocolate: A Love Story is a vibrant new cookbook that includes 65 original recipes narrated in the quirky, captivating voice of Max Brenner, the restaurant's visionary founder and "bald man." Bold original illustrations inspired by Art Deco poster graphics, full-color photographs, easy-to-follow, delicious recipes, and a serving of Max's unique vision for spreading "chocolate culture" around the world make this book a must for every chocolate lover.

Most interesting recipe: ALL OF THEM If you want a little (or a lot) of quirk with your cookery, you should check out this book. It doesn't do 'pretty', but it is weird and wonderful and the pictures are psychedelic. All of the recipes come with 'stories', such as 'My lost childhood chocolate birthday cake: sprinkled with shiny colourful candy tears', or 'Well-disciplined ladyfingers: dipped in milk chocolate therapy, pistachios and roasted coconut'.

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