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Chocolate Obsession: Confections and Treats to Create and Savor Hardcover – September 1, 2005
Cooking in the New Year
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About the Author
Fran Gage owned the award-winning Fran Gage Patisserie Française in San Francisco for ten years. She now writes about food for the San Francisco Chronicle, Saveur, and Fine Cooking, among other publications, and has published several books, including Bread and Chocolate and A Sweet Quartet. Gage lives in San Francisco.
Maren Caruso is a San Francisco-based photographer who specializes in food photography. Her work has appeared in Wine and Spirits, Chocolatier, and Taste magazines, and in the STC books Grilling and Barbecuing and Great Grilled Cheese.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book centers around the very distinctive chocolate styles of Recchiuti Chocolates, which are distinguished by, among other things, the use of a lot of flavors one does not typically find paired with chocolate such as teas, tarragon, cardamom, and especially caramal.
The one thing which makes this book accessible to the experienced chocolate maker is the fact that it deals primarily with the very simplest forms of chocolate candy such as truffles, dipped and moulded chocolates, `snacks' such as s'mores, chocolate barks, chocolate drinks, and sauces. In all this, caramel is much more than just another ingredient for Recchiuti. It appears over and over in many different forms from caramelized nuts in the `snacks' to flavorings in ice cream.
There are things in this book for the novice who has aspirations to be a skillful chocolatier. While I'm sure I probably have them in at least one of my hundreds of cookbooks, I'm pleased to find recipes for both graham crackers and marshmallow, leading to the ability to create entirely homemade s'mores.Read more ›
The best part of this book is that Recchiuti gives you the recipes of the real chocolates that he sells on his website and stores. Tea, Burnt Caramel, tarragon/grapefruit, cardamonom, malt with honeycomb, fleur de sel, rose caramel, kona, ginger, and so on - they are all there. Given that Recchiuti is known as one of the top chocolatiers in the country, this is really incredible. If you are a serious chocolate candy maker, this book is a must-have.
The difficulty level of this book is hard for chocolates, easy for other parts. Most of the chocolate recipes use invert sugar (not a common ingredient). Some of the spices are specialized (verbena, or rose water). Molding technique is obviously difficult. On the other hand, the other sections are at a much lower level of difficulty.
This book is not heavy on technique pictures or descriptions of techniques. You almost have to know the techniques before you do them.
If you are looking for chocolate techniques, "chocolate confections" by Greweling is a better book, as is "Making Artisan Chocolates" by Shotts.
To me, this is more of a ganache recipe book.
For me, the bottom line is that Recchiuti shares his recipes for his *entire line* of top end chocolates. He's giving away all his trade secrets in this book. You gotta have it for that reason.
I would not call this a good beginner's cookbook, though the photography is gorgeous enough to qualify this as a coffee table book even for those who don't want to get in the kitchen. Some baking experience is helpful, as is a well-equipped kitchen (stand-mixer, immersion blender, heavy-bottomed pots for sauces etc). This is an outstanding book and I highly recommend it.
But the name of Michael Recchiuti was the draw, and after flipping through this wonderful labor of love, I realized that I was a chocolate snob. Shame on me.
First of all, the physical book itself is glorious. It has been beautifully brought together with raised lettering on the cover, and the feel of those satin pages, along with clear, crisp photography that makes you anxious to get started!
Then there is the educational content. Michael is a Master Chocolatier, which is his hard-earned title and is very well-deserved. And despite the gamut of unusual and standard chocolate flavors and concoctions he has created, his way of talking to you is that of a good friend who wants to share his knowledge with you in the most earnest way possible.
He has covered everything and he does so in a encouraging and kindly fashion with one of his best sections being "Organizing Chocolate Work"; it was very much appreciated that he gave a timetable to help determine your level of expertise. You need to learn in steps and he graciously helps you climb that ladder of knowledge. Also, he adds wonderful stories and such to weave his history and love affair with that dark and tempting devil of sweetness.
This is a great teaching tool and chocolate creations book, as well as a coffee-table libre that you can peruse when you want to kick back and relax.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Its a really good recipe book for chocolate truffles and bonbons. Has many different kinds, I would definitely recommend this book if chocolate is your passion.Published 8 months ago by amanda
The soufflé recipe lists three ounces of grated chocolate in the soufflé (plus 1.5 ounces for coating the molds), but the ingredient isn't mentioned in the... Read morePublished 13 months ago by amazon3131
Didn't really offer a lot of choices that I liked. I collect cookbooks and this one is less than great.Published 14 months ago by Flyerace
Most books stay on someone shelf and gather dust.....this one will have to have an extra cover to keep the splatter off. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Claudia Stallings
I understand most chocolate is out of temper above 90 degrees but book suggests this is not the case. My experience shows otherwise. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Mark M.
I have tried Recchiuti chocolates and confectionaries from the shop in San Francisco. I am not exaggerating when I say that he makes the best chocolate! Read morePublished on November 6, 2013 by BizarroAF
On this book Michael Recchiuti generously offers us many of his secrets of how to make divine chocolates as a pro. Read morePublished on April 24, 2013 by Carmen Adorno