55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Chocolate Bible (Hardcover)
An excellent book. Covers: history of chocolate, cocoa harvesting and varieties, chocolate manufacturing, tempering, making chocolate designs, chocolate decorations, cake making, chocolate fillings and coverings. Recipes include tortes, small pastries (like petit 4's and cookies), a big candy section. Also individual desserts like charlottes, mousses, souffles, and icecreams, as well as chocolate drinks. Lists equipment manfacturers in the back.
The book is beautiful and would be great for the coffee table even if you didn't use the recipes. I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, but they look sound from my experience. I feel it's different enough from other chocolate books to warrant buying. Compared to its peers that I own (Cocolat, the International chocolate cookbook, and Death by Chocolate) I would say this book excells in the presentation category for sure. It gives info on chocolate history that some of the other books don't. There are a LOT of recipes in this book. I would not recommend this book (or any of the other chocolate books I own, actually except for maybe Cocolat) for the absolute beginner unless he or she has another complementary book about cakes or pastries. The reason is while a lot of techniques are shown here, not a lot of "this is what can go wrong, and why" statements are included. So, if you goof, you might not know why. It doesn't go into which chocolate brands are the best, or talk about other ingredients (eggs, flour, etc) at all. In other words, the strengths of this book are presentation, showing techniques, history, recipe variety, but not recipe understanding. Probably my 2nd favorite chocolate book that I own (behind Cocolat). This book won the 1998 IACP award in the baking category.