The Golden Book of Chocolate has got to be the gift book of the year. It has impact in both size and quality of presentation. It’s sumptuous with gilt-edged pages reminiscent of a family bible. Those nice people at Apple Press informed me that this volume came with a gold belly jacket. I was pleased… er,um, but what was that? It’s a lovely dust jacket that nicely wraps the ample midriff of this magnificent volume.
That’s the exterior oooohs and aaahs out of the way. Unless you are buying this book only to put something sparkly on your bookshelf, you’ll want to know about all that’s inside. The photography by Alan Benson is a treat. You can imagine piling on the calories by just looking at all these sweet delights.
The introduction is fascinating and pertinent. It considers not only the history of the Swiss Nestlé, Lindt and Mr. Tobler (yes, the man who invented Toblerone) but also our own Green and Blacks who earned the UK’s first Fair Trade Mark for its Maya Gold chocolate.
There are over 300 recipes here so it’s safe to say that there is something for everyone. There are Candies and Cookies, Puddings and Pies but also Savoury Dishes that might come as a bit of a surprise. The recipes are easy to follow and offer lots of choice for home cooks of every level of skill and confidence.
One of the simplest recipes is Coffee Granita with Cream and Chocolate. It’s one of those perfect make-ahead desserts that are ideal for meals with friends. Served in shot glasses or small tumblers, it makes a sophisticated end to an evening. You only need to be slightly more adventurous to manage Milk Chocolate and Vanilla Semifreddo, which is a two-layer frozen pud in white and beige.
The Drinks chapter has a lot more than the predictable cocoa. Brown Cow has white rum, crème de menthe and crème de cacao. Served in an elegant stemmed glass, this would be a warming, rich cocktail for a winter party, a liquid version of a very adult after-dinner mint.
The Golden Book of Chocolate can only be described as special. It oozes luxury and it’s bound to make an impression with anyone lucky enough to receive a copy. Lovely!
The Golden Book of Chocolate – Over 300 great recipes
Published by: Apple Press
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018