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This book might easily be the most lavish, the most complete, and most beautiful book ever published on the subject of that most sensuous of all foods--chocolate. Filled with history, anecdotes, and recipes, and featuring hundreds of lavish full-color photos, The Golden Book of Chocolate is literally a chocolate lover's dream come true. A fascinating detailed account chronicles chocolate's origins among the Aztecs of ancient Mexico, its importation to Europe, and the development of the modern chocolate industry as we know it today. But recipes are at the heart of this book. Separate chapters are devoted to chocolate's central role in easy-to-follow recipes for:
• Cookies • Bars and Brownies • Muffins and Cupcakes • Pastries • Elegant Desserts • Pies and Tarts • Puddings and Creams • Tea and Coffee Cakes • Layer Cakes • Candy • Savory Dishes • Drinks • Basic Recipes
Each recipe includes a list of ingredients, step-by-step instructions, and a large, full-color photo of the finished item. The book's final "Basic Recipes" chapter shows how to prepare chocolate ingredients that go into the making of other chocolate-based delicacies. They include chocolate pastry cream, chocolate custard, chocolate sauce, and several other sumptuous ingredients. This beautiful book is embellished with a ribbon place marker bound into the spine and features golden-tipped page edges.
A Capsule History of Chocolate
Among the Aztecs the drinking of chocolate was confined to the royal house, the lords, and the nobility. A report by Spanish conquistador Bernial Diaz del Castillo noted that Montezuma drank chocolate several times a day from beakers made of pure gold. The Spanish brought chocolate to Europe in the late 1500s, and by the 1660s it was a favorite drink of Renaissance Italian noblemen. In the 1800s it became a popular drink among the literary figures who gathered in London's coffee houses, and in the nineteenth century the world's first chocolate candy was produced in the city of Bristol, England.
Enrobed in gold foil like a high-end chocolate bar, this fat tome offers chocolate lovers a rich variety of ways in which to enjoy their favorite treat. Cookies, brownies, cupcakes and cakes, mousses and every other decadent sweet dish imaginable—plus some unusual savory ones—are all featured in full-page, easy-to-read spreads accompanied by lavish photos. The recipes are ranked in three levels of difficulty, with the majority given the easiest rating, though not always deservingly, and their styles span the range from homey, traditional offerings such as no-bake chocolate squares and several chocolate chip cookie variations, to refined, restaurant-quality desserts like chocolate crème brûleé as well as a few more exotic creations (shortbread with passion fruit drizzle; white chocolate and lime Bundt cake). The book opens with a comprehensive overview of the science, history and business of chocolate, though any true chocolate lover will likely already be up to speed on the health benefits of the cacao bean. Unfortunately, after that introduction the authors forgo further tips or hints about ingredients or preparation. Nonetheless, this will make an attractive gift for anyone keen on chocolate, whether or not they choose to try their hand at the recipes. Full-color photos throughout. (Nov.)
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