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Books

Making Chocolate


David Lebovitz. The Great Book of Chocolate
(Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2004).
ABOUT:  A personal and entertaining look at chocolate covering its history, how it’s made, as well as recipes and resources.

Ewald Notter, et at. The Art of the Chocolatier: From Classic Confections to Sensational Showpieces
(New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2011).
ABOUT:  This is an almost encyclopedic coverage of chocolate making.  If you want to understand the tools, techniques, and tastes of chocolate making in detail, then this is the book for you. I am a big fan of the recipes in this book. In fact, his recipe for salted caramels is fantastic.

Andrew Garrison Shotts. Making Artisan Chocolates
(Providence, RI: Quarry Books, 2007)
ABOUT:  This is my go-to book for great recipes.  The instructions are clear and everything tastes as good as it sounds.

Carole Bloom. Truffles, Candies, and Confections: Techniques and Recipes for Candymaking(Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2004).
ABOUT: This book was written for the occasional chocolatier who wants recipes with minimal ingredients and minimal steps. For this audience, the book has a very useful section on ingredients, tools, and techniques for making chocolates and other candies. I bought this book because I was in search of a great salted caramel recipe and this book has a whole chapter on caramels. However, I never ended up using these recipes.

 

 


 

History


Sophie D. Coe and Michael D. Coe. The True History of Chocolate (Second Edition)
2nd edition  (New York: Thames & Hudson, 2007).
ABOUT:  Considered one of the best books on the history of chocolate this book was written by an anthropologist (published posthumously by her husband) and combines the best of historical analysis with the sensitivity of ethnographic research to bring the complex history of chocolate in the old world and new world to life.


 

Health Benefits


Rowan Jacobsen. Chocolate Unwrapped: The Surprising Health Benefits of America's Favorite Passion
(Montpelier, Vermont: Invisible Cities Press, 2003).
ABOUT:  A little book full of lots of general information on the health benefits of chocolate.  This is not a technical or medical reference; rather it is merely a good place to start.


Julie Pech. The Chocolate Therapist: A User's Guide to the Extraordinary Health Benefits of Chocolate
(New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2010).
ABOUT: I had great expectations for this book since it was published by John Wiley & Sons. What I found was a book that tried to superficially cover too much such that in the end it was not a user’s guide but merely “a little of this and a little of that.” The book starts with a short history of chocolate and an overview of how chocolate is made. This is followed by a short chapter titled “Healthy Investigation” that merely outlines the health benefits of chocolate. From there the book goes back to discussing different types and flavors of chocolate. The book then surveys remedies and health effects associated with chocolate consumption. Each ailment and chocolate related remedy included a summary of supporting evidence. This is the most interesting chapter in the book and it left me wanting more. The book concludes with a section on chocolate and wine pairing and short collection of recipes.

 


 

Chocolate Trivia


Linda K. Fuller. Chocolate Fads, Folklore, & Fantasies: 1,000+ Chunks of Chocolate Information
(New York: Harrington Park Press, 1994).
ABOUT: The publication date may be almost 20 years ago, but the fun facts and bits of useless information will satisfy a chocolate trivia sweet tooth.

 


 

Fiction


James Runcie. The Discovery of Chocolate(New York: Harper Collins, 2001).
ABOUT: I received not one but two copies of this book as gifts from my family. First my sister gave me a copy. Then unbeknownst to her my mom gave me a copy. I figured if two people gave me this book I was destined to read it. The book's title is a bit misleading. Yes, the book does talk about the main character's discovery of chocolate, but the book is more about a time-traveler's life devoted to chocolate. In fact, if I was to re-title the book, I would call it "Time, Love, and Chocolate" or "A Man, His Dog, and Chocolate," or maybe something as simple as "Chocolate Love." This is a pleasant, fast read that makes you crave a nice hot cup of coco.

 

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