Thursday, January 22, 2009

Book Stall: The Great Book of Chocolate

The Great Book of Chocolate
The Chocolate Lover's Guide with Recipes
by David Lebovitz
Ten Speed Press, 2004


Former Chez Panisse pastry chef and cookbook author David Lebovitz compiled this compact but far-reaching guide to all things chocolate.

"Chocolate, in my biased opinion, is the most universally provoking and addictive flavor," Lebovitz explains, describing his book as "a gift to all chocolate lovers," an informed tour of the world of chocolates and chocolate-making that includes cooking tips and recipes.

Lebovitz's tour includes an introduction to cacao beans and where they are grown, a primer on the different types of chocolates from couverture to white chocolate, some comments on the healthy benefits of chocolate, and some suggestions on choosing a chocolatier. He devotes a full chapter to the chocolates in Paris, which he claims has more fantastic chocolate boutiques than any other city in the world.

The recipes includes riffs on the classic brownie and Lebovitz's signature Rocky Road as well as Chocolat Tarte de Rue Tatin, Triple-Chocolate Parfait and Black-Bottom Cupcakes. There are 30 recipes in all preceeding a resource section of chocolatier websites.

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