Collection of simple homemade chocolate recipes and treats
These are taken from a collection of books with kind permission from the authors and publishers. They range from easy thins through to more complex moulded treats like lavender cups. There are links to pages which have them in full with their step by step instructions and photographs so that you can soon be making homemade chocolate recipes.
The Drummer Boy is my latest novel about the ghost of a Gordon Highlander Drummer Boy from the Battle of Waterloo who haunts a modern day army nurse.
Chapters take place in modern day Aberdeen, at the Noose & Monkey bar and restaurant as well as His Majesty’s Theatre and Garthdee. Other scenes take place at Tidworth and during the Napoleonic War.
Read the first three chapters for free on most devices.
Chocolate Recipe Book
Our first chocolate recipe book is Auberge Du Chocolat which is written by the master chocolatier, Anne Scott, who runs the multi award winning Auberge Du Chocolat shops and classes. Anne really knows her subject and her book is as delicious as her range. She easily guides the reader through the process of making simple chocolate recipes giving the reader the expertise, knowledge and confidence to create her more complex marzipan ganache and strawberries and cream in later chapters. It is a delicious book and the price is worth it just for the mouth-watering photographs.
The photographer Edward Allwright and author Anne Scott has ensured that each step has an accompanying photo. We predict Auberge Du Chocolat to be a best seller for 2012 and to stay on the book shelves way beyond 2013. We dare anyone to pick it up and not be tempted to buy it and rush to the shops to start buying ingredients.
She writes in such an easy to read and follow manner that many cookbook authors can learn from. It isn't often that we say this about a cooking book: but it was difficult to put down and is a real page turner. This is Anne's first volume and we also predict that it certainly will not be her last and we look forward to reading more.
The opening chapter tells the history from the Mayans worship of the Cacao Tree and their drink made from cocoa beans, maize and capsicum to the development of the cocoa trade and how it began to be popular around the world and its eventual import to England in 1520. From here the chocolate houses opened with the first being The Coffee Mill and Tobacco Roll with the government soon taxing this new drink soon after! The history continues with the production of the first bar by Dutch chemist Johannes Van Houten in 1828 which led to Fry & Sons producing bars from 1847 with the first milk bar being made in 1875.
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Further fascinating chapters inform the reader how it is made guiding the reader from the extraction of fruits from the cocoa pod to roasting and separating the nibs from the beans to the manufacture of liquor, butter and presscake to produce cocoa powder. From here Anne explains how what we all love is made through a process known as mixing and conching.
Read the apple strudel recipes.
Knowing where food is sourced is something we all should be more aware of and the chapter about where it is grown describes the types of cocoa beans, the countries where they are grown and the types of farms and estates which produce the unique flavours.
Anne now moves onto the basic techniques of handling that will later be needed. So the reader is guided through the techniques of tempering and how to crisp, snap and shine using three methods of tabling, seeding and microwaving. Tips include how to melt it without burning or getting water or lumps into the mixture. For years we at Recipe Book Reviews have used a pan of boiling water under a bowl to melt it but now have learnt to retain flavour and make life easier by using the oven or a microwave. Other tips include how to remove lumpy bits on the base to make them look their best. These are called the feet. More tips include how to void leaving fingerprint marks when cooking.
Read the how to melt it for cooking page for more tips.
The truffle recipes start with the basics of how to make a ganache or truffle. Then the reader is expertly guided through adding flavours such as adding spices, fruits and flavourings without overpowering the flavour. Further chapters detail how to make a base, dipping truffles and moulding.
With the basics covered Anne steps with the reader to the next level with crystallizing fruit such as crystallized orange and grapefruit peel, ginger and pineapple. Making a fruit paste to use as a layer within is next taught such as raspberry fruit paste.
A favourite of dinner parties is taken to an ingenious next level with the dipping strawberries which gives the reader an easy covered white choc before guiding the reader through a really clever black tie strawberries which look like each is wearing a dinner jacket. This is now a firm favourite for our after dinner parties.
Other sections include the how to make a piping bag using greaseproof paper or baking parchment.
Flavoured ones include thins and tuiles. The decorating chapters guide the reader from simple three ridge pattern using a fork to using foil to make them shiny right up to adding nuts to decorate. More elaborate decorations include using grated zest, crystallized flowers, flowers as a topping, piping patterns, making leaves, curls, flakes and cigarillos and colouring.
A delightful chapter teaches the reader to make a presentation box to hold them: a brilliant edible idea for a gift. Other presentation gift ideas that can easily be made at home include a platter and a woven basket. The gift ideas continue with how to make table favour packaging, boxes, baskets and cellophane and ribbon wraps.
Hand dipped ones include apricot pave and white vanilla mice with pecan raisin clusters. Truffle recipes include Amaretto and cinnamon truffles.
Read How to Make Praline.
Throughout the Auberge Du Chocolat Anne makes cooking seem ever so easy and this is really evident in her making moulds section. We have avoided these because we naively thought them to be too complication. Thanks to Anne we can see that this is not the case and love her orange and hazelnut cubes that not only have a mild chilli taste but also look like chillies, lavender cups and tipsy coffee cups.
Those who suffer from health problems like lactose intolerance need not ignore Anne's book and will benefit from her dairy free section which include delights like jasmine and rose, espresso truffle, orange and cinnamon and cosmopolitan.
Recipes for children include thins topped with sweets like dolly mixtures, teddy bears, wands, faces and crispy balls. Read these on the crispy treats page.
Auberge Du Chocolat is a delightful book full of delicious recipes and is a must for those who like the sweet things in life.
It was published by New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd in 2011.
Learn more about the Auberge Du Chocolat shops, team, course and buy their produce online at www.aubergechocolat.co.uk
If you need a gift idea for the cook in your life then visit the Christmas page for ideas:
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Dips & Sauces