Book Review: Green & Blacks Ultimate Chocolate Recipes

Where do I begin? The title says it all – if you like chocolate, you need this book. When I first picked it up and read the author’s exhortation in the intro to get the pages thoroughly stained with chocolate, I knew we were going to get along well. This is another one of those recipe books which I love to just pore over with a cup of tea, gazing adoringly at the pictures and learning my favourite recipes off by heart.

Speaking of which, choosing my favourite recipes from this book is nigh-on impossible – there are just too many of them. This is the book which introduced me to whoopie pies (read about that here), so that has to be one of my favourites from the teatime section, although the Truly Gooey Chocolate & Hazelnut Cookies, which are about 80% pure chocolate, also deserve a mention - combine these two recipes for the ultimate high tea. The recipes are beautifully-written so that they keep things concise but provide enough detail to hold your hand reassuringly throughout – although they all look fairly spectacular, you’ll be able to pull them off even if you aren’t a seasoned baker. If you’re hoping to ease yourself into the whole thing, try the 5-Minute Chocolate Pots (for a beautiful little dessert that looks and tastes much more complex than it is) or the fabulous homemade hot chocolate recipes.

For a real showstopper, though, flip through to the Velvet Salted Caramel Chocolate Torte, a sumptuously rich dessert that is well worth the many hours and several different culinary processes which it requires. Another outstanding entry is the White Chocolate Iced Millefeuille (which appears in a slightly adapted form as the White Chocolate Ice Cream Cake already on this blog) – it's like a viennetta, except about a hundred times better.

Finally, there’s a cheeky little section at the back containing all sorts of interesting ideas to get you thinking, from chocolate cocktails to truffles, and plenty of handy hints on techniques such as tempering - stuff every real chocolate-lover needs to know. Get it, try it all out, and let me know how you get on.

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