Rococo: Real Chocolate

Coady, Chantal

ISBN: 184499017

Publisher: Quadrille Publishing Limited

When I moved to England, I lived on the Kings Road, and knew I was lucky. Not because I live in a very trendy part of London, or that there are some great cloths shops. No, I was lucky because live just doors away from the famous chocolate shop, Rococo. So, for me, the chore of hunting down good chocolate was not so hard, but finding good quality chocolate has not aways been so easy. When I first arrived in the UK, most of the chocolate was a poor imitation, which lead to the EEC wanting to ban Britain from exporting the stuff to other member states as Chocolate.

Chantal Coady, who saw the that the British public wanted a change, started Rococo 20 years ago with an ambition to make and sell real chocolate. She wanted truly beautifully tasting chocolate that was available throughout Europe. She struck accord with both chocolate connoisseurs and the great British public, and with the likes of The Chocolate Society, has help make real chocolate accessible to consumers that are now more discerning in what they buy and eat.

The book begins with the fascinating history of chocolate, from the Olmec, those clever people who first cultivated the cacao beans, to Hernán Cortés, the man credited to bringing chocolate to Europe, through to Milton Hershey, the American that made chocolate from vegetable fat, which Chantal describes as "Probably the blackest day in the chocolate history." Then she takes us through the process of taking cacao beans through to chocolate we love and then on chocolate and how to recognise it.

The real cookery part of the book starts with making Ganache, or more commonly called, chocolate truffles. This step by step guide shows how to work the ingredients into those delectible treats of chocolate heaven. Then we move on to tempering, moulding and sculpting chocolate. Of course next but by far least is the all important chocolate recipes.

Included are savoury dishes, puddings, desserts, biscuits, cakes and breads. Try an unusual but delicious Aubergine, Chocolate and Goats' Cheese Pizzette or Roast Lamb with Chocolate, Anchovy Capers (certainly a twist on the classic dish) or a yummy but rich pudding of Chocolate Bombe with White Chocolate Risotto, and, finally, to drink, try Chocolate Martinis. The recipes are clearly laid out and simple to follow and are accompanied by truly mouth watering photographs.

A joy to read and even a better cookbook full of really brilliant recipes that will get even the most dubious to give chocolate a try. A book that will never be far at hand.