the great chocolate book, david lebovitz, chocolate, chocolates, chocolate information, chocolate recipes, chocolate book
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MELODY LAN loves desserts and chocolates so much that she once ate at the Bellagio Buffet for 4.5 hours with her friends so she could try over 20 desserts in that one sitting.


November 2005


Product Reviews / Best Reads / Cooking

The Great Book of Chocolate

By David Lebovitz


Whether you’re a chocoholic or not, once you’ve entered this engaging world of chocolate, you’ll never want to leave. Read about a chocolate traveler’s adventures from beginning to end and you may be able to call yourself a chocolate connoisseur. David Lebovitz, a critically acclaimed author and named one of the "Top Five Pastry Chefs in The Bay Area" by the San Francisco Chronicle, catalogs his life passion for people just like him—chocolate lovers of all sorts. His journal-like chocolate book captures the essence of chocolate in all its forms with detailed accounts of his personal encounters backed by his expertise in dessert making. Embarking on the basics, chocolate is first explained as a byproduct of the cacao fruit tree. Broken down into organized sections, you will then discover the roasting and fermenting process of cacao beans to what it’s like to work at a fancy chocolate shop in Brussels, Belgium a week before Christmas.

Fun Facts & Chocolate Care

How was chocolate first used? What’s the difference between cacao and cocoa? Why is chocolate ever referred to as gianduja and what makes chocolate organic? Rest assured, you’ll have all your chocolate questions answered and much much more. For example, did you know that black cocoa is a highly alkalized cocoa powder commonly used in baked goods for the intense dark color rather than for chocolate flavor? If you did, good for you. If not, it’s ok. You’ll be informed, challenged, and mesmerized by the details in the book that simply biting into a luxurious piece of chocolate could never tell you by itself. Expect to imagine sinking your teeth into a rich chocolate and rolling the sweetness on your tongue every other page, but you’ll also be able to learn what temperatures to store chocolate filled confections at and how to remove the cocoa butter while tempering chocolate.

Health Benefits

While many chocolate bars these days market chocolates as beauty bars for health and fitness, most chocolate with a high percentage of quality cacao is considered anti-oxidant rich and a helpful digestive. Broken down on a table, you will find that dark chocolate sits above all the other products that are rich in anti-oxidants. At the same time, chocolate also has a high level of magnesium which atones for the mood-altering effects. These may be obvious tidbits of information extracted from personal experiences, but the reading only makes you realize that where chocolate is concerned, there is really no end.

Purchasing Tips

About halfway into the book (or earlier) you will have the temptation to want to buy hoards of chocolate because the alluring images are calling to you. Well don’t—not until you’ve gotten through the portion that provides tips for chocolate buyers as well as descriptions of renowned chocolatiers and their chocolate shops from all over the world. Fortunately, each recommendation has a website you can peruse at your leisure and some places can even ship delicious bars and confections to your front door if you desire. A special section on chocolates in Paris will show you that artisanal chocolates can be as expensive as fancy jewelry and displayed like them too.

Baking Recipes

Finished off like a cherry on top, is the recipe section that has been gathered from the author’s favorite bake shops, restaurants, and chocolatiers. His compilation expresses his personal love of chocolate and the art of baking. Indulge yourself in trying new recipes that encompass your own passion for chocolate, but open up your world to the new and spectacular. Find out if you’ll also fall in love with the Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake with Chocolate Glaze or the Chili con Chocolate. Or if your daring side is on a break, you won’t be disappointed with the Homemade Rocky Road or the classic Chocolate Soufflé Cake. This is the only guide you’ll need to travel the depths of a chocolate heaven if you are ready to plunge in.

  • 164 pages
  • Ten Speed Press
  • 2004

—Click here to purchase The Great Book of Chocolate by David Lebovitz



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