Few would argue that chocolate is the indulgence of choice for most of us and that the irresistible cocoa-based product is something that we're happy to enjoy in all kinds of recipes. So who better than Delia Smith to guide us down some interesting byways? Chocolate
is one of the most attractive volumes in the four-volume set The Delia Collection
and it's difficult to imagine a better collection of recipes than those offered here.
No space is wasted on lengthy introductions telling us how wonderful chocolate is (and who needs reminding of such a truism?); Delia plunges us right into the choccie fray with a very serviceable recipe for Chocolate Fudge Cake, with wholemeal flour used to give an extra special moistness to the cake. Typically, the recipe gives us just the bald, unvarnished facts--Delia's speciality as a chef. Similarly, even more indulgent recipes perform a canny balancing act--describing the most outrageous of recipes in simple, unaffected prose. How about Squidgy Chocolate Cakes with Prunes in Marsala? This most seductive of treats is surprisingly made without flour. Very little in this volume will do much for your waistline, but don't we all deserve a little indulgence? These are not recipes for every day, after all.
In fact, one of the few criticisms Delia has received over the years is her lack of attention to calories, but weightwatching is not what one goes to her recipes for. Chocolate (with its totally delectable recipes) is as dangerous to the figure as it is mouth-watering. But this is a book that belongs on most cookery shelves. --Barry Forshaw
Delia Smith is a household name and as far as many people are concerned, she is THE goddess of the kitchen. With her foolproof recipes and clear instructions you are guaranteed 100per cent success and it is never a problem to make a dish for a dinner party for the first time, wondering if it will turn out alright or not. It always does. Moving on from her phenomenally successful previous titles, she has amalgamated her recipes into four new cookery books grouped by subject - chicken, chocolate, fish and soup. Lavishly illustrated, they are Delia's personal choice of what she views as the best and most popular recipes. And combining them into individual volumes ensures fast access to a particular recipe rather than ploughing through half a dozen in search of that elusive favourite. Chocoholics will revel in the chocolate fudge cake, four nut chocolate brownies, squidgy chocolate log and frozen chocolate bananas. Comfort eaters will find soups to die for with scallop cream soup, smoked haddock chowder with poached quails' eggs and watercress and buttermilk vichyssoise. For chicken fanciers there is chicken jambalaya, coq au vin and chicken cacciatore and for fish lovers there is chargrilled squid with chilli jam, salmon in champagne sauce and luxury smoked fish pie. These are sure to become bestsellers and it is to be hoped that the collection will grow to include other culinary collections and make it a definitive guide to cooking no cook should be without. - Lucy Watson