Possibly one of the best books to be produced about making and enjoying chocolate in its many forms. Until I read the book I had never realised there was quite so much detail involved and so many genuine variations possible, and not just with 'chocolates'. And then Curley takes us up to a higher level with the mouth watering pictures illustrating his creations, one almost wants to lick the pages.
He begins with the simplest variants, and most of these are possible with ordinary home kitchen equipment. But then as we work through the sections the degrees of difficulty are increased with the ever more exotic treats on offer from across the whole world. Special equipment is detailed for us, as are some very interesting techniques. This is a complete tutorial if you have the enthusiasm, stamina, and time for lots of practice to hone the skills, but remember that some natural talent is also needed to be able to get close to Curley's standards.
I've been a random buyer of his chocolates for a few years, always taking pot luck on the selection knowing I will not be disappointed; every time I pass one of his shops I am drawn in, and leave happier even if significantly poorer. Fortunately, now with this book in hand it is possible to attempt to re-create some of our favourites without leaving home. Of course none of us is going to achieve his level of perfection, but this is an excellent guide leading us through to what is possible. I can foresee many more happy sticky months of experimentation and licking fingers.
Couture Chocolate has received many awards already from the industry, and now having read it I can confirm they are justified. A very solid five gold stars is well deserved.
Addendum. 11th June 2013 After a few months of experimentation I came to the conclusion that I lacked the talent to be able to work around the difficulties I found in sourcing the right ingredients of a high enough quality. Fortunately Honourable No.1 Daughter (who is a skilled pâtissière, intuitive baker and a very artistic cake decorator) then took over the book, and has quickly learned from Curley's techniques to produce some stunningly delicious original flavours and textures in mouth watering chocolates which look irresistible. So it can be done!
The first book of hopefully many, William is giving us all a masterclass in all things chocolate, truly sensational, some of the best recipes and ideas around. William manages to make it simple in its explanations, making things very easy to follow. This is a remarkable book both in its recipes and design, the publisher has chosen a master in his field and she has used her talents with the photographer to give us a stunning book. A must have book for any professional kitchen, let’s hope we see a lot more tarragon and mustard ganache and rosemary and olive oil chocolates.
I have been a HUGE fan of Team Curley for the last 5 years. I am a constant visitor to the Belgravia store and I never leave disappointed. My son has taken part in 4 children's chocolate making courses over the years and is a huge fan also. We have this book and it is our go to recipe book for my sons favourite Muscavado Caramels and Chocolate Loaf. We have made another few recipes from the book, the Millionaire Shortbread is the family favourite. I always purchase my Amedei chocolate from William Curleys also, when making the best you need to use the best ingredients.
AS a working chef with a strong interest in pastry work, this book gives answers to many fine techniques needed to master the art of chocolate work. As a reference book it has all the qualities that you need, and its stunning photo work and guide steps are invaluable. Like The Roux Brothers on patisserie many years ago, if you can master the work in this book, you will be on your way to being a very fine patissier indeed. Brilliant!
If your a young aspiring pastry chef/chocolatier then this book is the one for you. This book covers a wide variety of different recipes, such as sea salt caramel tarts, chocolate cakes, match a shortbread, caramel mou, amazing variety of different chocolates etc. The good thing about this book is there's a recipe for the home cook, to the more advanced pastry chef level. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone with a keen interest in pastry!
Wow and a thousand times wow. This is every chocolate lover's dream book. It is without doubt the best book on chocolate I have ever seen or am ever likely to see. I love it so much. Every one should have their own copy. The recipes are wonderful and the photography does it all justice - this is photography and the art of cooking at its very best.
This is a true masterclass in chocolate - learn all about chocolate; make truffles, bars, bites, cakes, ice cream and more - all with chocolate. William conjures new flavours and exciting recipes. I can honestly say hand on heart that I want not only to make every single recipe in this book but also to eat it all. If this is death by chocolate, please let me die slowly, savouring every mouthful. Absolutely brilliant and may it continue to gather more awards. Surely William is our finest chocolatier. I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed this book and how much I shall enjoy making some of those chocolate concoctions. This review first appeared on welovefinefoods.
I would highly recommend this book! Like William Suzue's second book 'Patisserie' the photography throughout is spectacular, every thing looks mouth wateringly delicious, I wish I could make it all! Being able to try making the products I so often purchase is great, as well as there being a huge array of new and interesting creations. Best chocolate book on the market.
I had been waiting a while for this book to be published. I have other chocolate books, but nothing as beautiful as this book. The photography is lovely with informative and explained descriptions and instructions. A definite must buy for those that adore chocolate and want unusual recipes, for cakes, desserts and chocolates. A great purchase !