4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding. Suitable for all chocolate enthusiasts.,
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This review is from: Couture Chocolate: A Masterclass in Chocolate (Hardcover)
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 pātissière, 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!