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There’s nothing better than curling up on the sofa with a good book – and even better if the book is about chocolate…
There’s nothing so satisfying as getting lost in a good book. They can transport you to another world, or take your hand as you delve into an exciting subject. Here at Hotel Chocolat, we consider ourselves as experts in chocolate, but we’re humble enough to know there’s always more to learn!
We’ve taken a look at some of the best chocolate books. They’ll make great gifts for the cacao-devotees in your life or fit in perfectly on your bookshelf. Just whip up a hot chocolate in your Velvetiser, and get stuck in!
Non-fiction chocolate books
A selection of books to help you understand the history and composition of chocolate. Become a true chocolate connoisseur!
The Secret Life of Chocolate
Turn the pages of this book and transport yourself back in time. You’ll find yourself surrounded by a humid, sticky rainforest and stepping into the Pre-Incan era, where cacao was so revered it was used as currency. It was a time where cacao was consumed as a medicine, as a health tonic, and as a way to connect with the gods.
Author Marcos Patchett is a medical herbalist who dives into the ancient history of human’s connection with the cacao plant. You’ll discover the pharmacological properties of chocolate and understand why the cacao bean has remained such a precious commodity for millennia.
The Meaning of Chocolate
We couldn’t help but mention our own contribution to chocolate literature! The Meaning of Chocolate is a calorie-free way to indulge yourself in the world of chocolate. Each page contains a witty or thought-provoking musing on chocolate to whet your curiosity – and your appetite!
Cacao releases endorphins when you eat it, making you feel happier and more positive. Even though this book isn’t for eating, we believe the mysterious powers of Theobroma cacao have rubbed off onto the pages to put a smile on your face with every read.
Chocolate – Indulge your inner Chocoholic
This visually rich ode to chocolate is a decadent exploration of chocolate, from the cacao plant through to the chocolate bar in your hand. Dip your toes into the chocolate-making process, learn high-level tasting techniques and experiment with cacao-inspired flavour combinations.
Take the step from chocoholic to connoisseur with this vibrant and visually stunning book. It might leave you peckish though, so we’d recommend accompanying it with a good bar of chocolate!
Chocolate books for cooking and recipes
Sometimes reading about chocolate just isn’t enough. For those who like to throw on an apron and get messy, here is our selection of chocolate recipe books. We’ve also got a blog on the best ways to cook with chocolate if you’re in a hurry!
America’s Test Kitchen
This one will cover all your culinary bases! It touts itself as A Decadent Collection of Morning Pastries, Nostalgic Sweets and Showstopping Desserts, so you can pick and choose a recipe that suits your mood. Try anything from perfectly-chewy-but-crispy chocolate chip cookies to devilishly dark and sophisticated chocolate tortes.
Full of helpful culinary tips with each recipe, say goodbye to lumpy sauces or dry pastry shells. Live your pastry chef dream.
A New Way of Cooking with Chocolate
Though we tend to associate cocoa with ‘sweet’, its heritage lies in savoury foods. To show how versatile the cacao bean really is, we’ve pioneered “cocoa cuisine”. At Hotel Chocolat, we’re proud to have pioneered “cacao cuisine”. We’ll show you how the bean’s complex and multifaceted tasting notes can add depth and indulgence to a wide range of recipes. Many of these recipes form part of the menu at Rabot 1745, our restaurant nestled in the gastronomic hub of Borough Market.
You’ll discover over 100 innovative chocolate recipes in this book, from well-known sweet treats to exciting savoury combinations you might not have considered before. Find out how to make the most of the whole bean, from nib to powder to bar in classic recipes and exciting new ones!
Chocolate at Home
Will Torrent is a master patissier and he created Chocolate at Home to allow anybody to create fabulous chocolate creations at home. You’ll acquire vital chocolate skills, such as tempering, moulding and making the perfect ganache, as well as a compendium of exciting recipes.
Let Torrent teach you the basics to cooking with chocolate, and then try them out for yourself. Start with Raspberry Jelly and Peanut Truffles and then move onto a spiced White Chocolate and Blackcurrant Crumble Cake. With this book in your hands, you’ll wow your dinner guests every time!
We hope this list has your new favourite book on it. We have been working with chocolate for decades. It’s given us an in-depth understanding of the journey from cacao bean to chocolate bar. This knowledge helps us savour the delightful flavours of all of our cacao creations, from our Single Origin chocolate to our selection of quirky and classic Selectors.
Become a chocolate connoisseur of your own making with a cacao-inspired bookshelf addition. Whichever one you choose, tag us on social media and let us know what you’ve learnt!