Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Simply Chocolate by Cadbury's. Cookbook review
I don't have an early memory of chocolate. I don't have any recollection of when and why I ate chocolate. I cannot remember neither my first bite nor the first time I'd have chocolate milk. These were just constants, something I always taken for granted. We always had drinking chocolate at home, chocolate flavoured malts, or just bits of chocolate that my mother had hidden from us, especially since my sister had melty teeth while growing up.
Was chocolate as important as say Mangoes, coffee, cinnamon of even Strawberry? I don't think so. I think all these flavours were on an equal footing in my house. Dessert in my house meant Jelly, fruits and custard. I think we were quite satisfied with that.
So when did I embrace chocolate as a flavour I loved? I suppose it was first time I'd ever made a dessert on my own - chocolate brownies - when I was about 10 years old.
Post that, I made many chocolate desserts - lamingtons, cakes, cakey chocolate puddings, fudges, sauces - until I grew tired of the flavour. (Which then allowed me to embrace fruit flavours, but that's later). And till date that happens a lot to me - I mean getting tired of chocolate.
Take this March for example. I baked the same chocolate cake 4 times and made so many chocolate desserts, that I couldn't stand the smell of chocolate. I don't think I've lived it down as yet, coz I'm still in my fruit phase
Which is perhaps why I've waited so long to review this book. Since it's called Simply Chocolate, you can imagine it IS all about chocolate.
Even then, I've been wanting to review this book, like forever, especially since I've had this book for over 5 years now. It was part of my farewell presents when I left Chennai and since then I've actually made a lot of things using it as inspiration. But that's not the only reason. This book is not just all about chocolate, but it's all about desserts that are worth creating, no matter what chocolate you use.
Oh and it has the recipe for one of the most phenomenal brownies ever! Dark chocolate, milk chocolate and bits of butter makes it a very decadent treat. But for me, one of the main reason I like this book is that when I'm requested to make something chocolate - it's the book that rescues me from my dilemma.
Divided into categories such as iced desserts, hot puddings, biscuits/cookies and cakes which the difficulties level ranging from beginner to experienced, this book has recipes for a dark chocolate lover, that can catapult you straight into the craving zone.
Some of my favourite recipes from the book, include
1. This deadly chocolate mousse, that's light as air
2. The easter torte, which despite its fancy name is really really simple
3. A chocolate almond cake. (Aah, true decadence)
The other thing I like about this book is it's simple language and ingredients. Neither of which are daunting or scary. In fact, while it has a whole range methods - you don't want eggs? No problem there's a recipe for you. You don't have milk chocolate? No problem, plenty of dark chocolate recipes in the kitty.
The only downside with this book is that it doesn't have enough pictures. A few, but not enough to figure out how the end result is actually supposed to look. Even then this slim book, manages to pack some outstanding ideas and recipes. And if you're a cookbook collector like me, you've got to have it in your kitty.
Available in India, US and UK