Chocolate…one of my favourite things! Melted, baked, coated or in bar, I LOVE chocolate! I picked this book up simply because it has a spoon dipped in chocolate on the cover…I know, judging a book and all that! I have no intention of taking cacao beans on their strenuous and fascinating journey to the delicious substance I enjoy but, that in no way limited my experience and appreciation for The Art and Craft of Chocolate by Nathan Hodge. He reveals to the reader the historical, scientific and practical nature of chocolate! I learnt far more than I expected and am now even more attached to the tasty stuff as well as motivated to advocate for the people who produce it. I’ll be paying more attention to my chocolate source and make up. Nathan shares exactly how to take your bean to the chocolate you love, it sounds wonderfully detailed and he shares cultural and different recipes to try out! If you are a lover of chocolate, and want to get to know it better, this is the book for you! Highly recommended and five out five! I do, however, recommend having chocolate, in several forms, near to hand whilst reading it though…it’s hungry work!

Interesting facts included:

“In fact, this tree loves the tropics so much that it refuses to grow outside of 20 degrees north or south of the equator…less than 28 percent of the world’s total landmass sits within this latitude. We’re talking about only around 8 percent of the globe that even qualifies for growing cacao.”

“…the cacao tree cannot be pollinated by a bee, like a normal plant, but instead relies on a tiny fly called a midge to pollinate it’s flowers…only the flies that grow larger than two millimeters are large enough to carry the pollen”

“…the average income for a cocoa farmer in Ivory Coast and Ghana was [in 2016] less that $0.70 per person per day.”

Recipes I plan to experiment with:

Lavender Chocolate Ice Cream

Flourless Cardamom Chocolage Cake

Chocolate-dipped Pecan Shortbread Hearts

From the back cover:

For centuries, chocolate has been used for many purposes all over the world: from a currency during the Mayan empire, to homemade beverages consumed by farm workers in Central America for energy, as well as tortillas and moles in Mexican cuisine.

In The Art and Craft of Chocolate, world-renowned chocolatier Nathan Hodge shows how to hack the basic principles of chocolate-making at home using tools as simple as a food processor, a hair dryer, or a double boiler. In addition, he offers recipes for traditional moles from different regions of Mexico; traditional mayan chocolate drinks; cocoa as a meat rub; and various baked goods.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Quarto Publishing Group – Quarry through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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