Founder of London's Rococo chocolate shop and author of two previous chocolate books, Coady has now unleashed her inexhaustible passion for all things chocolate onto a full-scale cookbook. Coady (who co-founded the standard-bearing Chocolate Society) has made it her personal mission to keep the informed consumer away from "fast chocolate," with its hydrogenated fats and nasty byproducts. Despite its principled stance, this is a highly functional cookbook. It can be used as a chocolate primer-how to make ganache and truffles, how to temper chocolate, how to work with simple molds. But it also contains an intriguing exploration of chocolate as a savory ingredient (a gesture toward chocolate's often overlooked South American origins). Many of these depend on an unexpectedly logical invention: chocolate-balsamic vinegar, the active ingredient in Hangover Fried Eggs; Eggplant, Chocolate and Goat Cheese Pizzettes; and Quick Pan-roasted Chicken with Chocolate Vinegar. Coady also covers surer territory with Classic Mousse, old-fashioned hot cocoa, Chocolate Brownies and an assortment of the usual cakes and cookies. While ingredients can be expensive and not always easy to find (Coady has a ruinous affection for saffron and cocoa nibs, for example), the recipes are generally appealing and straightforward. The photographs are mouthwatering and the design elegant beyond belief-virtual prerequisites for chocolate books. (Feb.)
Coady (The Chocolate Companion; Chocolate: Food of the Gods) acquired an international following with her London chocolate shop, Rococo. Her new, lavishly illustrated book features recipes as well as a history of chocolate and "master classes" on ganache, tempering, and other special techniques. Along with indulgent, mouth-watering desserts and other treats (e.g., drinks such as Chocolate Manhattans), she offers an eclectic selection of savory recipes, from Chocolate Tempura to Pan-Roasted Chicken with Chocolate Vinegar (some of her "nonsweets" may be a bit too exotic for many readers). It's a bit surprising that she doesn't include more information on chocolates with "high cocoa content" (i.e., extra bittersweet and the like) that are increasingly available to consumers. Nevertheless, professionals and other chocolate lovers will find her latest book delectable and a bargain; for most baking collections. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.