Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Review: Chocolate- A Love story

Well.....the UPS man dropped off this ARC earlier this week.  I don't dislike chocolate, but I confess that I am by no means a chocaholic, so I thought this might spur me to dive more into this delicious (and good for you) ingredient.

This is a cookbook....there is very little text except for the recipes themselves.  It comes appropriately blurbed on the back cover by Paula Dean and John Travolta and Kelly Preston.

My husband always had chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for his birthday, a habit we've kinda gotten out of these past years.  Now I have the recipe for "my lost childhood chocolate birthday cake sprinkled with shiny colorful candy tears" (lower case is from the author!), and it looks like something I might be able to assemble although I've never tried to make chocolate ganache....

I myself could go for the 'therapeutic chocolate pot pie with a rich filling of soul-refreshing strawberries' least it comes with a picture to tempt me.  And herein lies my big problem with this book: While the recipes are yummy looking, clearly written and come with 3-4 lines of 'teaser text', the pictures are IMHO AWFUL.  I am not an art deco person, and when I pick up a cookbook, I want to see a picture of what this is supposed to look like when I'm finished mixing all these ingredients together.  I don't want to see something that looks like a 1st grader made it from torn construction paper.

There's chocolate rice pudding, meaningless sweet spaghetti, and bad-boy chocolate pizza. And then there's 'miltary porridge' with the following introduction:
My love, three years have passed since I last saw you.  So many things are changing around me and the war seems endless.  Only this late afternoon ritual, standing in the long line of soldiers in front of the huge aluminum saucepans covered with steam leaves me with the feeling that after all there are some things that never change in life.  Still waiting for your letter.
This is on a page opposite a very tacky art deco sillouette of helmets atop rifles, with a tank and a missile in the background.  Ok...what pray tell does that have to do with food?  The recipe appears to be a semolina  bowl of grits/polenta type gruel, topped with sugar, water, heavy cream, stirred together to make a toffee sauce, and sprinkled with milk choc chips...I guess we have to be there.
In spite of its avant garde-ness, it's a fun book.  If you don't mind the illustrations, and you love chocolate, this is the book for you.  It definitely fills a void in my cookbook collection.   I just wish it weren't so gosh darn UGLY.  Now I just have to make sure my membership is in good standing at the Y!

Many thanks to Hachette Books for the review copy.


  1. I've been having a love affair with chocolate for years; it's my fav food group, in fact. I'm going to have to get this one!

  2. I must admit I am very fond of chocolate. very.


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