The Chocolate Spoon: Italian Sweets from the Silver Spoon

Phaidon. Sept. 2023. 344p. ISBN 9781838667092. $49.95. COOKING
The staff at the Silver Spoon, whose guide to authentic Italian cooking The Silver Spoon was first published in 1950, now focus on the sweeter side of the kitchen with an in-depth survey of making and baking chocolate treats. Opening with a historical and scientific survey of the food of the gods (aka Theobroma cacao), the authors then take readers step by step through the process of melting, tempering, and manipulating chocolate. A selection of 100 clearly formatted, easily accessible recipes follow, including simple desserts like gianduja cake as well as elaborate showstoppers such as white chocolate and raspberry bonbons. Given that a marble pastry board is considered de rigueur, cooks content to dabble in brownies can safely give this a pass, but anyone else wishing to seriously hone their chocolate culinary chops will want to invest in this chicly packaged guide to working with chocolate the Italian way.
VERDICT There is no dearth of excellent works dedicated to chocolate cookery, including Alice Medrich’s groundbreaking Bittersweet and Le Cordon Bleu Chocolate Bible, but this book earns its own well-deserved spot on cookbook shelves in homes and libraries.
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