This 80 page book has one focus: making chocolate truffles. To help the reader find success in making what we know as a specialty item requiring time and skill, the author packs a lot of detail and information into the text. The author has some finesse in taking detailed information and breaking it down into bite-sized, easily digestible pieces. The first fifteen pages are devoted to the exploration of ingredients, equipment, and the knowledge needed to work with chocolate. Essential information and vocabulary are covered, including the differences between chocolates, what couverture is, how to store chocolate, how to make praline, tempering chocolate, and dipping methods. The truffle recipes themselves cover the entire range between the classic chocolate truffle to the exotically flavored. Additionally, the author adds recipes in which one can use any leftover chocolate including molded chocolate and bark.
I found this book to be very readable, and reasonable in its expectations. While the author gives her preference for real vanilla bean, she also gives the conversion for those who prefer, or need to use vanilla extract. The writing style is clean and easy to understand. To help those who want to use excellent ingredients, the author includes a list of sources for ingredients at the back of the book. My only complaint about this book is that nearly every recipe calls for couverture, the European specialty coating chocolate, and does not give any alternatives, but also does not spell out which sources carry this essential item. This leaves the reader to hunt down the best source for couverture themselves, although a web search bring up immediate options for doing so.
Overall I can recommend this book for anyone interested in making high quality chocolate truffles at home. (4.5 out of 5 rating).
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