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Book review: Le Cordon Bleu Chocolate Bible

30 January 2020 by
Book review: Le Cordon Bleu Chocolate Bible

As we see out the month of moderation, renowned French culinary school Le Cordon Bleu has published the collector's edition of its encyclopaedic tome on everything chocolate, from cakes, tarts and drinks to biscuits, sweets and desserts, bringing together the collectively renowned culinary and educational expertise of the institution.

Le Cordon Bleu has 35 world-leading establishments in 20 countries for culinary arts and hotel management, including one in London since 1931, with culinary programmes for both professionals and amateurs.

The mission of Le Cordon Bleu is to impart the skills and knowledge passed down from the great masters of French cuisine. Today its institutes train more than 20,000 students of 100 different nationalities every year in cuisine, pastry, breadmaking, wine and beverages, nutrition and hospitality management.

This book offers tried and tested classics, such as truffles, brownies and éclairs, as well as more modern interpretations: chocolate religieuses are given a twist of mango, and less common chocolate flavour pairings include coriander, aniseed, matcha and Darjeeling tea.

The Chocolate Bible features 180 recipes from the world's oldest culinary institution, explained by its chef-instructors with step-by-step photographs for techniques such as shaping quenelles, tempering and making decorative collars and flowers. The roses are a real work of art, while the chefs suggest melting chocolate over cabbage to create chocolate leaves, and bubble wrap for honeycomb. Also included are seasonal specials, such as traditional French chocolate fish and two Christmas log options.

Chapters include the aptly named ‘temptingly rich cakes', ‘tarts to die for', ‘mouth-watering mousses and creams', ‘iced desserts and sweet drinks', ‘delicious mouthfuls' and ‘chocolate decorations'.

Recipes are clear, easy to follow, informative and each with their own beautiful photography, as well as a three-tiered ‘difficulty level' and the occasional ‘chef's tip' for recipe additions, freezing advice and decorating suggestions.

Le Cordon Bleu Chocolate Bible

Grub Street Publishing, £35

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