Chococo is a chocolate baking book from the Dorset based artisan chocolate company of the same name. It’s attractively presented with attractive styling and graphics. The opening pages give some useful background to the company and working with chocolate.
The truffles in the opening “Truffles and Treats” chapter would all make nice handmade gifts as would the chocolate slabs and salami included alongside.
Citing Bill “Grainger” [sic] as a food hero is an embarrassing spelling error ahead of an adaption of one of the Australian chef’s recipes. The “Cakes and Bakes” chapter is the weakest chapter with a lurid red and green tinted “Surprise Cake” and some very ordinary muffins. Things do pick up however with three tempting brownie recipes, notably the “very berry cheesecake brownies”.
The first couple of cookie recipes in confused mish mash chapter “Cookies, Biscuit Cakes and Drinks” did not impress me. Indeed the red splattered white chocolate and raspberry ones are most un-photogenic. However this chapter redeems itself with more sophisticated “double chocolate shortbread”, playful “orange choccie dodgers” (a twist on traditional jammie dodgers), and swirly patterned ginger marble cake biscuit bars.
An intriguing German recipe for “lukullus” features a tiered stack of almond biscuits layered with chocolate paste. (Incidentally, I googled “lukullus recipe” to find out more. It’s also a brand name for dog food.)
The desserts chapter is my favourite with “crowns of passion” featuring chocolate shells filled with white chocolate mousse, whole cherry filled “wild thing chocolate fondants” and memorable “Blackstrap Harry Tart with Rum-sozzled Raisins” named after a Dorset pirate. That said, this chapter also features pallid numbers such as the nutmeg-spiced chocolate cheesecake and honeyed rhubarb chocolate fool which look less visually appealing.
Verdict: Overall it’s a pretty book but the contents are not consistently great. There are some real hits and a good range of recipes but a disappointing number of mediocre entries to flick past on the way.
With thanks to Ryland Peters & Small for the review copy.
This review was originally published on Amazon. If you found it useful please click through to it here and mark as “useful”. Thanks!
Forever Nigella 4 is currently being hosted by Mardi at Eat Live Travel Write. The theme is “Street Party”. For more details read the current announcement post here.
Hotel Chocolat Ostrich Easter Egg – my fabulous giveaway is still open until midnight Sunday 17th April. Have you entered yet? Visit this post to be in with a chance of winning this whopper.
Sanjeeta kk says
Love the name Chcoco! Am sending the entry for the event.
I absolutely love your reviews whether film or book and I am so glad that you are never cowed into saying only what is positive but giving an honest, objective review. I recently received a small book about French chocolate and the first thing I noticed was the very famous Maison du Chocolat’s name mispelled! Oy that is a big mark against a book! This book does sound like a mish mash but if there are even a few good chocolate recipes inside I would probably love going through it. Yum Hotel Chocolate Chocolates!
Sarah, Maison Cupcake says
Oohh what a lovely thing to say… I may have to quote you on that if I ever get round to having a list of testimonies!!
I love Chococo chocolate so really interested to read this review. I do sometimes wonder how people choose their chapter headings nowadays – as you say, ‘Cookies, Biscuit Cakes and Drinks’ does seem like a slightly random selection! If you ever fancy making and posting the ginger marble cake biscuit bars I’d love to give them try 🙂