Book review: The Little Book of Chocolat by Joanne Harris and Fran Warde
If you thought that Joanne Harris’s book Chocolat and the gorgeous film adaptation were tasty treats, then wait till you get your hands on her mouth-watering collection of indulgent chocolate recipes.
It’s 15 years since the publication of Chocolat, the first of an enchanting trilogy, and to celebrate Harris has teamed up with chef and food writer Fran Warde to create the ultimate book of chocolate lore and recipes from around the world.
Inspired by the much-loved story of Vianne Rocher’s decadent French chocolaterie, Harris and Warde’s rich and seductive chocolate dishes are guaranteed to bring a touch of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes magic to your kitchen.
The plot of Chocolat has long tempted readers with its romantic adventures of a mysterious chocolatier and her tantalisingly sensuous chocolate which changes the lives of Lansquenet’s repressed townsfolk.
And now here’s the chance to make your own marbled mendiants, moist black and white chocolate cake, dark, gleaming truffles or spiced hot chocolate with crème Chantilly and chocolate curls.
From cakes and roulades to puddings and tarts and from truffles and macaroons to ice cream and hot chocolate, The Little Book of Chocolat pays scrumptious homage to that most seductive and delicious of ingredients… chocolate.
Harris and Warde have conjured up twists on familiar favourites like Steamed Chocolate Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce, exotic delights like Chilli Chocolate Pots and a sprinkling of French magic in Chocolate Meringue Clouds and the famous on-screen Chocolate Cake of Chocolat’s lead actress Juliette Binoche.
Those who prefer a darker bite can indulge in Petits Innocents and Grimms’ Cherry Cake or a simply divine Chocolate Nougat made with pistachios, almonds or dried cherries.
Harris has added charming notes to accompany each recipe and Warde has made them all easy to follow and fun to make for home cooks and keen amateurs.
The book is packed with exquisite colour photographs to whet your appetite and along with line drawings, quotes from the novel and some fascinating chocolate facts and history, this is recipe heaven for chocoholics.
As Harris notes in her introduction to the book, ‘I was used to thinking of chocolate as a delicious indulgence rather than the stuff of dreams. And yet, there is a real magic to this ancient, mysterious substance.’
Who could possibly resist?
(Doubleday, hardback, £12.99)