The continues the excellent line of Storey Basics titles. Each book in the series is condensed, features illustrations rather than photographs, and is designed to help readers develop beginner to intermediate skills in the topic area. In this book, How to Make Chocolate Candies, author Collins starts with easy fudge and bark and transitions into molded chocolates, truffles, and dipped chocolate candies. The heart is the book is tempering the chocolate while melting to prevent poor taste/texture chocolate results.
The book breaks down as follows: Introduction to chocolate (types, what makes good chocolate), Chocolate candy – making basics (double boiler method, tempering FAQs, tools, storing), Fudge and bark (recipes), Molded chocolates (molds, steps, recipes), Truffles (rolled, dipped, molded), Dipped chocolate candies, resources, index.
The book isn’t about making chocolate – it’s about making chocolate candies. As such, the beginning is about choosing the best chocolate and what to look for when purchasing. Cooking is also covered since temperature of the melted chocolate is so critical to the success of candy recipes. Tips to prevent overly thick, brittle, or flat-tasting chocolate is covered in detail. As well, substitutions for newer cooks who don’t have a lot of tools are included as well.
Fudge is used as a starting point for the actual recipes since it is fairly easy and fool proof. Several recipes are given for different types of fudge; I found them very easy to follow and very tasty as well.
Molded chocolates, truffles, and then dipped chocolates follow. These will require more specific tools to produce (e.g., silicon vs plastic vs tin molds) but they are discussed in detail as well. I found the more advanced chocolates easy to make as well.
Examples of the types of recipes in the book include chocolate covered potato chips, port and almond truffles, candied ginger and cinnamon truffle, milk chocolate lollipops with orange, marshmallow fluff fudge, and chocolate covered nuts or raisins. There is an index of the recipes in the back for quick reference. Specific tips such as roasting the potato chips covered in chocolate also accompany several recipes.
The ending includes a resource list (where to buy great chocolate, for example), metric conversion chart, and index (recipe index is separate).
The book is written in a very no-nonsense and friendly manner. That is the hallmark of the Storey Basics books – no superfluous or unnecessary chatter. Just easy to follow tips, directions, and recipes. I greatly appreciate that and find this series so easy to use.
Reviewed from an ARC.