Just finished skimming this book (it’s 402 pages!). Â It isÂ fantastic.
I had originally resisted buying it because I thought it was another of those chocolate fluff books that every halfway decent chocolatier feels compelled to write, with a bunch of recipes but no substance. Â From Ewald Notter, I should have known better. Â He is not only an excellent chocolatier, but probably the greatest living expert in sugar decor: he’s won many gold medals in the International Pastry Olympics and in 2001 scored the highest score ever while winning the gold medal in sugar decor. Â His work isÂ stunning, and I have long wanted to go to Orlando, Florida to take one of his sugarcraft or chocolate classes. Â In short, I am a total fangirl. Â (He ain’t bad-looking, either. Â I took a class of his at a chocolate conference once, and I would have enjoyed his lecture – or at least watching him – even if he’d given it in German.)
At any rate, it’s an amazing book, especially for Amazon’s under-$40 price. Â Not only does he cover the theory of chocolatemaking, and provide an amazing collection of interesting flavor recipes, but he also gives detailed instructions for a zillion ways to decorate chocolates – many of which I’d never imagined (or seen!) before. Â Just when I thought I’d seen everything, along comes Ewald Notter to prove me wrong.
In addition to all that, fully half the book is devoted on making chocolate showpieces! Â This is a subject I have long wanted to study, but there were no decent books available. Â This book gives detailed instructions for creating eight or nine showpieces, each pretty in itself, but also demonstrating concepts and techniques that can be used for more complex pieces. Â While the chocolate work isn’t nearly as amazing as his sugar work (chocolate is a much more limited and difficult medium than sugar), damn, it’s spectacular. Â I am super excited, and dying to try it out. Â And I probably will, sometime around October or November, just for the fun of it. Â (Chocolate is so messy that I typically only work with it during chocolate season.)
Wow. Â MouthwateringÂ and educational. Â And under $40. Â Run, do not walk, Â to the computer and order this book, if you are serious about chocolate. Â It’s got a place in my library next to my other two bibles: Peter Greweling’sÂ Chocolate and Confections and Jean-Pierre Wybauw’sÂ Fine Chocolates Great Experience series. I’m amazed, and delighted.
Okay. Â Enough drooling over chocolate! Â Back to work on the Celtic Braid Coat.