A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to two book launches in one night. Valhrona launched ‘Cooking With Chocolate’ with a lavish event at Claridges, and William Curley launched this book at a much more intimate event in his Belgravia shop.
As events go, I preferred the more relaxed atmosphere (and better cakes) of William’s event, but of course the only thing that really matters is the book. And this is one of the most beautiful, stylish and exciting chocolate books I’ve seen.
Not only is the book packed with beautiful photos, but it’s a masterclass in chocolate making and patisserie
Like many chocolate books, Couture Chocolate starts with the basics, explaining the different varieties of cacao and where it grows, before moving on to techniques such as tempering and making ganaches. Everything is illustrated with beautiful photos, many of which show William going through each step so you can actually see how it should be done.
The book goes into an incredible amount of detail when talking about technique. This isn’t just a basic recipe book, it’s a step by step guide to making amazing chocolates and patisserie. But Curley doesn’t just give away techniques, there are recipes for some of his best selling couture chocolates too.
Granted, you’re probably not going to become the next William Curley just by reading this book, but for budding chocolatiers, it’s the best guide I’ve seen.
But it doesn’t stop at chocolates and truffles. The book shows you how to make the most stunning patisseries and drinks, and it’s all explained in plain English and illustrated with beautiful photos. Couture Chocolate might be the book that finally inspires me to have a go at creating my own chocolates after five years of writing about them.
I simply love this book. William Curley not only gives away some of his greatest secrets, but demystifies the process by explaining everything so clearly.
If you’re at all interested in making your own chocolates or patisserie, then I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s an essential addition to every chocolate lover’s library.
Couture Chocolate By William Curley. 224 pages, published Jacqui Small, RRP £30.