Thursday, March 20, 2008

Holiday Treats: Green & Black’s Chocolate Recipes

Almost everyone knows that the true meaning of Easter is… chocolate. (If this interpretation shocks you, you’ve seriously come to the wrong place.)

A lifetime of Easter Creme Eggs; of annual garden hunts for chocolate treats of various description; of family meals focused on all sorts of action, but hinged on a chocolate-laden dessert has taught many of us everything we need to know about Easter: the holiday is the celebration of spring in many cultures and it culminates in the exchange and enjoyment of that sweet, dark, sensuous treat.

The beauty of this reading of the holiday is obvious: if Easter is really about chocolate, there is no religious axe to grind, no debts to pay, nothing to prove. There is only the celebration, and chocolate is on our minds. And if all of this is true, there is no better book for this particular celebration than Green & Black’s Chocolate Recipes (Kyle Books), first published (to great fanfare) in 2004, now available in a revised edition. If you’re a chocolate fan, or even have a strong sweet tooth, a single trip through the book will push all the other Easter silliness right out of your head. Perhaps for good.

My favorite recipe for the season is Mayan Gold Stolen. This is rich, decadent, beautiful: dried fruit, marzipan, yeast dough and chocolate and chocolate and chocolate. I was blown away by the easy no-bake elegance of Konditor & Cook’s Chocolate Cookie Cake. The over-the-top complication of Sunday Chocolate Cake (complicated enough, I admit, that I’ve not tried this one: just drooled over it).

And though the sweet’s are the highlight, it would be possible (a stretch, but possible) to do your entire Easter menu from these pages: especially if you’re not that into vegetables. How about Swedish Chocolate Coffee Lamb; Italian Venison Agrodolce or Mole Poblano de Guajolote (dark chile, nut and chocolate mole with turkey)?

The book is beautifully executed and while the recipes aren’t necessarily for beginning cooks, all of them are manageable.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Melanie said...

Ok, I'm going to go get this one, as I agree, the meaning of Easter is definitely chocolate!

Friday, March 21, 2008 at 12:17:00 PM PDT  

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