Since I first saw this book in our local Oxfam shop in Dublin I’ve been having lustful thoughts about it. Green & Black’s produce fabulous organic Fair Trade chocolate – their spice/orange Maya Gold bar heading the list of my all time favourite chocolates – and the photos that I saw on a brief browse through the book were mouth-watering. It’s taken some time but I finally bought my own copy and my first impressions did not deceive.
Unwrapped, subtitled From the Cacao Pod to Muffins, Mousses and Moles, is, as it says, all about chocolate and its uses, both sweet and savoury. There are several recipes for delectable gooey brownies (Chocolate and Cherry Brownies, Celebration Brownies), a couple of variations on flourless chocolate cakes – Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake, Polenta Chocolate Cake – and lots of tempting savoury dishes, including a highly intriguing recipe for Gorgonzola with Dark Chocolate. There’s also a recipe for Vodka Chilli Chocolates that feeds directly into my current chocolate/chilli fixation – with the added boost of the vodka involvement.
This is a celebration of chocolate in its every shape and form but where it differs from other cookbooks, is in its attention to the detail of the cacao bean production and the merits of Fair Trade. Pictures of the cacao bean growing in its natural environment and of the people that cultivate it are dispersed throughout the book, adding another level of interest to what is already a fascinating book. I can’t believe I waited so long to buy it.
Unwrapped: Green and Black’s Chocolate Recipes edited by Caroline Jeremy is published by Kyle Cathie.