Mocha is the grown-up version of hot chocolate, simply hot chocolate enhanced with a shot of coffee to make the flavor darker and to give the drinker a little more of a pick-me-up than chocolate alone can provide. It’s a relatively simple drink and you wouldn’t think that it could sustain an entire cookbook – but it can and does in Michael Turback’s new cookbook, Mocha.
The small, single-subject cookbook is only about 130 pages long and is devoted to this drink. Now, it doesn’t have just one recipe for a mocha that is dragged out to cover many pages. The book is divided up into several sections: drinks, cocktails and desserts. It also starts off with a chapter discussing why coffee and chocolate make such a good match. The recipes are well-written and, often, quite decadent. They use high-quality, high-flavor ingredients to create some familiar and unusual combinations, like a Chocolate Espresso Martini and a Black and White Espresso Milkshake. The book doesn’t simply stop with the drink recipes, howmany are quite ever. There are lots of recipes for mocha-drinking accessories – candies, like marshmallows, and desserts - that either use mocha themselves or just pair perfectly with it. For instance, you’ll find White Cardamom Marshmallows and Chocolate Chip Donuts.
The recipes in the book were provided or adapted for it by chefs, pastry chefs and chocolatiers (their location/shop is noted at the beginning of each recipe) from notable places around the US. Some of the drinks have won prizes for taste and composition at international barista. As such, the drinks and desserts in this cookbook are not the quick-and-easy type, but more involved and designed to produce the best possible flavor experience. It’s worth the effort to try some of the drinks (don’t worry, even the very complex ones are not difficult to follow) and other desserts, especially if you also like the coffee+chocolate combo.