There is certainly no shortage of recipes that use chocolate when it comes to baked goods, and there are plenty of chocolate-oriented cookbooks out there to choose from, so it can sometimes be difficult to recognize a good one on sight. The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbookis one that you can get away with choosing based on its name alone. Ghirardelli has been one of the most famous names in American chocolate for over 150 years. It is also one of the few chocolate companies in the US to make their products from beans to finished bars. In short, they know their chocolate. More relevant here is the fact that they also know what to do with their chocolate and are passing some of their recipes along in this lovey cookbook.
The book has 80 chocolate recipes, roughly 1/3 of which are beautifully illustrated with photographs, ranging from chocolate sauces to cookies to candies. What I like about them is that, like the recipes on Ghirardelli’s website (there may be some overlap here, I did not check), they are well written and accessible. By this I mean that chocolate can be a complicated ingredient to work with – it burns easily, it can seize up, it can “bloom” when trying to use it to coat candies – and the way that the instructions are presented is clear and should prevent, or avoid, any problems in making the recipes. On top of that, every one should be delicious (again, assuming that my previous success with their recipes continues to hold true!).
In addition to the recipes, there are many pages dedicated to general information about working with chocolate and the properties of different types of chocolate. Facts about and old photos from Ghirardelli history are sprinkled throughout, as well.