Saturday, 31 August 2013

'Chocolat' by Eric Lanlard - book review

You only have to look at the front of this book to get the ooh and ahh of the lure of what lies inside, the cake depicted on the front cover looks amazingly decadent with the dribbling and runny white and plain chocolate cascading over the sides.

Inside there are all manner of chapters and each one is chocolate related, from the history of chocolate to working with chocolate to baked goods right through to drinks and sauces. The background to the book is that Eric Lanlard the author (of Cake Boy fame) trained as an apprentice chocolatier when he was training as a pastry chef and from this his love of all things chocolate began.

This book is really well written and put together, almost all the recipes are supported by a photo of the finished recipe on the opposite page. The photography is pretty good and very decadent. The recipes are easy to follow and are pretty straightforward. There really is a wide range of things to make, and a lot of the recipes for sweets, truffles, florentines, shortbreads, biscotti and cookies would make great home baked gifts. I don't want to mention the 'C' word but we had had our last bank holiday until then!

I tried the recipe for the Swiss walnut and chocolate cake on p44,  it was a revelation! I have never thought of putting these two ingredients together (have always loved walnut cake as my mother made them religiously). This cake was really tasty and ideal for afternoon tea, the mix of chocolate and walnuts just works. The recipe calls for the walnuts to be toasted beforehand and this really brings out the flavour in the finished cake. I made a bit of an error by putting the walnuts in the bottom of the cake tin rather than on the top, thats why in the picture above mine looks different to Eric's version. (and I call myself a decent home baker...huh!)

I might add this cake didn't last the afternoon it was gone in a flash, my husband loved it.

Some of the other recipes that caught my eye were for these chocolate and pistachio biscotti...

This amazing chocolate dipping sauce that could be used in so many ways...get your marshmallows ready!

As soon as the autumn pears are in season I am making this, its a pear and chocolate clafoutis...this would be a real show stopper to end a dinner with.

This book will be a great addition to your collection if...
you want to expand you chocolate skills
you are searching for the perfect chocolate cake recipe
you are a chocoholic!

Eric Lanlard's 'Chocolat' is published by Octopus Publishing Group who kindly sent me a copy to review.


  1. I'm a self confessed choc a holic. This look like my idea of heaven. I'm not surprised your cake didn't last long! Adding this to my Christmas wish list :)

  2. Your cake looks delicious!
    I have been avoiding this book for a while now, but it might just have to go on my Christmas wish list, too!

  3. The cake look awesome and caught my eye these chocolate and pistachios biscottis I love them!and love too the mix pears and chocolate:)

  4. Oh well done Sue, nice review. I am feeling so guilty. I've had the book for far too long and although I've baked from it, I still haven't written the promised review :(


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Susan x