Chocolate.  The word melts in your mouth and summons up pictures of gooey cakes, steaming hot chocolate, and freshly dipped candies. 

Chocolate bliss : sensuous recipes, spa treatments, and other divine indulgences
by Susie Norris.
New York : Celestial Arts, 2009.
Need more chocolate in your life? CHOCOLATE BLISS is a celebration of all things chocolate: types and flavors, health and beauty benefits, origins, baking secrets, ecological influences, and gifting delights. With must-have recipes like Fudgey Hearts of Darkness, antioxidant-rich offerings like Blueberry Cocoa Nib Crumble, and luxurious indulgences like Salty Chocolate Body Scrub, there’s no reason not to treat yourself–and your friends–to the chocolate life.
Absolutely chocolate : irresistible excuses to indulge
from the editors of Fine cooking ; photography by Anna Williams.
Newtown, CT : Taunton Press, c2009.
For years, most cooks only worried about choosing between semi-sweet and milk chocolate when whipping up chocolate creations. These days, however, its vital to know the origins, varieties, and unique characteristics of chocolates available. The experts at Fine Cooking magazine have taken the guesswork out of making more than 125 scrumptious sensations from layer cakes, tarts, and pies to muffins, cookies, and brownies to candies, sauces, and hot cocoa. Each recipe features must-know tips on choosing and buying just the right chocolate; step-by-step, cant-fail instructions; and authoritative advice from Americas most respected experts. In other words, Absolutely Chocolate is absolutely fabulous!
Chocolate : a love story : 65 chocolate dessert recipes from Max Brenner's private collection
Max Brenner ; artwork by Yonatan Factor.
New York, NY : Little, Brown, 2009.
This vibrant new cookbook includes 65 original recipes narrated in Brenner's quirky, captivating voice. Bold, original illustrations, full-color photographs, and delicious recipes make this book a must for every chocolate lover.
Chocolate galore
Caroline Barty.
London : Spruce, c2008.
Chocolate Galore will reaffirm your belief that chocolate is one of life's perfections, no matter what its guise: whether cake, truffle, ice-cream, mousse, roulade, macaroon, or pudding. This comprehensive collection of chocolate recipes is an excellent library of all-time classics and firm favorites that will have the whole family pleading for more. Author Caroline Barty has added a number of innovative and tantalizing recipes that explore the latest taste sensations--mixing the likes of chilli, pepper, turmeric and other exotic spices to create a new realm of chocolate flavors. In Chocolate Galore, you'll find recipes for the ubiquitious double chocolate chip cookie and triple chocolate brownie as well as an exciting version for a layered white chocolate cheesecake, choc-swirled banana bread and choc granita.
Deep, dark chocolate : decadent recipes for the serious chocolate lover
by Sara Perry [with Jane Zwinger] ; photographs by France Ruffenach.
San Francisco : Chronicle Books, c2008.
Dark chocolate lovers will fall head over heels for each of the more than 60 indulgent recipes in Deep Dark Chocolate. Everyday treats include Black Magic Chocolate Espresso Cookies and Crunchy Nut Bittersweet Caramel Bars while fancy delights like Papa Haydn's Chocolate Gateau and Little Chocolate Cheesecake with Mocha Affogato offer up irresistible decadence. Whether the recipe calls for bittersweet or semisweet chocolate cocoa nibs cocoa beans or all of them together everyone at the dinner table will be saving room for dessert! With gorgeous chocolate-drenched photographs and a quick primer that reveals the essentials about this highly sought after treat (it's high in healthy antioxidants!) Deep Dark Chocolate keeps the bittersweet-tooth forever satisfied.

The five types of chocolate - unsweetened, sweetened dark, white, milk chocolate, and cocoa - all come from the seeds of the cacao, a tree found in tropical countries near the equator. 

After harvesting, the seeds are cleaned, roasted, hulled, blended and ground.  During the grinding process cocoa butter is released from the seeds.  This mixture of the cacao seed and cocoa butter produces the chocolate liquor found in chocolate products (except white chocolate made with only cocoa butter). 

Cooks look for new ways to include each type of chocolate in their menus.  Dessert recipes may be the most popular, but other delicious dishes mean chocolate indulgences can be served at every course.  Consider:

  • Appetizers
    Chocolate cheese ball or Chocolate fondue
  • Main courses 
    Turkey mole or Beef chili with chocolate
  • Breads 
    Chocolate sticky loaf or Cocoa pancakes
  • Desserts 
    Death by Chocolate cake or Chocolate sorbet
  • Drinks
    Milk shakes or Iced mocha

Chocolate is for more than eating.  Use it to create beautiful decorations or to surprise friends and loved ones with memorable gifts. 

  • Add decoration to a cake by topping it with chocolate-dipped almonds, create chocolate ribbons or make easy chocolate roses. 
  • Chocolate heart-shaped box

    Consider making chocolate wreaths or heart-shaped boxes.  Imagine the rave reviews from someone receiving delicious homemade deep dark fudge in a decorated basket made with white chocolate.

Throughout the years chocolate has been considered the 'gift of the gods' and provided substance for quotes such as "There is nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate" (L. Grayson).   It takes just a taste, look, or smell of chocolate to evoke these sentiments. 

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff