I resisted even after seeing that Vegan Chocolate was one of Grant Butler's picks for top vegan cookbooks of 2013 in his "Going Vegan" column at The Oregonian ( there's a recipe there for you...check it out ! ). I Friended the author, Fran Costigan, on Facebook and watched others gush about her recipes. Still....how many books ?
It wasnt until I saw it at the local library, looking lush and substantial...a hard cover book amongst flimsier paperbacks, announcing its presence in elegant script : Vegan Chocolate, Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts The background picture of a deep, dark velvety slice of chocolate cake being served up clinched it. I took it home. And I fell in love. Ordered my own copy from Amazon. Seriously...this book is a tremendous reference for not only selecting, using and storing the best chocolate, but Fran Costigan has also provided us with some fillings and toppings that are pure genius. The Vanilla Custard Cream Filling is worth the price of the book alone. Some of the chapters included are Cookies, Bars and Little Bites; Truffles; Frozen Desserts; Beverages; Pies and Tarts and a special one on Master Recipes where she shares recipes and methods for a lot of basics like glazes, sauces, fillings and even marzipan. She does not skimp on detailed instructions, encouragement and tips. Weights of ingredients are provided along with the usual "cup and spoon" measurements to assist us in succeeding. If you love chocolate and love to cook, you NEED this book. And it doesn't matter how many cookbooks you already own...at least that's what I found out :)
AND as if all that werent enough, there is not a bit of margarine or palm oil used in her recipes. She advocates for using only ethically-sourced chocolate and organic sugars where ever possible. Yay!
On the subject of ethics and chocolate, check out Food Empowerment's new smartphone app for quickly identifying whether certain chocolates are slave-free...I've got it on my phone, and have used it several times...very handy !
Also...Sunspire has some great vegan, fair trade and organic chocolate chips that I've bought at Alfalfa's. I believe Vitamin Cottage carries them as well. I'll update a local chocolate and cocoa buying list in the next few weeks.