Baking| The Le Cordon Bleu Chocolate Bible … Chocolate Creme Brulee & a review!

“Chocolate arouses as much passion among pastry chefs as it does fondness among chocolate lovers.”
Patrick Martin, Chocolate Bible

Chocolate Creme BruleeIf there is one Bible you need this holiday season, it’s got to be the Le Cordon Bleu Chocolate Bible. A book that I first saw when I went to attend the LCB pastry workshop last month, amongst their other 2 publications – The LCB Cook’s Bible,  and LCB Desserts. I have had the LCB Cook’s Bible for a while now, a book which is in effect a culinary bible of how to cook. It is my ready reckoner from basics like eggs, milk, cream, dairy, to more involved stuff like spatchcocking a chicken, to making the perfect omelet etc. It includes also garnishes, presentation, serving suggestions … if there is a culinary question, the answers most likely in there!

Calling all chocoholics!

Le Cordon Bleu’s Chocolate Bible has arrived, showcasing over 160 recipes of chocolate heaven. Released October 2010, the Chocolate Bible is an English translation of the highly successful Petit Larousse du Chocolat, now offering Anglophones the chance to try their hand at Le Cordon Bleu’s decadent delights. From tarts to truffles, cakes to creams, this step by step guide is a must-have for chocolate lovers.

When I saw the Chocolate Bible at the Le Cordon Blue Pastry Workshop I was invited to attend, I was enamored by it, and am delighted to review it. It’s a book that every chocolate lover must have. The English edition is published by Carroll and Brown.

Chocolate Creme BruleeA lot of my readers write in to me asking for cookbook suggestions, especially here in India, as home baking is breaking new ground. This one book is a chocolate lovers dream, a book with recipes you can recreate, and easily so. The instructions are clear and simple. It’s not an overwhelmingly overdose of chocolate in any way. It is a sweet reaffirmation of the quote “9 out of 10 people like chocolate. The 10th person always lies“. I have seen self proclaimed chocolate haters, cross over and enjoy a good chocolate dessert, testimony to the charm and temptation this quintessential ingredient holds.Chocolate Creme BruleeThe Le Cordon Bleu Chocolate Bible is a simple book without complicated techniques and exotic ingredients. It works on a basic premise that good quality basic ingredients, using basic equipment can turn out a delicious and creative recipe. In the book, the LCB chefs share their knowledge and techniques through a variety of recipes which are easy to reproduce by anyone, no matter what her or his level of skill might be.  It allows you to experience the charm of chocolate in all possible ways, offering something suitable for every occasion.

Chocolate Creme BruleeThe book is divided into mouthwatering sections beginning with Temptingly Rich cakes, Tarts to Die For, Mouth-Watering Mousses & Creams, Iced Desserts & Sweet Drinks, Teatime Treats to Share…and ends with Delightful Mouthfuls! Each section begins with ‘The best way to - make a basic ganaché…, prepare pastry dough…, prepare a chocolate meringue…,fill éclairs…, temper chocolate etc. It’s a book worth owning and diving in to!  All along, it offers valuable tips and suggestions, picture tutorials for pastry making, working with chocolate, making garnishes, chocolate shavings, praline paste …. I could go on and on.Chocolate Creme BruleeI chose to try 3 recipes from the book on Boxing Day and I managed all 3 that afternoon. Was as simple as that. It might have taken even lesser time had i not stopped to run back & forth taking pictures. Ah well…that’s part of my culinary adventures, and another reason why I love the book so. The pictures are amazing, each say a 1000 words. The recipes I tried … first the Chocolate Creme Brulee because I needed a really quick and simple dessert that night. This was just the thing, and was soon in the oven. I began to ponder about ways to use up the egg whites I had on hand. The brulee needed 4 egg yolks, and I knew the whites would find their way home one way or the other. A quick look at the index and I knew Chocolate Meringues {with a chocolate Chantilly cream & strawberries} were a great choice. Chocolate Creme BruleeWe had folk coming over for dinner in a few days, and these beauties could be made and stored in an air tight box for weeks in advance! Luxury for someone like me who loves advance planning. Brulee done and cooling, in went my little nests, to be baked for an hour.  I still had time on hand, so was egged on to turn more pages. Teatime was here and there was something charming about these Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Biscuits. Going by the picture, they were like cookies I had never baked before. The dough needed to be rolled and chilled for an hour, the perfect time frame for me, while the meringues baked in a low oven. Such fun juggling time slots! I was out of powdered sugar, so I took the Bibles suggestion and rolled the cookie dough cylinders in cocoa. Chocolate Creme BruleeAm glad I did because it provided great contrast and visual appeal. For me, food which looks good is very pleasing to the eye and palette; a pleasure to serve. A  little note: I found that the suggested baking times for all 3 recipes fell slightly short of the actual time taken. The creme brulee was nowhere set in 20 minutes, and a quick reference to the brulee recipe in INDULGE – 100 Perfect Desserts by Claire Clark had me cranking the oven temperature to 150C and baking the brulees for a further 15 minutes. The meringues also baked for 30 minutes longer to get them crisp dry. The cookies took 17 minutes as against the suggested 10 minutes.

Chocolate Creme BruleeI would probably put this discrepancy down to calibrated vs non calibrated ovens. Professional ovens in test kitchens and the resultant timings are often different from home ovens. Also, the oven I recently bought is one imported from the UK and its baking function works just on the lower element. As with most baking books, I always take the suggested time as a rough guideline, so all was well.Chocolate Creme BruleeOn the whole, the results were delicious. The brulee was rich, chocolaty and creamy … indulgent in every way. The meringues were crisp and delicious, chocolate flavours flooding the mouth with every bite, Chantilly cream & all. My teen tester was won over. She got to taste a few little meringues that were baked independently … just perfect she said. Maybe they’ll make wonderful kisses I thought. The cookies too were wonderful, and ‘The best I’ve had in a while’ declared the lad who was soon queuing up to play tester. I liked that the cookies were different from the regular chocolate chip cookies we make all the time; a great addition to the teatime cookie platter.Chocolate Creme BruleeI’m going to share the Chocolate Creme Brulee recipe with you today. Other temptations that I have bookmarked to try in the future are Chocolate Hazelnut Square, Chocolate Cherry Cake, Darjeeling Infused Chocolate Mousse & Columbian Coffee Cream, Iced Chocolate Parfait with Orange-Basil Cream, Old Fashioned Cream Souffle, Chocolate Coffee Dessertto name just a few!

Thank you Surit Mitra for sending me the book. The distributor for CHOCOLATE BIBLE in India is Book World Enterprises of Mumbai. The book is available for Rs 1495.
Ctc 09820034530 (Mr Satish Shah)

Chocolate Creme BruleeChocolate Creme Brulee
From Le Cordon Bleu Chocolate Bible, pg 138 {Printed with permission}
Serves 4
4 egg yolks
50g castor sugar
100ml milk {original recipe said 125ml}
150ml low fat cream {original recipe said 125ml whipping cream}
100g dark chocolate, chopped
Decoration
Caster Sugar
Chocolate Creme BruleeMethod:
Preheat the oven to 95C/205F. Prepare 4 small baking dishes or low sided ramekins.
Combine the egg yolks and 40g of the sugar in a large bowl, beat until the mixture is cream and pale.
Heat the milk, cream and remaining castor sugar { I added a scraped vanilla bean too} until simmering. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until well cobined and smooth. Slowly stir the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks and sugar mixture. Pour the chocolate mixture into the dishes to come 3/4 up the sides.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until firm. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven grill to its maximum temperature. Sprinkle the creams evenly with the castor sugar and place under the grill until the sugar has become a dark brown topping. Let cool and serve once the topping had hardened.
Chocolate Creme BruleeChefs Tip: To correctly caramelise or gratinee the creams, put the oven rack as close to the heat source as possible.

My Notes: I decreased the milk and increased the cream as we do not get whipping cream locally in India. Also, whenever I do egg based desserts, I like to add a scraped vanilla bean. Feel free to omit this as it is not part of the original recipe. My creams took about 40 minutes to appear firm. I served mine with some preserved burgundy cherries.

♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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Comments

  1. Simple ingredients and such a fab dish :) thanks for sharing!! Definitely trying it this weekend.

  2. A great book! I have included that Larousse cookbook in my wishlist. Great creations! So droolworthy.

    Happy New Year!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. I love that quote! My son, who proclaims he “prefers” non chocolate – would probably drool over that creme brulee! Beautiful photos as always!

  4. LOVED that quote Deeba! I am always amazed when I hear of someone who doesn’t like chocolate. This book sounds very promising and will also make great dessert-reading:-))

    A dream of a creme brulee here, yumm!! And am surprised to know whipping cream is not available in Delhi…!!

  5. Deeba, You’re always upto doing something exciting !
    Let me know when something like this is happening in Bangalore.

  6. Anjani says:

    Thankkk you! now i get to use my chef torch for a chocolate creme brulee! :D and these burgundy cherries look lovely! :O available in india?

    • LOL Anjani…I made them last summer. I think you’re getting nice cherries in Bangalore I hear? Are you?

      • Anjani says:

        :| i’m at chennai ! no cherries :( no strawberries.. :(only loads of bananas here.. many many varieties of them..sooo boring! :X here i get these tinned cherries only…:( i’m coming to delhi soon! so will get in touch with you :D what to buy from where! ;)

  7. Such gorgeous pictures! I was wondering wether the book contains any information about the chemical aspects of baking with chocolate (for example with cocoa powder being acidic)?

  8. mmmm it looks amazing…. drool!

  9. gosh!! all those choclate stuff has my mouth literally gurgling due to excess drooling….hehe…i especially loved the meringues….!! thanks for sharing :)

  10. Oh my god. You have so sold me on that book. I think I will die if I don’t buy it NOW!

  11. Chocolate Bible sounds like an intriguing name for a book. Wonderful chocolate creations to say the least.

    Happy New Year!

    Nisrine

  12. Those are three delicious-looking chocolate desserts! Sounds like a fantastic book too. I’d love to try making chocolate meringues.

  13. Thanks for the review, I didn’t know about this book yet, but it looks really worth buying.

    Happy New Year!

  14. Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle says:

    Your photos are, as always…stunning. Everything you make looks absolutely divine but it’s breakfast time here and I would love one of those cookies with my coffee please?

  15. May I come to the chocolate party? ;-) Every recipe is so yummy…and the crème brûlée, just to dream of
    Happy New Year Deeba!

  16. What a gorgeous bunch of delightful treats. That chocolate creme brulee looks amazing, but I’m particularly taken with the little meringue tarts. Happy New Year, Deeba!

  17. chocolate just got more appreciation from me by looking at this post! Now I am 10 times more in love with choco. the review has been written and presented wonderfully Deeba.

  18. Dear Deeba I really love your chocolate cream bruleé and waht nice and lovely book!!

    Dear I whish you a beautiful Happy New Year with Loads of Love! gloria

  19. The brulee looks so lovely and rich-almost like a ganache! A wonderful sounding book. I hope you have a very Happy New Year Deeba and may 2011 bring even more happiness and joy to you! :D

  20. I absolutely have to own this cookbook, the brulee looks amazingly rich… Oh, I’ve just read what the lovely Lorriane has commented…., so ‘ditto’ to the above.
    Happy New Year Deeba, love your fabulous blog, its always filled with tempting morsels so beautifully photographed. May 2011 be the best yet :)

  21. Hi Deeba
    I guess im begining to be a regular on your site. After following your recipe for the fruit cake (remember i mailed you about baking powder amount?) that gave me the BEST FRUIT CAKE OF MY LIFE! (and believe me i would kill or die for a good fruit cake!) here i am back again! My question this time is:
    I dont have regular ramekins. mine are made of Aluminium. can they be used? any adjustment you suggest? also, can they be substituted for ANY ramekin based dish?
    I would be thankful if you can reply.

    Love
    Pooja

  22. What a lovely blog and lovely photos!!

    U definitely have convinced me to get this book.. hahaa.. i’m gonna place my order online now.

    One thing though, does every recipe have photo/s?

    • Thanks Maameemoomoo … wonderful to meet you! Yes indeed, every recipe does have pictures, and very nice ones at that {as expected from LCB I guess}!

  23. This is a real treat for chocoholic! Would love to grab a copy of it, provided it is available here. Love the pictures of swirly chocolaty goodies.

    • Hi Sanjeeta,
      The distributor for CHOCOLATE BIBLE in India is Book World Enterprises of Mumbai. The book is available for Rs 1495.
      Ctc 09820034530 (Mr Satish Shah)…
      Cheers

  24. Definitely count me in as one of those 9 who like chocolate. No, LOVE chocolate. What a great review Deeba, time to put that book on next year’s Christmas wish list (I got The Perfect Scoop this year, yay!). Wishing you and your family a very happy start to the new year.

  25. Absolutely stunning .. the pictures are out of the world so as the tempting creme brulee !!! Wish you and your family Happy New year !!! Wish to see ur creations in upcoming years too :)

  26. Great review…I love chocolate so much I may purchase this just to look at the photos :)
    Just look at all of these glorious treats!

  27. So much chocolate goodness! :) Love the look of the chocolate creme brulees, this cookbook sounds like a keeper!

  28. HI Deeba, nice review, all recipes look tempting…..wishing U & your family a very Happy NEw Year…

  29. oops, i mean all pictures look tempting…

  30. I remember drooling over the book too! You’re so lucky to have got it for a review :) If only I could figure out how to do that! I think I’m going to ask for this book soon, it was really lovely.. The brulee looks awesome.. reminds me that i really need to buy a blow torch!

  31. i made once chocolate creme brulee i failed …going to try ur version Deeba i’m sure to succeed…And book sounds so good to buy :)

  32. Sharnette says:

    I didn’t even know they had a book and I go to the school in Austin TX LOL I think I should start getting more sleep :) and I should check out this book

  33. Eco Kitchens says:

    Useful website. Thanks for sharing.

  34. Hi .. Wanted to know if egg can be substituted with any other ingridient

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