This month Choclette's We Should Cocoa blog challenge has teamed up with Dom's blog challenge Random Recipes to create a joint challenge: Something Random with Chocolate.
From the three chocolate centric books I pulled off the shelf the winner was William Curley's inspirational book, Couture Chocolate.
This is a beautiful book with a mixture of recipes for both chocolates and patisserie. Some of the recipes are very ambitious, but others like the 'Chocolate Fig loaves' I made, are quite straight forward.
You may find you have to be a little flexible over the equipment you use or some of the more specialist ingredients that may be hard to source. I have a lot of baking forms and moulds in my cupboard but I do not own the one this recipe asked for; a mini loaf silicone form that has 25 cells for 8x3x3cm loaves. I looked on the internet and you can purchase them but not at a price I wanted to pay so I made do with four small loaves and adjusted the cooking time for a longer bake. I also did not have the whole hazelnuts that are used to garnish the top of the loaves so I swapped those for pecans, which I prefer anyway.
Quite a few recipes have multi-stages that need planning such as the soaking of the figs in red wine and spices overnight for this recipe, so read through carefully before you commit.
Still the results have been worth the effort every time I have used this book and here are the loaves sliced through and ready to eat:
I will apologise now for not reproducing the recipe but these are quite unique recipes and out of respect to the authors I do think it is unreasonable to type them out with minor changes to simply comply with copyright.
Nov 2105 Update The full recipe has now been published here: wild at heart
It is a good book and I would commend it to anyone with a love of chocolate work. In May 2014 William and Suzue Curly publish their Patisserie book which should be an excellent reference work judging by the quality of their Couture Chocolate book.
Only a few days before I baked my loaves Diane Henry published a recipe for Chocolate, hazelnut and fig loaves that looks just as moreish and you can find the recipe online at the Telegraph Food and Drink. Again the figs are soaked in alcohol overnight.
February is looking sweet, if rather wet and blustery.