The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri

All You Need is Love...But a Little Chocolate Now and Then Doesn’t Hurt

Chocolate. The ancient Mayans used it in sacred rituals and medical practice. Sixteenth century conquerer Hernán Cortés introduced it to Spanish nobility, who managed to keep it a secret from the rest of the world for nearly 100 years. Louis XIV received it as a royal engagement present from his fiancee, Princess Maria Theresa, in 1643. It's been included in U.S. Army D-rations and as a supplement to astronauts' diets in space. Today, you might get a box of it as a token of affection from a love interest or eat it in ice cream form, when stressed, straight out of the carton.

Chocolate love has endured across many years and cultures -- and the Library's cookbook collection reflects this. Check out one of the following books for a wealth of sweet and savory chocolate recipes, or do a subject search using the term "Cooking Chocolate" in the catalog to find more. 

Recipes and Tips

 Absolutely Chocolate: Irresistible Excuses to Indulge from the editors of Fine Cooking Magazine; photographs by Anna Williams.
The experts at Fine Cooking have taken the guesswork out of making more than 125 scrumptious recipes -- everything from layer cakes, tarts and pies to candies, sauces and hot cocoa. Each recipe features tips on choosing and buying the right chocolate, step-by-step instructions and authoritative advice.

 Celebrate with Chocolate: Totally Over-the-Top Recipes by Marcel Desaulniers; photographs by Ron Manville.
Desaulniers, award-winning cookbook author and chef/owner of Williamsburg, Virginia's renowned restaurant, The Trellis, is back with a whole new collection of festive recipes that turn any day into a holiday. He takes you to the outer limits of the chocolate universe, with over-the-top combinations that are surprisingly simple to make.

 Chocolate by Linda Collister; photographs by Martin Brigdale.
Linda Collister, the doyenne of baking, has added another string to her bow as the Chocolate Queen. This irresistible collection of recipes features just about everything the passionate chocolate lover could ever desire, from truffles to ice cream.

 Chocolate: From Simple Cookies to Extravagant Showstoppers by Nick Malgieri; photographs by Tom Eckerle.
Malgieri offers a primer on every kind of chocolate from cocoa to chips and white chocolate to big, dark slabs of the world's favorite luxury food and the many, many ways to enjoy it. Recipes include everything you need to know to turn the food of the gods into desserts for us mortals.

 Enlightened Chocolate: More Than 200 Decadently Light, Easy-to-Make, and Inspired Recipes Using Dark Chocolate and Unsweetened Cocoa Powder by Camilla V. Saulsbury.
Including both savory and sweet chocolate recipes, this is the first compendium cookbook exclusively devoted to light chocolate recipes. It also offers guidelines for using chocolate and cocoa as multipurpose flavorings to deepen and enhance dishes while adding health benefits.

 The Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg with Ann Krueger Spivack and Susie Heller; photographs by Deborah Jones.
This book features more than 100 spectacular -- and often simple -- recipes drawn from the Scharffen Berger files and from two dozen top pastry chefs. Filled with helpful tips, sumptuous photographs and the story of how chocolate is really made, here is a book that is every bit as seductive as its subject.

 The Golden Book of Chocolate by Carla Bardi.
This book might easily be the most lavish, the most complete and most beautiful book ever published on the subject of that most sensuous of all foods: chocolate. Filled with history, anecdotes and recipes, and featuring hundreds of full-color photos, The Golden Book of Chocolate is literally a chocolate lover's dream come true.


Additional Reading for Chocolate Lovers

 Bitter Chocolate: The Dark Side of the World's Most Seductive Sweet by Carol Off.
Off, one of Canada's leading journalists, has written this exposé of the chocolate industry, drawing parallels from the "blood diamond" industry in Africa to show how the battle for cocoa beans has created civil strife and widespread corruption on the same continent.


 Chocolate: A Healthy Passion by Shara Aaron and Monica Bearden.
This book emphasises that chocolate is much more than just a sweet treat. Aaron and Beardon trace the history and culture of chocolate around the world and show that, when eaten in moderation, it can have healing powers. Enticing recipes will bring your appreciation of this gift from Mother Nature to a new level.

 The Chocolate Connoisseur: For Everyone with a Passion for Chocolate by Chloé Doutre-Roussel.
Packed with amazing stories, tasting notes for the world's finest chocolates, history, myths, recipes and "chocolate philosophy," this charming book will inspire you to become a bona fide connoisseur. You will learn how to tell the difference between good and bad chocolate, discover wonderful new brands to savor and enjoy, marry your favorite brands to your mood and time of day and learn to taste chocolate like an expert.

 The East India Company Book of Chocolate by Antony Wild.
This collection takes the reader behind the scenes to relate the story and history of chocolate. It reveals where chocolate comes from, how it is produced, how it was used in the past and how it is used today.

 The Healing Powers of Chocolate by Cal Orey.
Modern science has explored what ancient civilizations already knew: that chocolate, as well as being one of nature's most versatile foods, has an abundance of medicinal benefits and can fight and prevent common ailments and diseases. Renowned health expert Cal Orey draws on the latest research to unwrap some surprising chocolate facts.

Find this article at