At one time, cocoa beans were prized so highly they were used as currency and only the privileged could enjoy what the Aztecs knew as ‘xocoatl’. Nowadays, high-quality chocolate is widely available in many different delicious forms to an increasingly discerning market. In this delightfully decadent book, the UK’s premier chocolatier William Curley presents the ultimate master class for all things chocolate. Couture Chocolate first examines the origins of one of the world’s most popular foods –explaining the method of creating chocolate, how its quality depends to a large extent on the variety of bean used, and the differences between plain, milk and white chocolates. It reveals how some of today’s most popular flavours –such as vanilla and chilli- were those favoured by the pioneering Aztec chocolatiers centuries ago. In the chocolate master class, William shares his techniques and most mouth-watering recipes, starting with the basics: tempering and making a bar of chocolate; advice on how to add exotic flavours like rosemary or raspberry; and introducing different textures. Once those skills have been mastered, it’s time to tackle some of his incredible creations… His delectable recipes are helpfully grouped into sections: ‘Truffles and Filled Chocolates’ examines the science behind creating the perfect truffle, making ganache and adding fabulous flavours; ‘Couture Chocolates’ looks at experimental (but delicious) fillings such as apricot and wasabi, sea salt caramel, black rice vinegar and thyme; ‘Bouches and Small Delights’ covers blackcurrant tea cake, chocolate rochers and millionaire shortbread; ‘Patisserie’ explores chocolate and praline Paris Brest, chocolate financier with passion fruit curd, chocolate mille-fuille and more; ‘Cakes and Biscuits’ boasts chocolate and pistachio cake, macaroons, sable and chocolate rosette with orange ganache; and finally ‘Chocolate Ices, Drinks, Sauces and Spread’ looks at a huge variety, including Gianduja chocolate, Tahitian vanilla and golden chestnut. With its unique recipes and sumptuous photographs, Couture Chocolate delivers a lifetime’s worth of culinary excitement and experimentation into your kitchen. With William Curley as a guide, you need never eat a bland dessert again.
Growing up in a small town in Fife, Scotland, William Curley discovered a passion for gastronomy and began his career with an apprenticeship at Gleneagles Hotel. William then went on to spend many years at numerous Michelin-starred establishments with the most respected chefs and pâtissiers in the business including Pierre Koffmann at La Tante Claire, Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, Marco Pierre White at The Oak Room and Marc Meneau at L'Esperance in France. William subsequently became the youngest ever Chef Pâtissier at The Savoy working under Anton Edelman and leading a team of 21 pastry chefs. William’s success led to the opening of the first ‘William Curley’ shop in Richmond in 2004. This led to the launch of the UK’s first dessert bar in central London in 2009. His chocolates and patisserie can now be found in the food hall of London’s most prestigious department store, Harrods. During 2013, William achieved the MCA (Master of Culinary Arts). It is the highest accolade awarded to chefs in the UK. Making him one of only seven masters in patisserie in Britain. In 2012, William Curley become a member of Relais Desserts International, the most prestigious association for patissiers. He was also invited to become a ‘Disciple Of Escoffier’, which recognises his achievements. William Curley is four times winner of ‘Best British Chocolatier’ by the Academy of Chocolate. He is renowned for producing the most delicious and inspiring range of handmade chocolates, patisserie and desserts.