Book reviews: Auberge du Chocolat, and Natural Soap

Two book reviews for you today from the latest New Holland Publishing catalogue, plus your chance to win one of them!

The first one is Auberge du Chocolat: The secrets of fine chocolate making, by Anne Scott. This book really is something else, and it would make a perfect Christmas gift for a foodie friend, partner or relative.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to melt, temper and work with chocolate, this book shows you how. It will also give you the confidence to create all the classic fillings, and work with interesting new flavour combinations. The author has a real can-do approach, so after reading you’re left feeling like you could just get on with it and make some really special treats, either for your own consumption or giving as quality gifts.

There are separate sections on decorating and presenting your chocolates, dairy-free chocolates, and making choc treats with kids. If you follow the instructions you should definitely be able to create professional looking gourmet chocolates at home after reading, if you just take your time and don’t rush. Photographs are plentiful, and mouth-wateringly attractive.

Auberge du Chocolat by Anne Scott is published by New Holland and has an RRP of £16.99. It’s currently on offer at Amazon for £8.99, with free super saver delivery.


Our second book is Natural Soap, by Melinda Cross. It focuses on traditional soapmaking techniques and has a strong emphasis on natural ingredients. The author began making soap as a hobby, and then became a professional supplier of natural soaps and toiletries.

It begins with a through explanation of the basics of natural soapmaking, and describes the properties of all the ingredients that can be used to make it. You won’t find any bright colours, artificial perfumes, or melt and pour in here, but that’s really all part of the charm – and the products look luxurious. The largest part of the book is given over to a whole range of different soapmaking projects, including bar soaps, liquid soaps, and scrub soaps, each with presentation and wrapping tips.

As an added bonus there are also recipes for shampoos, shaving soap, bath melts, and an impressive range of creams and lotions at the back of the book. To top it all off, there’s a section about turning your hobby into a small business – this is concise and direct, and gives you a realistic idea of what is necessary if you want to be successful.

Natural Soap by Melinda Coss has an RRP of £8.99. At the time of writing this review it’s available on Amazon for £5.03, and qualifies for free super saver delivery.


COMPETITION TIME: If you would like to win a hardback copy of Auberge du Chocolat, just leave a ‘yes please!’ message in the comments section below. We’ll pick a winner at random from all the comments at lunch time next Friday.

Good luck everyone!

T&Cs: UK entrants only please, winner picked using No cash alternative. Only one entry per person please – multiple entries will be disqualified. Competition closes at noon on Friday 18 November 2011.

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