Friday, February 8, 2013

Book Review–Gu Chocolate Cookbook


Once in every 3-4 months, we have a book sale organized in our office by lunch time by the book people, where we can buy book at a discount rate. Usually cheaper than the high street prices. Some times even cheaper than Amazon. Usually they will have lots of cookbooks, kids books and some novels. I love cookbooks so I make sure that I pay a visit to the sale, every time the book people comes to our site.


This time among all the lovely cookbooks I spotted the Gu chocolate cookbook. I didn't know that Gu had published a book on chocolate, so it came as a surprize to me and I knew I was going to buy that book instantly. Who wouldn’t just look at the cover picture. However people do say don’t judge the book by its cover! So I went in. Every page I turned I felt good. At the end of it it was like a magnet got stuck in my mind and hand, I just had to buy the book!



The hard covered, 200+ pages book contains many interesting recipes along with the usual suspects. The book has 6/7 chapters and you can choose recipes based on your situation demands. I just love the last chapter name its called “…for Chocolate Extremists”. The pictures of the book kept me glued to the book for a long time. They just looked out of the world. If you are  a chocolate lover, trust me you need to have this book.



I came back to my desk and just couldn't resist letting everyone know about my latest treasure. One of my colleague suggested that I should bake a cake from the book. I knew I was going to make something from the book soon but his suggestion narrowed it down to the exact thing. There were two chocolate cake recipes I was toggling between, but then in the end decided to go with Chocolate mousse cake with chocolate glaze on top.


I started on with the sponge which was pretty easy and straight-forward. Just melt the butter (200gm )add sugar(200gm) and start the mixer. Now added one egg at a time upto 5 eggs (the recipe suggested 6 but I thought 5 would be enough). I got the chocolate melted in a double boiler and set aside to cool down before adding to the cake mix. In a separate bowl I mixed all the dry ingredients, 150gms flour, 3tsp baking powder and 1tbsp baking soda (my addition).  Added the dry mix spoon by spoon to the wet mix while continue to mix with that electric mixer. Finally added the melted chocolate and gave it a good mix again.


I had preheated the oven to 170 degrees and placed a lined cake tin in it before starting on the cake mix so by now the oven is and the tin both are ready to bake. just pour the cake mix on the tin and baked for 50-55 minutes or until the skewers came out clean. Took the sponge out to cool it down and turned the oven down.


Now on to the chocolate mousse. This is an eggless mousse, just two ingredients 200gm dark chocolate and 200 ml double cream. Beat the cream till it forms the soft peak and melt the chocolate and add into it to a smooth mix. Chocolate mousse is ready for the spread. All I needed is the sponge to cool down. Since there was some time to that so I started to make my chocolate glaze.  Again started with melting 100 gm chocolate with 100ml double cream. To that added 100 gms of caster sugar and half a sachet of gelatine mix with 2 tbsp of water. I made the gelatine mix before so that no lumps formed in the chocolate glaze. Mixed every thing together and when it turned in to a rich dark pool of chocolate sauce, took it off the heat and let it cool.


Building the cake: I must say this was the toughest part of all. I have done this before but not with chocolate cream. I have always found cream and cream cheese frosting is the best frosting. Easy to spread and holds shape well. This chocolate mousse spread wasn’t an easy one. It took me longer time to do the icing than I anticipated and It wasn’t as smooth as I expected. Maybe I should have beaten the cream a bit longer but anyway, here I was spreading the mousse on the cake.first I added a bit of mousse to the cake base so that when I work on my sponge it shouldn't move. Next cut the cake in to half and spread generous amount of mousse on top of the bottom half.Carefully placed the top half of the sponge. Now covered the cake with rest of the chocolate mousse. This took a while. Finally when I finished I placed the cake in the fridge to set for at least 2-3 hrs. Then pour the glazed on top of the cake, making sure to cover every bit of it. Once that’s done, placed the cake back in to the fridge for the glaze to set on mousse and this time overnight.


I must say I didn’t manage to get the look I was after but I hopes it would taste good, and that’s what happened. My team mates loved it. I took the cake to office on Monday morning and there was nothing left when I left the office that evening. I was happy, all that hard work paid off.


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