Dip into world of chocolate

The Essence of Chocolate

By John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg with Ann Krueger Spivack and Susie Heller


Chocolate & Vanilla

By Gale Gand with Lisa Weiss


Clarkson Potter / 2006 / $22.50

With two covers, introductions and recipe sections, the latest book from Chicago pastry chef and restaurateur Gale Gand appeals to those who like their sweet flavors dark or light (or both).

Along with about 60 recipes, there are tips on finding good chocolate and vanilla, deciphering chocolate terminology and warming chocolate just enough to make curls (try a hair dryer set on low).

If your sweetheart is a true chocoholic, Gand's Best-Ever Fudgy Brownies are sure to please on Valentine's Day. The casual name belies a decadent treat that comes out more like frosted fudge (we mean this in the very best way). Use a good bittersweet chocolate with 70 percent cacao, and a few bites will be all you'll need to feel the love.

A recipe for Best-Ever Fudgy Brownies can be found at