My friend Dom Ramsey has been a big influence on my love affair with chocolate. One of the first bloggers I met after launching Kavey Eats back in 2009, we became friends during a tour around a chocolate factory. In the years since then, our palates have developed, as has our hunger for the very best chocolate.
I’m just an enthusiast but Dom has become a true expert in top quality chocolate, constantly seeking more knowledge, getting to know many artisan chocolate makers and chocolatiers and learning about what they do – not just in the UK but around the world. He has helped so many people to better understand chocolate and discover their own favourites. A few years ago, he was one of the founders of successful online specialists Cocoa Runners, and has also provided a consultancy service to many other businesses.
Less than 18 months ago, he started to experiment with making his own bean-to-bar chocolate at home and discovered that he has a real talent for it. Within mere months of making that very first batch, his chocolate was already winning awards from the prestigious Academy Of Chocolate and that’s facing some incredible stiff competition! His business, Damson Chocolate in Angel Islington, is now producing and selling small-batch chocolate that is amongst the very best I’ve tasted – and that’s not just me being nice because he’s a mate! It’s phenomenally good chocolate!
You might be surprised to learn that many big brand chocolate makers don’t make their chocolate directly from the cocoa bean – rather they buy couverture that has already been processed by someone else and just melt it down to make their own bars and confectionery. This means that they are not in direct control of the complete process in the way that bean-to-bar makers are. More importantly, the big producers tend to buy the cheapest cocoa they can find – usually high-yield, low quality cocoa available in bulk.
But in recent years, more and more bean-to-bar producers have set up shop creating small batch chocolate from the very best cocoa beans they can source. All those I’ve met have expressed a strong desire to support cocoa farmers, ensuring that they are fairly paid and helping them to implement sustainable and environmentally sound growing practices. Many work directly with farmers and small co-operatives, cutting out the middle men so that more of the money goes to the farmers.
To address the growing interest in bean-to-bar chocolate making, Dom has worked with publishers Dorling Kindersley to produce this fantastic book, Chocolate | Indulge Your Inner Chocoholic | Become A Bean-to-Bar Expert.
Inside the glossy gold and brown cover you’ll find a comprehensive guide that covers everything from the history of chocolate, to an explanation of the chocolate trade today and how Fair Trade fits into that, an introduction to the main cocoa-producing regions of the world, tutorials on choosing, tasting and enjoying chocolate, lessons on how to make bean-to-bar chocolate yourself and a great selection of chocolate recipes from a range of contributors including Paul A Young, Maricel E Presilla, Edd Kimber and Micah Carr-Hill.
As is the norm in DK’s Food Reference titles, the book is beautifully illustrated with lots and lots of photographs and diagrams and everything is explained in an approachable, easy-to-understand way. What I like is that this book works well for different audiences – whether you know very little about chocolate or you are pretty familiar with the process but looking for more detail and guidance on making your own.
Click to view larger size versions, published with permission from Dorling Kindersley
The recipes Dom has chosen are really enticing; from a savoury duck ragu with 100% chocolate to a sweet cherry and chocolate mousse with balsamic glaze, everything looks and sounds so delicious.
Images published with permission from Dorling Kindersley
Recipes from Chocolate: Indulge Your Inner Chocoholic
Dorling Kindersley have kindly given me permission to share two extracted recipes here on Kavey Eats:
- Paul A Young’s Brownie Pudding with Sea-Salted Caramel, Tea & Figs
- Edd Kimber’s Flourless Chocolate & Almond Bundts
If you decide to buy this book after reading our content, please consider clicking through our affiliate link, located within the post and in the footnote at the end.
Kavey Eats received a review copy from Dorling Kindersley. Chocolate | Indulge Your Inner Chocoholic | Become A Bean-to-Bar Expert is currently available from Amazon UK for £13.48 (RRP £15).
Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!21 Comments to "Chocolate by Dom Ramsey | Indulge Your Inner Chocoholic"
Working with chocolate can be so fun! I definitely need to do more of it! It’s so lovely that your friend has managed to get some really good recognition for what he does :). X
Yes, from the start his bean to bar chocolate was winning awards from the two big UK-based chocolate judging bodies. It’s easily up there with the very best chocolates I’ve tasted from around the world and I’ve tasted a lot of superb chocolate!
Well done Dom! Its lovely to hear the exciting opportunities blogging has opened up for people. He clearly knows his stuff and the book sounds fab 🙂 might have to go and enter that giveaway 😉
It’s a great story of finding one’s calling via blogging!
Chocolate is a regular around here 🙂 So many ways to enjoy it. And I like quality chocolate like you’re explaining.
Yes, the best chocolate really is one of life’s pleasures!
This is the sort of book I NEED for Christmas. I would probably spend the day in bed just eating chocolate and drooling through it 🙂 Thanks for the intro Kavey.
It’s a great book, so much in it! Buy it for yourself for Christmas!
Well this looks all kind of delicious! On the Christmas list immediately!
It’s a great one to give anyone who loves good chocolate!
Very interesting and exciting for you! Is this available in the US?
I think so. It’s Dorling Kindersley and they publish to both markets…
I am going to have to seek out this book- everything you need to know about chocolate. A whole book on chocolate? Yes please!
Yes and a very well laid out one too! Hope you enjoy it!
Thank you for sharing this info! It’s such a shame that so many large chocolate companies don’t make it directly from the bean. I interned for Fairtrade Ireland in college and learned all about ethical sourcing of cocoa, it’s such a fascinating story once you look into it and start talking with the farmers and producers. I’ll be happy to buy my next bar of chocolate from Damson 🙂
You’ll love it, he’s very much a supporter of ethical trade but more than that, his chocolate if phenomenally good!
This is such an interesting post! I work in coffee and there some huge similarities here between small batch coffee roasting and larger corporations opting for cheaper products! I’d really like to learn more about cocoa origins and different taste notes from cocoa beans.
I totally agree! A lot in common between coffee and cocoa!
Sounds like a great book and a wonderful achievement for Dom! Would love to try his chocolate one day:-)
It’s really good stuff! Hope you can try it soon!
Sounds just the gift for my choc-a-holic daughter-in-law!