Whether you’re interested in learning about the science of chocolate, the history of cacao, or want to get started making your own chocolate from scratch, we have a book recommendation for you!

Because there are so many chocolate books on the market, we’ve organized them into three categories: history, science, and chocolate making books.

Books about chocolate: History

The True History of Chocolate

The true history of chocolate book

Authors: Sophie D. Coe & Michael D. Coe (2013)

Michael Coe and his late wife Sophie take you on a 3,000 years history of chocolate, starting in the Mexican jungles and ending in the industrialization of chocolate through Europe and the USA.

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Bean-to-Bar Chocolate: America’s Craft Chocolate Revolution

Bean to bar chocolate: America's craft chocolate revolution book

Author: Megan Giller (2017)

Megan Giller takes chocolate lovers on a journey through the history of America’s craft chocolate industry. Learn what to look for in a craft chocolate bar and how to pair chocolate with coffee, beer, spirits, cheese, or bread.

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Cocoa

Cocoa book by Kristy Leissle

Author: Kristy Leissle (2018)

As Kristy Leissle shows, the  true story of chocolate bars is much darker than you might think. Behind every chocolate bar we unwrap, there’s a world of political intrigue and power struggles over the most crucial component: cocoa.

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The New Taste of Chocolate, Revised: A Cultural & Natural History of Cacao with Recipes

The New Taste of Chocolate book

Author: Maricel E. Presilla (2009)

Another great book on the history of chocolate. The New Taste of Chocolate is filled with beautiful photography & illustrations and it uncovers the cultural history of cacao and how it’s consumed.

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Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love

Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods we Love book

Author: Simran Sethi (2016)

Simran Sethi’s book goes into the origin and cultural significance of some of our most beloved  foods, including chocolate. She examines gradual loss of diversity that’s occurred over the last decades and centuries in the foods that we eat. We highly recommend this book for anyone with a passion for food and taste.

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Chocolate Wars: The 150-Year Rivalry Between the World’s Greatest Chocolate Makers 

Chocolate Wars book

Author: Deborah Cadbury (2011)

A fascinating read on the Quaker families who founded some of the largest chocolate companies in the world; including the likes of Rowntree, Fry, and Cadbury. Written by a member of the original Cadbury family, this book looks at how the greed for profit altered the course of the chocolate industry.

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Cocoa: An Exploration of Chocolate, With Recipes

Cocoa book by Sue Quinn

Author: Sue Quinn (2019)

A real exploration of chocolate, discussing important topics such as women in chocolate, as well as the health benefits and science behind chocolate. Sue Quinn finds the perfect balance of history, insights and beautiful chocolatey recipes.

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Chocolate Nations: Living and Dying for Cocoa in West Africa

Chocolate Nations: Living and Dying for Cocoa in West Africa book

Author: Órla Ryan (2012)

This book provides an analysis of the complex issues underlying the cocoa trade in West Africa. Órla Ryan looks at the stories behind the cocoa producers and traders within the area and shines a light on what Fairtrade really means.

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Raising the Bar: The Future of Fine Chocolate

Raising the Bar: The Future of Fine Chocolate book

Author: Pam Williams & Jim Eber (2019)

This book includes interviews and quotes from industry experts looking at the future of fine chocolate. Raising the Bar doesn’t just look at the end product but analyses the changes occurring throughout the entire supply chain. 

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From Bean To Bar: A Chocolate Lovers Guide to Britain

From Bean to Bar: A chocolate Lover's Guide to Britain book

Author: Andrew Baker (2019)

This book is a fantastic exploration of past and present chocolate culture throughout Britain. From Dormouse Chocolate in Manchester to Chocolate Tree in Edinburgh, Andrew Baker introduces us to Britain’s best chocolate makers.

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Books about chocolate: Science

The Science of Chocolate

The Science of Chocolate book

Author: Stephen T. Beckett (2018 – 3rd Edition)

As the name implies, this book is a brilliant insight into the science behind chocolate. An excellent technical reference textbook for everything from fermenting cacao beans to the science of milk and sugar in chocolate. 

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The Secret Life of Chocolate

The Secret Life of Chocolate book

Author: Marcos Patchett (2020)

This book explores the long history of the human relationship with the cocoa bean tree, Theobroma cacao. It delves into the pharmacological properties of chocolate and reveals the mythical and magical associations between humans and this unique plant.

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Chocolate as Medicine: A Quest over the Centuries

Chocolate as Medicine book

Author: Philip K Wilson and W Jeffrey Hurst (2012)
This book looks at the centuries-old quest to discover chocolate’s potential health advantages. The authors examine a variety of evidence used to support chocolate’s medicinal use, as well as the continuing debate over classifying chocolate as food or medicine, and more recently, a functional food or nutraceutical.

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Books about chocolate: Tasting & making chocolate

Chocolate: Indulge Your Inner Chocoholic

Chocolate book by Dom Ramsey

Author: Dom Ramsey (2016)

Dom Ramsey’s Chocolate book is the perfect introduction to anyone looking to learn more about all things chocolate. From explaining the steps involved in the bean to bar process, to discussing flavor notes and the different origins; Chocolate is a must-have for all chocolate lovers.

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The Chocolate Connoisseur: For Everyone with a Passion for Chocolate 

The Chocolate Connoisseur book

Author: Chloe Doutre-Roussel (2006)

Chloe’s book is the perfect gift for anyone who loves chocolate. From learning how to distinguish between good and bad chocolate to discovering the joys of mindfully tasting chocolate; this book will help anyone on their quest to becoming a chocolate connoisseur

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Chocolates and Confections: Formula, Theory, and Technique for the Artisan Confectioner

Chocolate & Confections book

Author: Peter P. Greweling (2012)

This book is a comprehensive guide of the ingredients, theories, techniques, recipes, and formulas needed to create every kind of chocolate and confection. It’s aimed at both professional and amateur chocolate and confection makers. 

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Making Chocolate: From Bean to Bar to S’more 

Making Chocolate from bean to bar book

Author: Dandelion Chocolate (2017)

Written by Dandelion Chocolate from San Francisco, this book is a detailed guide on how to make chocolate from bean to bar. The book also includes a number of delicious recipes from their very own pastry kitchen. 

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Discover Chocolate: The Ultimate Guide to Buying, Tasting, and Enjoying Fine Chocolate

Discover Chocolate by Clay Gordon book

Author: Clay Gordon (2007)

Clay Gordon, an expert in the chocolate industry, provides a great overview of fine chocolate. He takes a look at how to buy good chocolate, how to store it and most importantly, how to taste chocolate.

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How to Make Chocolate at Home, from Bean-to-Bar

How to Make Chocolate At Home From Bean to Bar book

Author: Dr Thomas Avery (2018)

This book is designed to teach you how to make amazing chocolate in your own home with minimal professional equipment. It aims to take you from novice to expert in making chocolate, with easy-to-follow instructions, useful hints, and comprehensive recipes for all types of chocolate.

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The Art of the Chocolatier: From Classic Confections to Sensational Showpieces

The Art of the Chocolatier book

Author: Ewald Notter

World-renowned confectionery expert Ewald Notter provides readers with a guide to chocolate making and design in his book. Along with explaining key information about ingredients, equipment, and techniques used in professional kitchens, the book also offers clear instructions on how to create small candies and large chocolate sculptures.

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The Art and Craft of Chocolate

The Art and Craft of Chocolate book

Author: Nathan Hodge (2018)

Nathan Hodge is the co-founder of Raaka Chocolate in the US. This book is a great introductory book as it includes a brief history of chocolate and examines the bean to bar process and includes some fantastic recipes for drinks, baked goods and dips. 

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Chocolate: Recipes and Techniques from the Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts

Chocolate by Ferrandi Paris book

Author: Ferrandi Paris

World-renowned professional culinary school Ferrandi Paris presents a complete chocolate course for the home chef in this book. They cover comprehensive techniques for working with chocolate, from tempering and decorative flourishes to recipes such as molten chocolate cake or the Opéra pastry.

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Making Artisan Chocolates

Making Artisan Chocolates book

Author: Andrew Garrison Shotts (2007)

This is a great book for everyone from chocolatier beginners to those with more experience. It’s filled with techniques and recipes and takes the mystery out of certain chocolate making methods and ingredients. 

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Encyclopedia of Chocolate: Essential Recipes and Techniques

Encyclopedia of Chocolate: Essential recipes and techniques book

Author: Ecole Grand Chocolat Valrhona (2018)

A book presented by the Valrhona cooking school. It’s written for amateur or professional bakers looking to learn about cooking with chocolate. This encyclopedia is a visual dictionary of chocolate techniques, equipment, and ingredients.

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Author

Ruby is a passionate foodie with experience working in cheese as well as being a chocolatier for a chocolate shop based in Cambridge, UK before co-founding Cacao Magazine. Her favorite chocolate brands are Solkiki, Pump Street Chocolate, and Chocolate Tree.

4 Comments

  1. What a fab selection of chocolate books – thank you for sharing! I’ve a few to add to my reading list now but absolutely loved Shawn Askinoise’s Book Meaningful Work.

    • Lukas Reply

      Let us know what you think after you’ve had a chance to read them, Susan! Glad to hear you also enjoyed Shawn’s wonderful book, Meaningful Work!

  2. This is such an amazing list!! Got three in my basket already – going to have to pace myself!

    • Cacao Magazine Reply

      Thank you, Jennifer! Please let us know which you choose and what you think of them!

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