Chocolatiering DIY Chocolate Making

Best Chocolate Making & Chocolatier Books for Beginners

chocolate making and chocolatier books

If you’re starting your journey into chocolate crafting, don’t miss this selection of the best chocolate-making and chocolatier books for beginners, written by culinary experts, to set you on the right path.

While learning a hands-on craft such as bean-to-bar chocolate making and chocolatier skills is best learnt in person, the reality is that many people simply don’t have that opportunity. Some of us may be able to join chocolate-crafting classes in our local region, but most are not so lucky – courses are not available, class times don’t fit into our busy lifestyle, or the tuition is too costly.

That makes books and written guides (such as this website), as well as video tuition, a good starting point for people curious about homemade chocolate. It’s also handy to have facts and figures on hand, in a reference manual, to check when the time is needed. After all, we cannot expect to recall every temperature or measurement exactly when needed.

In this article, I have compiled a selection of the most highly-rated and popular books on chocolate-crafting, with a specific focus on chocolate-making and chocolatier skills. You might think this would be an easy task with the thousands of chocolate books out there, but the reality is that most of them are on the topic of cooking with chocolate – not actually making and crafting chocolate from scratch.

You won’t find any chocolate cookbooks in this list, since I have actively made an effort to weed those out, so we can keep the focus on chocolate-making and chocolatier books. I have also separated the list out into chocolate-making books and chocolatier books, to make it easier for you to find one that fits with your particular interests and chocolating journey.

Best Chocolate Making for Beginners Books

In this category, despite extensive research, I can share only two renowned instruction books on the topic of bean-to-bar chocolate making. Considering the huge popularity of chocolate cookbooks, this is quite surprising.

Nevertheless, both of these books cover all technical aspects of making chocolate from cacao beans, including achieving the right texture and flavour, and sufficient detail on the physical properties and chemistry of chocolate and cacao. In addition, both provide clear instruction on making chocolate from bean to bar, suitable for beginners as well as more advanced chocolate makers.

While there are other books out there on this subject, I have selected only these two chocolate-making books as they have been written by renowned chocolate experts and are consistently highly rated by readers. If you have suggestions for other instructional chocolate-making for beginners books that should be on this list, feel welcome to contact us.

Making Chocolate: From Bean to Bar to S’More

Written by the founders of bean-to-bar chocolate company Dandelion Chocolate (San Francisco), Making Chocolate from Bean to Bar to S’More provides a first-hand and thorough guide to the fine craft of chocolate-making. Detailed instructions and photographs make it an enjoyable and informative read for chocolate crafters at all levels of experience.

From selecting beans to roasting, refining and tempering, this comprehensive book covers all steps of the chocolate-making process from start to end. While it does include classic chocolate recipes as well (including truffles, cookies and s’mores), the true value of this book to beginner chocolate-makers lies in those technical details on the chocolate-making process not covered in regular cookbooks.

This highly-rated book is recommended for anyone interested in making chocolate from scratch, particularly for beginner-intermediate chocolate crafters. Compared with Beckett’s Science of Chocolate below, this book is more accessible to those just starting their chocolate crafting journey, geared more towards home cooks wanting to make their own chocolate, rather than an in-depth explanation of industrial processes.

The Science of Chocolate

Drawing on his experience as research scientist and technical director at Cadbury-Schweppes, Stephen T. Beckett shares his knowledge of the scientific principles of chocolate-making. His text book The Science of Chocolate is just that, covering in great detail the production, processing and properties of chocolate – knowledge that all serious chocolate-makers should become familiar with.

This book is truly a comprehensive exploration of chocolate, not just scientifically, but also culturally and historically. Scientifically and culinarily, this book is very thorough, addressing such topics as the composition and structure of cacao beans, chemistry of flavour and interactions of different ingredients, plus in-depth analysis of the chemical and physical properties of chocolate.

This is an excellent reference manual for chocolate crafters of all levels despite its focus on large-scale industrial processes, which is no surprise given the author’s background. It is advanced enough for professional chocolate-makers and food scientists to glean value from, yet Beckett’s language and writing style makes it equally accessible to beginner-intermediate chocolate-makers as well.

It is, however, not a casual read and you may find yourself needing to brush up on some food science and organic chemistry to keep up with the pace. If you’re willing to learn or already have a good understanding of general food science, then this is a text you’ll want to add to your bookshelf.

Best Chocolatier Books for Beginners

In this section, I share some of the most highly regarded beginner-level chocolatier books. In this sub-category there are more options than for chocolate making. However, in saying that, two out of the four books here are by pastry chef Peter Greweling. This selection of titles teaches aspiring chocolatiers the fundamental techniques for crafting a range of artisanal chocolates, truffles and other cacao confections, such as tempering, molding and decorating.

While there are many other books on this topic, I have shortlisted these four as they are the most high-rated and respected books currently available, while also being accessible enough for beginner chocolatiers. If however you do feel that there are other books that should be on this list, please let us know.

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

Written by Peter Grewelling, a respected Master Baker and Pastry Chef with over 35 years experience, Chocolate and Confections is a comprehensive and technical guide to the craft of chocolatiering, suitable for serious beginner-intermediate chocolatiers and confectioners.

In this book, he covers the essential techniques for crafting artisanal chocolates and confections, everything from sourcing the right ingredients, equipment and tools, to making the perfect chocolate creations including truffles and ganache. As well as chocolate, he covers other confectionery such as nougat and caramel, which is useful if you are interested in these topics as well.

Compared with his other title Chocolates and Confections at Home with The Culinary Institute of America, this book is more technical, with in-depth explanation of advanced chocolate and sugar crafting methods suitable for serious hobbyists, chocolatiers and confectioners.

The Art of Chocolate: Techniques and Recipes for Simply Spectacular Desserts & Confections

In The Art of Chocolate, Elaine Gonzalez, a pastry chef and chocolatier with over 25 years experience, shares her techniques and knowledge on all things to do with chocolate crafting. While her book does contain some recipes as the title suggests, the main value of this book is in the explanation of technical chocolatier techniques, such as tempering, molding, filling and sculpting.

The book is filled with detailed photos, although some readers have remarked that there are not enough photos to support some of the more advanced techniques such as sculpting. In saying that, she offers step-by-step written instruction on a range of methods, presented in a manner that is accessible to beginners and home cooks looking to expand their chocolatiering skills.

Making Artisan Chocolates: Flavor-Infused Chocolates, Truffles, and Confections

From the history of chocolate through to advanced chocolatier techniques, award-winning chocolatier Andrew Garrison Shotts shares his wealth of experience and knowledge in Making Artisan Chocolates. This comprehensive text covers all aspects of the chocolatier craft, with step-by-step instructions, suitable for a wide range of skill levels from beginners to advanced.

As implied in the title, one of the main focus points of this book is on flavour infusions, and the use and combination of different ingredients such as spices, fruit and herbs, to create unique and intriguing flavour blends. This aspect gives this book a bit of an advantage over others that do not cover this topic in as much detail, which is useful for chocolatiers who are looking to experiment with creating truly unique chocolate confections for fun or business.

As well as crafting chocolate, Shotts also gives pointers on storing and packaging your chocolate creations, as well as all of the essential techniques to craft chocolates covered in other books such as tempering and molding.

Chocolates and Confections at Home with The Culinary Institute of America

Another book from Peter Grewelling, this time written in conjunction with The Culinary Institute of America, is the very similarly named Chocolates and Confections at Home with The Culinary Institute of America. With such a similar sounding book from the same author, you might be wondering what the difference is, and which one is the better choice.

Basically, while similar in content to his other title Chocolates and Confections: Formula, Theory and Technique, this book is designed to be more accessible to beginner chocolatiers and confectionery-loving home cooks looking for a simple recipe layout and none of the tricky food-science bits. By contrast, Formula, Theory & Technique is more advanced, with more technical detail which while very useful for enthusiastic beginners may be a bit daunting for some.

In this book, Grewelling shares some of his unique flavour combinations and recipes that have been tested and endorsed by the Culinary Institute of America to ensure their quality and accuracy. This is a good introduction to the craft of chocolate for absolute beginners and the confectionery-curious, although serious chocolatiers wanting a solid technical grounding are likely to benefit from his other book Chocolates and Confections: Formula, Theory and Technique more.

Final Thoughts on Chocolate Making & Chocolatier Books for Beginners

Here we have presented six of the best chocolatier and chocolate making for beginners books currently available. We hope you’ve found this review article useful, and have managed to narrow down a book or two to add to your collection. In addition to books, we also encourage you to have read through the articles on our website, where we share free tuition on chocolate crafting, including bean-to-bar chocolate making instructions as well as essential chocolatier skills such as how to temper chocolate and how to mold chocolate.

Books and online articles are a great way to dip your toe into chocolate crafting, with little cost and nothing much to lose except for some time and maybe some ingredients if it all goes a bit pear-shaped. If after trying a few techniques for yourself you find that you enjoy it, consider looking around your local region for in person chocolate-making or chocolatier classes.

If you are lucky, there may be a local chocolate shop or a technical college near you offering short courses in chocolate crafting. These are a great way to really hone your skills, and make sure you are understanding the techniques correctly. Another alternative is video tuition, which we have not covered in this article, but is also a good option to fit into your busy schedule and chip away at in your own time.

Lastly, if you have found some other books on chocolate-making or chocolatier skills that you believe should be added to this list, we’d love to hear about it. Feel free to drop us a line with your book suggestion on our contact page, with an explanation of why and how this book has been valuable in your chocolate crafting journey.

Happy chocolate making and chocolatering!

Article Author

  • Ayla Marika

    Ayla Marika is the founder and manager of the Chocolatiering website. She is a website producer, visual artist and graphic designer based in Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) from Curtin University of Technology and an Advanced Diploma of Public Relations from Canberra Institute of Technology. Her interests include permaculture, implementing self-sufficiency strategies on her small hobby farm, music, cooking, brewing, plant medicine and food activism. She is the author and illustrator of the critically acclaimed Amazon bestseller book How Food is Made: An illustrated guide to how everyday food is produced, and manager of Forssa Light Publishing.

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