Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate by Alice Medrich, Chocolate Chocolate by Lisa Yockelson, Sweet Serendipity: Delightful Desserts and Devilish Dish by Stephen Bruce and Viva Vodka by W. Park Kerr. I noticed a certian chocolate theme! I wonder if he is trying to hint at something? Actually, I welcome all the chocolate help I can get, I have made a few extremely chocolate-y cakes I find that as a devoted dark chocolate lover, chocolate is the hardest flavor to really "get right" in baking. These books might hold the key: In Chocolate Chocolate there are pages of charts of various kinds of chocolate, their qualities, brands, sizes. Bittersweet also has a lot of chocolate facts and stories and Sweet Serendipity has chocolate goodies beyond just baking. As for Viva Vodka, there are more cocktails than I could dream of.
In addition to my cookbooks, I also got a variety of chocolate I am looking forward to trying: some Choxie bars (Hot Chocolate and a mint cookie variety) and Mauna Lao dark chocolate covered macadamia nuts which I have been predicting ever since Hershey accquired both Scharffen Berger and Mauna Lao in the last year. And I know my mom had bought me a pound box of yummy, handmade and local Rheb's Chocolates in an assortment of buttercreams, caramel, sponges and coconut treats. So this will be a very chocolate birthday!