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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Do you like your chocolate hot or cold, creamy or crunchy, bittersweet or sweet? If your answer is simply yes, run -- don't walk -- toward this beautiful book of chocolate desserts. Pierre Hermé, whom Vogue magazine has dubbed the "Picasso of pastry," returns with a second dessert cookbook, this one specifically devoted to the glories of chocolate.
In these 100 recipes, all tested for the American home kitchen, Hermé and his collaborator, Dorie Greenspan (author of Baking with Julia), cover the waterfront of chocolate desserts, from cakes, cookies, tarts, and mousses to truffles, ice creams, frozen desserts, and hot and cold chocolate drinks. Hermé, France's premier pastry chef with patisseries in Paris and Tokyo, takes classics like a simple chocolate loaf cake and gives it a new twist with the addition of small cubes of diced apricots and intensely spicy stem ginger. Or he'll take a Black Forest Cake over the top by adding kirsch-flavored vanilla and chocolate whipped cream, and studding it with cherries soaked in spiced port.
Hermé introduces new dessert collections twice a year, much as fashion designers do. Some of the stars included in this book are the much-praised Nutella Tart and the Chocolate, Coffee, and Whisky Cappucino, described by Greenspan as "a brilliant mix of dark, slip-through-your-teeth chocolate pudding, frozen and scraped espresso-and-single-malt-Scotch granité and a dollop of whipped cream." Phew!
The authors note that the recipes are not beyond the range of the "committed amateur." Certainly there are easy recipes like the Black-on-Black truffle or Suzy's Cake, but there are also complex, time-consuming recipes like the Grand chocolate Tart with its chocolate crust, chocolate ganache filling, and hidden layer of chocolate cake. All sound pretty spectacular.
For those of you who are devoted to all things chocolate (a wise commitment, in my opinion), you can also bolster your personal chocolate recipe database with the help of Nick Malgieri's Chocolate, and Michele Urvater's Chocolate Cake and the unbelievable chocolate cake in Piero Selvaggio's The Valentino Cookbook. (Ginger Curwen)