Chocolate: From Simple Cookies to Extravagant Showstoppers

Chocolate: From Simple Cookies to Extravagant Showstoppers

by Nick Malgieri
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Chocolate: From Simple Cookies to Extravagant Showstoppers by Nick Malgieri

Nick Malgieri, who taught us everything we need to know about baking in How to Bake, takes on chocolate, the world's favorite food. With the authoritative accessibility he brings to his teaching, Nick bridges the gap between the professional baker and the home cook. He knows techniques and ingredients and he teaches them with hand-holding efficiency. In ten chapters, Nick offers a primer on basics and every kind of chocolate from coca to chips and white chocolate (and why it isn't really chocolate in the strictest sense) to big dark slabs of the world's favorite luxury food and the many, many ways to enjoy it.

Information on storage, handling, and the fundamentals needed to create chocolate confections is clear and concise. Recipe sections include everything you need to know to turn the food of the gods into desserts for us mortals: cakes and cookies, creams and custards, ice creams, pies and pastries, sauces and beverages, truffles and pralines, dipped and molded chocolates, all adapted for the home cook.

Illustrated with four-color photographs throughout, all 380 luscious recipes will send a shiver of delight down the spine of every chocolate lover. Chocolate is definitive without being intimidating; it is a true home companion for anyone who wants to cook with chocolate.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060187118
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/09/1998
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 712,482
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Nick Malgieri is the author of seven books, including A Baker's Tour, Perfect Cakes, Chocolate, and the James Beard Award–winning How to Bake. He is director of the baking program at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. His website, www.nickmalgieri .com, includes a schedule of his guest teacher appearances across the country.

Read an Excerpt

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Layer Cake

Makes one 8-inch 2-Layer cake, about 10 servings

Cake Batter

2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

Chocolate Cream Frosting

1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
16 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces


Chocolate shavings

Two 8-inch round cake pans, 2 inches deep, buttered and the bottoms lined with parchment or wax paper

It was typical in the past to use a white or yellow cake for the layers with a rich chocolate frosting instead of all-chocolate layers and frosting. This particular version uses tender yellow cake and a fudgy frosting.

1. Set a rack at the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. Use an electric mixer set at medium speed to beat the butter and sugar together. Continue beating until light, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks, two at a time, beating smooth between each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

4. By hand, using a rubber spatula, stir half the flour mixture into the batter, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl well. Stir in the milk, then the remaining flour mixture. Scrape well after each addition.

5. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth the top. Bake the layers for about 35 to 45 minutes, or until well risen and atoothpick or a thin knife inserted in the center emerges clean. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then unmold and finish cooling the layers on racks. Peel off papers.

6. To make the chocolate cream frosting, combine the cream, butter, and corn syrup in a saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a boll, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, add chocolate, and shake pan gently so that all the chocolate is covered by the hot liquid. Let stand 5 minutes, then whisk smooth. Scrape the frosting into a bowl and let cool to spreading consistency, either in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

7. To assemble the cake, place one of the cooled layers on a cardboard or platter. Spread about half the frosting over the first layer. Top with the second cake layer, flat bottom side up, and spread the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. If you wish, using a spatula, press some chocolate shavings into the frosting on the sides of the cake. (If you try to use your hands, the chocolate will melt from the heat of your hands).

Serving: Serve the cake in wedges-it needs no accompaniment.

Storage: if the cake is made early on the day it is to be served, keep it under a cake dome at a cool room temperature. If you prepare the layers in advance, wrap and freeze them until you are ready to finish the cake. If you prepare the frosting in advance, wrap and refrigerate it, then bring it back to room temperature for several hours so that it turns to spreading consistency.

"Instant" Chocolate Mousse

Makes about 1 quart mousse, about 6 generous servings

1 cup heavy whipping cream
16 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons dark rum, other liquor, or strong coffee
4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
Chocolate shavings, for garnishing
6 stemmed glasses, or one 6-cup capacity bowl

This dessert is ready in just a few minutes--it only needs time to chill before serving.

1. Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan and remove from heat. Add chocolate and let stand a few minutes; then whisk smooth and pour into a large bowl. Whisk in the liquor and cool. The mixture should cool to room temperature, but not solidify. (If it does, warm the bowl briefly over some warm tap water and stir smooth with a rubber spatula.)

2. When the chocolate mixture has cooled, combine egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a mixer and place over a pan of simmering water, whisking constantly, until egg whites are hot and sugar is dissolved. Use electric mixer to whip until cooled and inflated in volume--do not overbeat or egg whites will become dry.

3. Fold meringue into chocolate mixture, and spoon into glasses or bowl. Garnish with chocolate shavings just before serving.


Instant Milk Chocolate Mousse Substitute milk chocolate for the bittersweet chocolate. Decrease sugar to 1/4 cup.

Instant White Chocolate Mousse Substitute white chocolate for the bittersweet chocolate. Decrease sugar to 1/4 cup.

Striped Parfaits of Chocolate Mousse Alternate layers of white and milk or white and dark mousse, in deep stemmed glasses. Garnish the mousses with mixed white and milk or white and dark chocolate shavings.

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Chocolate: From Simple Cookies to Extravagant Showstoppers 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My husband and I bought this book to learn how to make truffles for Christmas. We learned so much, and with this book have made some very delicious treats. We have kept the tradition going for a few years now. Every year I look through books for more ideas, but this one is still the best. The other recipes I have tried are great. The book covers such a range of treats. I look forward to making more!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the ultimate book on Chocolate, not only are the receipes accurate and precise, the results produce the most mouthwatering chocolate desserts. Bravo Nick! A must have for every kitchen library.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you truly love chocolate, you will love this book. It offers unusual receipes, with great photos and helpful 'walk-you-through-it' steps! I recommend this and you won't be disappointed! That's a promise!