Death by Chocolate Cakes: An Astonishing Array of Chocolate Enchantments

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9780688162979: Death by Chocolate Cakes: An Astonishing Array of Chocolate Enchantments
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For the chocolate lover, there is nothing like biting into a rich, dark slice of chocolate cake. More than a mouthful of something wonderful, it's a chocolate celebration. And nobody knows how to celebrate chocolate cakes better than the "guru of ganache," chef Marcel Desaulniers.

In Death by Chocolate Cakes, Marcel serves up some of his most inventive, most sinful, most seductive chocolate creations ever. His Chocolate Heart of Darkness cakes are the ultimate cupcakes. The secret--a melted chocolate truffle center. For an unforgettable birthday cake, serve the one he created for Julia Child: a ganache-covered chocolate almond cake with red raspberry mousse.

Have the desire for something that towers over ordinary chocolate desserts? Look up Excessively Expressive Espresso Ecstasy or Chocolate Strawberry Teardrop Cake. These are exactly the things when "over the top" is what you want. And for an elegant taste of Paris, try Marcel's Chocolate Pistachio Madeleines.

When you just can't wait for that chocolate fix, Marcel has plenty of quick-and-easy recipes, some of which come from Marcel's mom's circle of chocolate-lover friends. Pour yourself a cold glass of milk and dig into Margie's Golden Raisin Heavy Fudge Cake, Virginia's Cocoa Pound Cake with Warm Buttered Brandy Berries, or Mimi Montano's Chocolate Zucchini Cake. As a bonus, there is a collection of ice creams, sauces, beverages, and other delectables that are the perfect partners to Marcel's creations and an informative section on equipment, ingredients, and techniques.

Death by Chocolate Cakes truly takes the cake and then takes it to where it's never been before.

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Review:

No doubt about it: chocolate rules. Celebrating this happy fact is Marcel Desaulniers's Death by Chocolate Cakes, another installment in his bestselling Death by Chocolate series. These books bring chocolate sweets to, well, heart-stopping heights. Cake, which contains 50 or so recipes for goodies such as Chocolate Heart of Darkness Cakes (dense chocolate cupcakes with a molten chocolate-truffle center) and Excessively Expressive Espresso Fantasy (chocolate ganache-filled chocolate espresso cake topped with espresso mousse), also includes formulas for chocolate ice creams, drinks, and sauces--all in all a true debauch. Though its recipes are painstakingly written and easy to follow, most require multiple, technically exacting preparations; aside from chocolate voyeurs, they'll be of greatest interest to reasonably skilled bakers with time to spare.

Desaulniers divides his recipes into chapters such as "Baby Cakes," "Mom's Cakes," "Celebration Cakes," and "Sky-High Cakes." This portioning is somewhat arbitrary as the drill is usually a lusciously filled and topped layer cake. Delicious exceptions include My Little Kumquat Cake and Uncle Sam's in the Black Cake. If Desaulniers is given to a jokey cuteness (as evidenced by the above recipe titles), and neglects sometimes to describe his cakes so readers can make informed baking choices, he is careful to provide illuminating tips on equipment and techniques throughout. With 50 mouth-watering color photos, the book should bring great pleasure to all chocolate lovers, on the page and at meal's end. --Arthur Boehm

About the Author:

Marcel Desaulniers is the executive chef and co-owner of the Trellis Restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia. A 1965 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Marcel has received several national awards, including Food and Wine's Honor Roll of American Chefs, the Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America, the prestigious Ivy Award from Restaurants and Institutions, the 1993 James Beard Award for Best American Chef Mid-Atlantic States, the highly coveted Silver Palate award from the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association, and the 1999 James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef in America. Marcel is the author of Death by Chocolate, Desserts to Die For, An Alphabet of Sweets, and Death by Chocolate Cookies.

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