Since Pierre Hermé is probably the best pastry chef in the world, and chocolate the best dessert flavor, it's no surprise that this stellar combination, presented in Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
is dazzling. Hermé's beautiful recipes are written by Dorie Greenspan, who also worked with him on his award-winning Desserts by Pierre Hermé
, and the resulting creations are photographed as works of art by Jean-Louis Block-Laine.
Although Hermé is best known for his multilayered extravaganzas, this collection was written and tested for American home kitchens. So while there are a few mind-boggling, taste-bud-stretching experiences like Plaisir Sucre (hazelnut dacquoise, milk chocolate ganache, milk chocolate whipped cream, sheets of tempered milk chocolate, and a crunchy chocolate praline spread), most of the recipes are more than manageable, and just as scrumptious. Lacy Coffee-Cocoa Nougatine Cookies are crisp and delicate and extremely flavorful. The Chocolate Macaroons are the perfectly smooth, ganache-filled ones you see all over Paris, and with Hermé and Greenspan to walk you through the steps, the best results are guaranteed. Pistachio Waffles with Chocolate Cream are crispy outside and moist and tender inside, and the combination of hot and cold makes them even more memorable. Chocolate Rice Pudding is far from old-fashioned, and while it makes a delectable stand-alone dessert, Hermé suggests making it part of a truly grand dessert: his Pear and Fresh Mint Tempura with Chocolate Rice Pudding is an amazing combination of flavors, textures, and temperatures.
In recipes for everything from Hot Chocolate to Bittersweet Chocolate Sorbet, from Moist and Nutty Brownies to the legendary chocolate caramel extravaganza the Faubourg Pave, readers will benefit from Hermé's 25 years of experience, his limitless creativity, and his obvious passion for his profession. This volume is destined to become a classic. --Leora Y. Bloom
From Publishers Weekly
Celebrated as one of France's greatest (and most prolific) pastry chefs, Herm delivers a spectacular collection of recipes celebrating most magical ingredients. In their second collaboration (after Desserts by Pierre Herm), Greenspan, a food writer and author, has carefully translated metric measurements and faithfully interpreted French ingredients for the American home cook. She describes the recipes' cultural and technical aspects and includes comments from Herm that shed light on the origin or capture the essence of an ingredient. As in their earlier book, the recipes range from simple to complex, but all are signature Herm with their finely tuned marriage of the "three Ts": taste, temperature and texture. There are some truly special desserts like the Plaisir Sucr (Sweet Pleasure), five distinct textural layers of milk, hazelnuts, sugar and chocolate, or a concoction after the Italian Granita that includes whiskey and a whimsical topping of Rice Krispies home versions of the inventions that established Herm's reputation. From the ethereal moist-centered chocolate "Suzy's" Cake to the Moist Nutty Brownies, cooks will be surprised by the simple methods and ingredients. Classics such as Chocolate clairs are impeccably rendered and often freshly interpreted, such as the unusual "inverted" puff pastry in the Chocolate Mille Feuille (Napoleons). The book is full of connoisseur knowledge about cocoa demonstrated by cosmopolitan ideas like the beautifully layered Criollo, named after the rarest and most prized Latin American cocoa bean, but it also contains a section of base recipes and a glossary of ingredients and terms. Amateurs will appreciate the careful instructions; storage tips will help professionals. Beautiful full-page illustrations are a siren call to cooks of all stripes.
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