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Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme [Hardcover]

Dorie Greenspan
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 20 2001
In their second collaboration, Pierre Herme and Dorie Greenspan unveil the secrets of sumptuous chocolate desserts. Their book offers a delicious collection of recipes, all featuring the world's most intoxicating ingredient: chocolate!

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From Amazon

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.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
This is a dark-as-midnight chocolate cake that gets its strong chocolate flavor from cocoa and small chunks of premium-quality bittersweet chocolate (think the best chocolate chips imaginable). Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even Better Than Cocolat, This Book is the BEST! March 12 2004
By Carroll
Format:Hardcover
I can't imagine how anyone could call this book a waste of money! When I read through and tried the recipes in Cocolat, I was pleasantly surprised. When I received this cookbook, I was in Heaven--I couldn't put it down! I've tried several recipes from this book and, being a typical home baker, I had no problems with any of them. Yes, a few of them may take more time than others, but if you want quick and easy, go to Betty Crocker...
Each recipe was clearly and concisely presented. The few recipes that need special ingredients are the most intriguing! Who doesn't want to try something new and different? In fact, the author recommends Nutella if you don't have or want to deal with hazelnuts!
The Chocolate Macaroons were a treat one would die for. If you love chocolate, and I mean GOOD chocolate, you can't pass up this book. Because Cocolat contains many other recipes besides chocolate recipes, I much preferred Chocolate Desserts for its chocolate intensity and inspiring recipes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I could rave about Pierre Herme all day! March 29 2009
Format:Hardcover
Ok, I must confess - I am not at all objective about Pierre Herme. I am a huge fan - huge huge huge huge! I can read a recipe I have never seen before, and know that it is his work. What makes sense to him makes sense to me, so I have a total affinity with his work and understand his methodology completely.

This book - "Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme"- is written/translated by the excellent food writer Dorie Greenspan, making it is a pleasure to read, technically correct, eminently readable and enjoyable. The artistic layout is excellent, and the pictures are superb and inviting - an awesome example of how a dessert book should be. They make a great team.

Every pastry chef needs good foundation recipes, and Pierre's are excellent, from sweet and sable dough to cream, mousse, ganache and puff pastry. Not all the recipes are to my personal liking, but most I find delicious and inspirational - I love his St. Honoré Cake (and chocolate St. Honoré Cake), Profiteroles, many more.

Best of all, his books are wonderfully detailed. He explains each facet of his recipes thoroughly, elaborating on why he takes each step; most recipes span two or more pages of quality instructional advice. For each dessert type, he explores a wide range of options - chocolate cakes, cookies, tarts, puddings, creams, custards, mousses, truffles, candies, ice cream, frozen chocolate, and chocolate drinks are featured in recipes ranging from simple to sophisticated.

I could rave about Pierre Herme all day! All of his books are both inexpensive and invaluable; Chocolate Desserts will make a delicious addition to any bookshelf. Completely and whole-heartedly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome *Drool* May 29 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I first got this book because the pictures were so inspiring...when I got over the photo's I actually tried the recipes....WOW....they were awesome. I definately recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific book Dec 28 2001
Format:Hardcover
Contents. Cakes: Loaf cake,Suzy cake, St. Honore cake, eclair, black forest cake, chocolate meringue cake, puff pastry w/chocolate cream and with orange cream. Cookies: cigarette cookies, macaroons, florentines, financiers. Tarts: chocolate fig tart, nutella tart, pecan tart. Puddings: rice pudding, coffee/whisky cappuccino. Candies: regular truffles, caramel truffles, nut truffles, candied fruits, passionfruit/milk chocolate truffles. Ice cream: Different ice creams, banana splits, sherbet, ice cream sandwich with meringue. drinks: variety of hot chocolate.
I recommend this book. The pictures are beautiful (though not everything is photographed), and the recipes are well explained, Most importantly, all of the recipes work (Pierre's recipes always work). The binding on this book is very strong, so you can actually use it as a cookbook.

One of the other reviewers said this book was for "novices", I see the point, but do not agree. I think this book is a little harder than "Desserts by Pierre Herme". For instance, it it asks for passion fruit pulp in one recipe ("desserts" asks for passion fruit juice, which is easier to get), some of the recipes assume you have an icecream maker, and I know of no amateur who makes St. Honore cakes. "Desserts by Pierre Herme" is organized with building blocks first, recipes second, "chocolate desserts" is the other way around. To me this assumes you know the recipes and just need to check the back for reference. ON the other hand, this book is definitely easier than his other book "The patisserie of Pierre Herme" (which also has building blocks at the end).
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Format:Hardcover
While the photos in this wonderful book are enough to make your mouth water, reading the fantastic descriptions will force even the most uninventive baker to hop in his/her car down to the nearest gourmet specialty shop and purchase a supply of Valrona's sumptuous dark chocolate, parchment paper and a fun assortment of accoutrements that would please the most well-turned out pastry chef. Those who have never used a pastry bag, need not panic; the results are well-worth the process. The recipes are fun and fantastic, the tastes, subtle and the step-by-step directions, complete with Pierre's sidebar tips and suggestions, foolproof. The book is divided into different sections focusing on Cakes, Cookies, Tarts, Custards/Mousses, Truffles/Candies, Ice Cream/Frozen Desserts, Hot and Cold Drinks. The book is prefaced by a brief essay on what you can expect from the book and finished to perfection with Pierre's base recipes and a dictionary of terms, techniques, equipment and ingredients with a source guide. I especially enjoyed concocting Pierre's Chocolate Macaroons, the Financiers, and the Moist and Nutty Brownies. The total chocolate experience of the Original Hot Chocolate is Proustian, (with or without the madeleine)reminiscient of that served in a Parisian specialty shop in a tiny cup. The books presentation alone would make a lovely gift even for the coffee-table brand of patisserie chef, but for those who are a little more adventuresome, there is much pleasure to be derived from this little gem.
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