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Chocolate Cakes: 50 Great Cakes for Every Occasion Hardcover – January 27, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition edition (January 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811868729
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811868723
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #394,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

There's no such thing as too much of a good thing, as this drool-inducing, photo-heavy cookbook proves. Former pastry chef Klivans (Potpies; Big Fat Cookies) turns her attention to the most decadent of desserts, the chocolate cake, finding 50 different approaches. Klivans orients her readers with a narrative about chocolate production, tips for choosing and using chocolate, and basic tips about ingredient and technique in baking, such as beating egg whites. The remainder of the book is organized by cake type (quick and easy; layer cakes; party cakes), and the recipes run the gamut from a basic chocolate-chip loaf to her chocolate yule log and chocolate-apricot pudding cake with chocolate toffee sauce. Some, like her pavlova with chocolate-covered strawberries, and her trifle-like deep-dish white chocolate peaches and cream cake are not technically cakes, but who's counting? Klivans is nothing if not inventive—a basic devil's food recipe serves as a staple for seven other variants. With deft instructions and highly detailed, clearly written recipes, she guides even the least confident baker to a cocoa-dusted kitchen and full-on chocolate ecstasy. Photos. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Elinor Klivans is the author of Cupcakes!, The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook, and Big Fat Cookies. She lives in Camden, Maine.

Ann Stratton is a New York-based photographer.

More About the Author

Elinor Klivans is a notable cookbook author and food writer who has published articles for Bon Appetit, Fine Cooking, Cooking Pleasures, and the Washington Post, among others. A former pastry chef, she is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and lives in Camden, Maine.

Customer Reviews

Beautifully illustrated, with easy to follow recipes.
W. B. Halper
There are several recipes to try for him that will make wonderful birthday and occasion cakes for him.
Shala Kerrigan
I highly recommend this cookbook as a gift, for the baker in the family, or the chocolate lover.
Katy Lake

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Meli on April 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is one of the best chocolate cake cookbooks ever. Book says 50 cakes, yet I only counted 48. If you count the Simple Chocolate Buttercream & Ganache and Whipped Ganache Recipes, it totals 50. No biggie, 48 cakes works for me. It's so easy to make the butter cream and chocolate ganache cake from scratch. Great recipes and photos of what the end result may look like. I have not made many, yet can't wait for that special occasion. Great coffee table book. Makes a great gift for the baker friend or family member.Read more ›
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on March 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I really enjoy cookbooks. Not only to cook from, but to read and imagine eating the recipe results even when I don't cook them. I found "Chocolate Cakes" to be satisfying on both counts. It's a nice sized book, about 9" by 8" with 143 glossy pages, it's well-photographed (there isn't a photo of every recipe, but in my view that's not a reason to downgrade) and pleasingly designed. The recipes are delicious too. When I first opened the book I was thinking "how many chocolate cake recipes can there really be?" but each recipe is distinct and not just a variation on the same recipe with a different add-in. The recipes have clear directions, a little on the extensive if you're an experienced baker. I give it four "yums" out of five for the creativity of the recipes. My favorite recipe so far is the Ginger-chocolate cake roll.

One caveat to be aware of... the author calls for cake pans of standard dimensions but with high sides (2-inch) such as ones from gourmet cookshops, NOT the standard bakware most of us have in our kitchens, so if you don't pay attention to that, you're going to have a major mess in your oven!

Another warning, I baked the Milk Chocolate Chip-Chocolate Loaf today, and the recipe called for 3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate in the ingredient list. The first step in the instructions was to melt the chocolate, and after multiple readings, I am sure it isn't me, the directions simply NEVER tell you when to add the melted chocolate to the batter. I guessed, but am pretty certain I guessed wrong because my batter had bits of resolidified chocolate throughout.

The above error calls into question the accuracy of all of the recipes, who knows what else could be missing. So I'm not sure I want to bake from it again, as delicious as the recipes may seem.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By OrchidSlayer VINE VOICE on February 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have way too many cookbooks and am in the process of getting rid of many of them. This book, with only 50 recipes, had to be really good to make the cut and earn shelf space.

The first thing I noticed was recipes written for both American and British users. Measurements are in cups and grams; temperatures in Fahrenheit, Celsius, and gas mark; and ingredient lists include the British terms.

The instructions are clear and would not be intimidating to a newer baker. Cakes range from the very simple (one that is almost like a cake brownie) to party-worthy (the cover cake, which is actually very easy to make). Most list prep time (mixing, filling, icing) time as 15 minutes or so; the cover recipe shows 30 minutes and I didn't see anything that took longer. There are numerous mouthwatering pictures.

Update: I have made three of the recipes so far: salted caramel and pecan chocolate cake, chocolate blackout cake (the cover recipe), and chocolate and peanut butter mousse cake. All were wonderful. However, what I thought was the prep time is actually called "mixing time". That means you start with everything melted, measured and ready. Adding the time to get everything to this stage doubled the time it took me. They were still easy to make. Reading through any recipe is important so you aren't blindsided like I was when components need to be refrigerated for 5 hours before using (the pudding in the blackout cake). The recipes do not take excessive time and the results are more than worth it.

The accompanying text is neither snooty nor cutesy. The tone is that of an experienced friend teaching you how to make the cake while in your own kitchen. If you liked Julia Child's style, you will like Ms. Klivans'.
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