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Chocolate Epiphany: Exceptional Cookies, Cakes, and Confections for Everyone Hardcover – April 29, 2008

12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Denizens of New York City’s chic Upper East Side have long reveled in the glorious desserts produced in François Payard’s bakery. Now pastry fans west of the Hudson have a guide for re-creating Payard’s phenomenal chocolate creations. Noted for his luxurious wedding cakes, Payard instructs his readers in the less-daunting craft of baking other cakes, ranging from a five-ingredient afternoon cake through an appealing if elaborate chocolate-coconut-caramel fantasy. He reimagines angel food cake by baking it in layers instead of in the traditional tube pan. He also presents chocolate custards, cookies, mousses, ice creams, and candies. Photographs of many of these desserts illuminate their creator’s sublime artistry, but home cooks can make just components of these for less-elaborate but equally tasty versions. Guides to bakers’ techniques and sources for ingredients and specialized equipment give useful help. Directions for tempering chocolate assist committed chocolate chefs achieve success. --Mark Knoblauch


“François shares generations of pastry expertise and talent in this chocolate lover's bible, with every recipe more delicious sounding than the last.”
—Gale Gand, executive pastry chef/partner of Tru and Cenitare

“Think about a major league chocolate player, and François Payard's name tops the roster. In Chocolate Epiphany he covers all the bases with chocolate, and in doing so hits a home run.”
—Marcel Desaulniers, author of I'm Dreaming of a Chocolate Christmas

“François makes chocolate desserts we all dream about–fortunately, he also makes books we can all bake from. Whoever said, ‘You can’t have your cake and eat it too,’ clearly hasn’t seen Chocolate Epiphany.”
—Dorie Greenspan, author of Baking From My Home to Yours

“Through this dazzling collection of one-of-a-kind recipes, renowned pastry chef, par excellence, François Payard promises a chocolate epiphany for chocolate lovers everywhere. You won’t be able to resist baking the Triple Chocolate Financiers and the Chocolate Cherry Gateau Basque.”
—Flo Braker, author of The Simple Art of Perfect Baking and Sweet Miniatures

“The recipes are simple, soulful, and sophisticated, with aromas and flavors that seem to leap from the page: you’ll want to stop reading and start baking.”
—Alice Medrich, author of Pure Dessert and Bittersweet

“Once again, François Payard demonstrates his talent as a great pastry chef and chocolate master, at the height of his art, in sharing his best chocolate recipes along with detailed instructions making it possible for everyone to prepare these dream desserts at home. Without François, the pastry landscape of New York and the United States would not be what it is today.”
—Pierre Hermé, pastry chef/owner of Pierre Hermé, Paris and Tokyo

“As a third generation baker, François Payard has many tricks of the trade to share with us. Chocolate Epiphany is the perfect blend of his creativity, his knowledge of classic French pastry, and his love affair with the American sweet tooth.”
—Daniel Boulud, chef/restaurateur

“I love François's brilliant new book Chocolate Epiphany. Creations such as the chocolate pavlova, beignets, gâteau basque, and savarin are the inventions of one of the best pastry chefs of our time, who never fails to inspire and delight.”
—Eric Ripert, executive chef/co-owner, Le Bernardin

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (April 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307393461
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307393463
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 67 people found the following review helpful By C. Terzis on June 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is on a level that few chocolate, or to that matter dessert, pastry etc books have reached. It shouts quality from every point of view: From the excellent cover, to the gloss pages ,on to the beautiful photographs and finally to the most important aspect, the recipes, this is a book that mirrors its author's love for the subject.
Francois Payard is a Frenchman living in the USA, and is the owner of a patisserie and bistro in the New World. Unlike many Europeans that have negatively changed their culinary and patisserie heritage to suit the tastes of their new homelands, Mr Payard very succesfully presents French chocolate patisserie, slightly adopted for the American tastebuds but without being commercialised or cheapened by using margarines, shortenings, or too much sugar.
The book uses both Metric and Volume (cups and spoons) measurements so that ingredients can be easily measured by all. It does not however use Celsius temperatures, only Fahrenheit, but this can be easily remedied with a comparative table.
This book is geared towards both the Professional and the amateur. Most of the recipes can be made by home cooks, but read the instructions carefully. The author gives some useful tips to read before one attempts the recipes.
Then the feast starts. There are more than one hundred recipes included, starting with breads and brunch dishes. In this chapter we find among others: Chocolate cherry bread with cocoa nibs, Chocolate brioche with chocolate chips, Chocolate blinis.
Then we move on to Cookies and Petit Fours: Here I particularly like the Florentines, Triple chocolate Financiers, Chocolate coconut rochers, Cracaos, Flourless chocolate cookies. There is also a recipe for chocolate churros with dipping sauces.
The next chapter is Candies and Chocolate.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mark Manguerra on July 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Since the highly celebrated book Simply Sensational Desserts had gone out of print, I thought I had missed my chance to try the recipes of one of New York's most famous pastry chefs. I was a little disappointed to hear that Payard's new book would focus on chocolate, since I already had Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme and thought I would be getting more or less the same kinds of recipes. However, even though Chocolate Desserts is the closest comparison you may draw with this book in terms of the scope in which it explores the various forms of chocolate in pastry (cakes, tarts, custards, mousses, cookies), Payard's book is much wider in scope and there is greater variety in the types of recipes you'll find. For instance, Payard includes a few recipes for bread. His book has a slight bias towards cakes, but this book isn't about different ways to dress up one basic cake. Payard includes recipes for cheesecake, pudding cake, crepe cake, flourless cake, angel food cake; classics like Gâteau Basque, Saint-Honoré, Paris-Brest, and Savarin; unusual creations such as creme catalane cake and turron cake; and majestic creations such as an American Opera cake and Black Forest. At the very start of the custards chapter you'll already find a recipe for panna cotta, pots de creme, crême brulée, mousse, and parfait. Those looking for an adventure in working with chocolate will not find a dull moment in this book.

The book is geared towards home bakers of varying proficiencies.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Craig on May 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I had great hopes for this book. It's got great reviews on the cover from renowned pastry chefs and the recipes sound wonderful. I had serious problems with all the recipes I tried. When I talked to a friend is a trained pastry chef, she said the book is written by a pastry chef at a level that is very understandable if you've been to culinary arts school. Not so much if you're a home baker. If you just bake for fun, save yourself frustration and get a different chocolate baking book.
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By K. Sugarman on February 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My husband loves Chocolate so I bought this book. I haven't made too many things from this book mainly because most of them take a lot of ingredients that you probably wouldn't find in a normal grocery store. Also, most of the recipes are not very easy. Those are the two reasons that I marked this 4 stars and not 5. Other then that, there is some really good information about chocolate in the book aside from the recipes. Also, there are a lot of recipes that are traditionally not chocolate flavored such as chocolate churros and chocolate creme' brulee'. If you or some you knows is a chocolate lover and you can get this book for the right price I would highly recommend it.
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By Rita A. Sowins on December 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The design and layout of this book is as delicious as the chocolate!
A wonderful tribute to the work and genius of Francois Payard.
Excellant gift!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karen F. Griffin on January 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I saw French pastry chef Francois Payard on ABC News in 2008, and I wanted to bake his Charlie's afternoon cake he demonstrated on the show. However there was something different from the recipe given on ABC website and what he actually prepared in his presentation. I had to have this cookbook to make sure I had the recipe correct.

Well this book is full of wonderful recipe's including two versions of the Charlie's afternoon chocolate cake recipes (one is a Charlie's Chocate Pudding Cake which was the one Chef Payard baked on ABC) which explains the difference. I made a great investment in this cookbook.

The seller was also awesome. There was some confustion at my lcoal post office, and the seller was great and worked with me to make sure I received my product.

Bon Apetit
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