on September 18, 2000
Chocophiles! Come to the party! You will be anything but disenchanted. Marcel Desaulniers has produced yet another collection of ambrosial recipes in Death by Chocolate Cakes. Whether you just want to savor the recipes in your armchair (please, no!) or attempt the delectable creations yourself, you will no doubt suffer serious pleasure. The directions are well written - I suggest reading through them once before attempting the devilish desserts - and most all of the recipes can be produced in an ordinary kitchen. The pictures that accompany the recipes are most helpful and I especially like the "chef's touch" which my own chocophile mind would have been dashed not to find. Give Chocolate Temptress to your date and he'll be your chocolate prisoner...I gave the Warm Dark Chocolate Fudge Sauce to my husband (served on brownies): suffice it to say, the spell worked! This book is a delight.
on August 20, 2002
Marcel Desaulniers has a feverish brain, and the fever has been induced by chocolate. In "Death by Chocolate Cakes," he provides recipes for mind-blowing chocolate experiences from Chocolate Peanut Butter Some More (Please) Cakes and Chocolate Chip Goober Gobble Cupcakes to Chocolate Peanut Root Beer Rumble to Cocoa Skillet Cake with Tequila Sunshine Salsa. The range of his imagination is breathtaking, and we should count ourselves lucky that the reach of his culinary prowess is just as broad. These recipes are wonderful!
Those who like to wing it in the kitchen may chafe a little under Desaulniers' firm touch--the recipes are nothing if not detailed, but that's because Desaulniers has the experience and expertise to tell you exactly how to do it. If you follow his directions, you can plan on spending a little longer in the kitchen than usual--but you can also bank on the fact that your family and friends will be first amazed, then delighted that you prepared anything from this book. Don't worry if you're not an incredibly experienced baker. You'll look at the level of detail involved and be intimidated at first, but in fact, Desaulniers' recipes are practically custom-made for the baker who likes a lot of hand-holding. He guides you from one step to the next with assurance and grace.
Desaulniers knows that we eat with our eyes before we eat with our mouths, and he is rightly known for preparing desserts which are as magnificent to gaze upon as they are to eat. He is aided greatly in this by the evocative photography of Duane Winfield, who captures with loving detail every chocolate cake oozing chocolate ganache, every glossy icing, and every delicious crumb of chocolate goodness.
Recipes I highly recommend include the Chocolate Heart of Darkness Cakes (in which you insert frozen chocolate truffles into cake batter just before baking--soooooooo amazingly good you just have to try it!) and the Chocolate Chunk Cookie Cakes (which I made with my 8-year old son and 5-year old daughter, who loved these as much as my husband and I did!). This book's a definite keeper!
on September 15, 2000
It's delightful to enter Marcel's world of "chocolate enchantments"!! The recipes are not for the weak of heart when it comes to rich and chocolaty. Chocolate Heart of Darkness Cakes and Excessively Expressive Espresso Fantasy (pictured on the cover)are sure to satisfy even a non-chocophile. One of the features that I have come to enjoy in Marcel's books is his "Chef's Touch". He did not disappoint in Cakes. His Chef's Touch at the end of each recipe is filled with practical technical information, tips for beverage accompaniment, and wonderful vignettes. From his witty introduction to mouth watering recipes and practical advice on technique and equipment,and to the Chef's Touch, this book truly is a chocolate lover's delight and a good read!
on September 15, 2000
For chocolate lovers, bakers, and people who love to eat sweets, this book is for you!! First of all, it is a beautiful book -- with a luscious photo to accompany every recipe. I particularly find the "chef's touch" to be very helpful especially for those desserts that can be made over two to three days (saves the cook from having to do everything in one day!). Having tried Desaulniers' recipes in prior books, I find them to be quite detailed (although some can be challenging). I like the very organized way the recipes are laid out together with the equipment needed. I have yet to try out a recipe of his that did not get rave reviews from my dinner guests!! My only problem with the D by C Cakes, is which recipe to start with!!! What a yummy dilemna!!
on January 10, 2001
What I love most about Marcel Desaulniers' cookbooks are that the recipes in his books are what you will actually taste in his restaurant. I was so ecstatic when I visited his Trellis restaurant and tasted some of his chocolate desserts and found that they taste exactly like what I have made from his cookbooks. This is not always what I have found in the past. For example, many of the cookies from the Mrs. Field's cookie cookbook would never sell at their stores, they are so far removed from the real thing.
This is a spectacular cookbook. The instructions are all very detailed, and some incorporate personal anecdotes and humor. The pictures alone send me to chocolate heaven.
Marcel Desaulniers is the most consistently amazing dessert cookbook author I've ever come across. Take, for example, Martha's Chocolate Freckles Fresh Blueberry Ice Cream Cake. It's based in a "Chocolate Freckles Cake," which is a non-chocolate cake with finely-chopped or grated chocolate mixed into the batter. A homemade blueberry ice cream fills the space between the layers - this is honestly one of the best ice creams I've ever had, with a tart flavor created by the sour cream, cream cheese, and lemon juice. The topping is sweetened, vanilla-flavored whipped cream, and further fresh blueberries are ringed around the top.
Next we made Marcel's First Birthday Chocolate High and Fluffy-on-Top Cake. This is a chocolate cake with a vanilla frosting. It sounds so simple, but it's so delightful! This is truly the ultimate icing: sweet, not too buttery, and remarkably fluffy. I have never had such a fantastic icing before, and intend to use it on cake after cake in the future.
You'll find everything in here from Chocolate Rocky Road, to Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake, Chocolate Caraway On-the-Rocks Trifles, Chocolate-Dipped Orange Fry Cakes with Coffee and Cream, Uncle Sam's in the Black Cake (with a toasted oatmeal raising topping), Chocolate Tender Passion, and much more! Each recipe comes with a gorgeous picture. The recipes are inventive and of consistently excellent quality; the directions are thorough without being labyrinthine. They're several pages long for each recipe, but I never feel lost. Marcel repeats the amounts of the ingredients in the instructions so you don't have to flip back and forth to the ingredient amounts.
You'll probably not want to get this book unless you have a stand mixer--the key to many of these delights is loooong mixing times, sometimes of stiff batters. Other than that, however, Marcel tries to limit himself to common household equipment and time-scales. In short, if you like to cook and love chocolate cakes, buy this cookbook!
Not too often do you find a book that is filled with those types of recipes for foods you never knew exsisted, but instinctively you know you desire. This book is filled with wonderfully rich, and recipes that will tickle your tongue. This book is is for those with a little cooking experience behind their apron.
Three of my favorite recipes out of this book was the Heart of Darkness Chocolate Cake, which was a cake that featured a soft gooey chocolate center surrounded by chocolate cake. Happy All of the Time Cakes, which was a rich cocoa bourbon cake with a chocolate honey bourbon glaze. And finally Mocha Mud Cake with Espresso Chocolate Chunk Mud Slide, need I say more.
You will feel you entered your own personal pastry shop with recipes like these. The book has many photos of prepared recipes. I like this book as the ingredient list is printed on the right hand side of the page, leaving almost an entire page for their very detailed instructions. This book is very well put together, and will give you many tasty results that you are sure to enjoy.
on December 3, 2000
This book is well written and the photographs are fantastic. Marcel Desaulniers has done it again. I own all of his books and this one is another perfect 10! As a professional baker, I find the "Chef's Touch" a nice addition especially for friends of mine who borrow the book. It saves me from having to answer a lot of questions. If you love to bake you will love this cookbook.
on February 18, 2003
I had seen Marcel Desaulniers on his TV show a few years ago and when I saw this book in amazon.com I knew I had to buy it. I've had a die-hard sweet tooth since I was a child, and am always on the lookout for places selling great desserts. However, since Koreans do not like their sweets too sweet, I was always wishing for some decadent, sinfully delicious desserts, especially some containing lots of CHOCOLATE.
This book is just wonderful; as many reviewers have commented, as long as you follow the recipe instructions meticulously, you can't go wrong! I have made at least ten of the recipes here, including the Heart of Darkness Cakes(which everyone here seems to adore), Chocolate Peanut S'more Cakes, Excessively Expressive Espresso Ecstasy, Chocolate Mai-Tai Cake and the Midnight Truffle Cake. I admit, the ingredients do cost a bit and preparation time is considerable, but it is definitely worth it!
You won't find such creative stuff anywhere else, trust me, one who's a cookbook addict collector and searches many sources for great recipes. Marcel is truly creative and stand alone in his relentless search and publication of such collections, all geared not for restaurant or competition but for us home chefs. Ingredients, equipment and techniques are all tried and prepared with us in mind.
This volume on cakes is divided into five groupings: Baby cakes, Mom's cakes, Celebration cakes, out-of-state cakes, and sky-high cakes, with the common theme of chocolate. This guy really knows how to get to my sweet tooth, with nuts and fruit and decadent chocolate.
Try the likes of: "Chocolate Porto Enchantment Cake"; "Milk Chocolate Peach Pecan Upside Down Cake with Peach and Bourbon Ice Cream" or "Chocolate Mai Tai." Truly, there is too many good ones, but feast your tastebuds on: "Martha's Chocolate Frecles Fresh Blueberry Ice Cream Cake" "Chocolate Caraway On-The-Rock Trifles" "Chocolate Tender Passion"
As with each of his cookbook offerings, there is the super photos, Chef's Touch section with its fascinating background and prep and serving tips, and section on sources, ingredients and techniques, one especially awesome here is a Table of differing chocolate melting times using both double broiler and microwave methods.
This one does take the cake