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Death by Chocolate: The Last Word on a Consuming Passion Hardcover – November 29, 2003

49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The resurrection of Desaulniers' classic compilation will delight chocoholics. Glossy pages hold photographs of tempting decadent desserts- perfectly tempered truffles and tiered mousse cakes-that should inspire home bakers to break out the Baker's chocolate bars and get cooking. The first edition, which won The James Beard Award in 1993 for Best Dessert Book, has been expanded to celebrate its 10th anniversary. New recipes like The "Big Dig" complement traditional classics like Chocolate Espresso Fudge Cake. Two days work is recommended to create and assemble the Dig's four layers: chocolate blacktop batter cake, triple chocolate barrier, double chocolate pudding and whipped cream topper. Assembled into a chocolate cylinder, the dessert is pure chocolate dementia. Desaulniers is a master at layering flavors and textures; though the recipes are difficult (even the seemingly simple Essential Chocolate Mousses need careful attention), they are worth the effort. The instructions are as rich as the desserts: Desaulniers holds the reader's hand, advising on complex techniques: his notes on what the batter should look like at each step are particularly helpful. And there are notes of humor as well. At the end of the spectacular five-page recipe for Chocolate Wedlock, he advises the pastry chef to "quaff a well-chilled glass of champagne... you deserve it!" (The section "A Touch of Chocolate" contains slightly more restrained recipes, like Red Pear Sorbet and White Chocolate "Ice Cream" with Pralines and Caramel Sabayon.) This is death worth living by.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Inside Flap

This book is about obsession, cravings, and licit indulgences. It is about deliriously delicious, silkily sensuous, soul-stirring chocolate desserts, about Rabelaisian pleasures, and fantasies come true.

These seductive cakes, elegant ice creams, lustrous sauces, mouthwatering truffles, divine wafers, and unbelievably satisfying brownies are all from the kitchen of Marcel Desaulniers, a truly inspired chef.

At the Trellis Restaurant, in Colonial Williamsburg, Marcel Desaulniers has created a unique and innovative cuisine. One of the joys of the Trellis is its extraordinary desserts: Chocolate Phantasmagoria, White and Dark Chocolate Dacquoise, and Death by Chocolate ? to name just a few. The recipes for these and other magnificent desserts are now revealed, detailed with foolproof, step-by-step instructions. Following the author's invaluable advice, the home cook can successfully create even the most elaborate of these chocolate wonders.

From a unique Chocolate Chip Cookie that will make all others pale by comparison to Simply the Best Chocolate Brownie, from Ebony and Ivory Chocolate Truffles to White Chocolate Ice Cream, from Double Mocha Madness to a fantastic Chocolate Wedding Cake, the kaleidoscopic glories of Marcel Desaulniers' chocolate repertoire are presented here in full color, each as delightful to make as it is to eat. This is a book for endless pleasure. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli; 2 Sub edition (November 29, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847825574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847825578
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 0.6 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #554,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Marcel Desaulniers is the executive chef and owner of the Trellis Restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia. A 1965 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Marcel has received several national awards, including Food and Wine magazine's Honor Roll of American Chefs, Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America, the prestigious Ivy Award from Restaurants and Institutions, the 1993 James Beard Award for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic States, the highly coveted Silver Plate award from the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association, and in 1999 the James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef in America.

Marcel's first cookbook, THE TRELLIS COOKBOOK, was published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 1988. The paperback version, including 20 new recipes, was published in January 1992 by Simon & Schuster. DEATH BY CHOCOLATE, Desaulniers' second cookbook, published by Rizzoli, New York in September 1992, has sold more than 300,000 copies worldwide. In 1993, DEATH BY CHOCOLATE won the James Beard Best Baking and Desserts Cookbook Award. Marcel's television cooking series, "Death by Chocolate," based on his book premiered in September 1993 on The Learning Channel.

In 1994, Simon & Schuster released Marcel's third book, THE BURGER MEISTERS. In 1995 THE BURGER MEISTERS won the James Beard Best Single Subject Cookbook Award. His cooking series, "The Burger Meister," premiered on The Learning Channel in September 1994. Marcel's fourth book, DESSERTS TO DIE FOR, was published by Simon & Schuster in November 1995, and in April 1996 the book was awarded the Julia Child Cookbook Award for Bread, Other Baking and Sweets category as well as the Cook's Choice Award. His fifth book, AN ALPHABET OF SWEETS, was published by Rizzoli, New York in October 1996. A sixth book, DEATH BY CHOCOLATE COOKIES, was published by Simon & Schuster in November of 1997. The seventh cookbook, SALAD DAYS, was published by Simon & Schuster in the Spring of 1998. DEATH BY CHOCOLATE CAKES, was published by William Morrow, New York in September 2000, and was a 2001 IACP Cookbook Award Finalist. Marcel's most recent book, CELEBRATE WITH CHOCOLATE, was published by William Morrow, New York in October 2002 and was the winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, Best Chocolate Book for 2002. Foreign editions of his books have been published in France, Great Britain, Holland, Australia, Mexico, and Canada. Marcel next cookbook, DREAMING OF A CHOCOLATE CHRISTMAS, will be published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., in October of 2007.

Marcel opened The Trellis Restaurant in 1980, along with partner John Curtis. In July 1988, Marcel was inducted into the American Academy of Chefs, the honor society of the American Culinary Federation. He is past president and chairman of the board of the Virginia Chefs Association, a past member of The Board of Directors of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and is trustee emeritus of The Board of Trustees for the Culinary Institute of America.

In 2009, after 29 years, Marcel and John Curtis sold the Trellis. Marcel then recharged his batteries and in April of 2012 he opened MAD About Chocolate, a chocolate cafe featuring his signature over-the-top chocolate desserts.

Joining him is his wife and business partner Connie. Together their goal is to serve the best chocolate goodies in a festive atmosphere.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Eric J. Wu on March 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Book covers: chocolate fillings and toppings, cookies, truffles, mousse (non egg), lots of ice creams, brownies, tarts, souffles, layer cakes, and some fancy ways to put them together at the end.
I think this is a great book, maybe tied with 2nd among the chocolate books I own (behind cocolat, with Chocolate Bible, and better than int. cho. cookbook) Has a section on equipment but not ingredients.The presentation is absolutely beautiful, great photography and presentation of recipes. Recipes are written in a clear and easy to read manner. Nice little history and/or understanding of each recipe with each recipe. Lots of nice pictures illustrating technique There are actually a lot of barely-chocolate recipes in here, so keep that in mind. The recipes are definitely varied. Maybe the only thing is this book isn't quite as long as some of the others out there (just 143 pages). But that's sort of nitpicking.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By H. Grove (errantdreams) TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Given the sumptuousness of the desserts found in this cookbook, the photo of slim, trim author Marcel Desaulniers found on the back cover flap simply astounds. What's that old saying? Never trust a skinny chef? Well Marcel must have diabolical connections, because after trying this cookbook I trust him completely when it comes to the kitchen!
When I first bought this cookbook I was in a lamentable phase where chocolate just seemed to be "too much" if it wasn't tempered with other flavors. Despite that I found much to love in this cookbook: Sliced Blood Oranges with White Chocolate Sauce and Caramel Banana Chocolate Chip Ice Cream are fabulous. Fresh Berry Tulip with White Chocolate "Ice Cream" is spectacular, strewn with strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Chilled Orange Cappuccino Cream with Grated Chocolate could melt you straight into a puddle. No matter what your dessert fetish, you'll find something for it here.
Each recipe comes with a delectable photo that will leave you reeling with choices. Do we make the Dark Chocolate and Pumpkin Cheesecake this weekend? Or the Tipsy Chocolate Pecan Crunch Ice Cream? We'd make both if it weren't for the fact that these are *not* light dishes by any stretch of the imagination.
At first the recipes may look daunting. Don't let this worry you, though. While some of these recipes are indeed complex, many of them are simple. And most of the long pages of directions are a result of the author's wish to detail every step with precision so that you *don't* get too confused or overwhelmed. Few of the recipes call for unusual ingredients (the blood orange recipe is one of them), and any equipment from the lists that you don't have you can probably substitute for (although it really helps to have a stand mixer).
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 22, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Marcel Desaulniers is self-described as being consumed and possibly driven by his passion for chocolate -- a trait that endears him to many. "Death By Chocolate" is an indulgence for all your senses. It's pages are filled with scintillating photographs of desserts so enticing it is difficult to decide where to begin. In addition to the beautiful photography, he has included chef's tips in sidebars to give presentation and storage helps. His recipes are indeed readable and easy to follow and once you finish a recipe, hold on for an intense chocolate experience. I got a headache after consuming one too many of "Granny Twichell's Cupcakes." If you are a true chocaholic you will understand the positive significance of that statement. This book is a necessity in my kitchen
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Robert North on November 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I'm the first to admit that Desaulniers is a master of marketing. This becomes obvious if you visit his restaurant. And the series of cookbooks on the Death By theme are an example of taking the ball and running...and running... . But the truth is, these books are great, especially the first two, Death By Chocolate and Deserts to Die for.
These aren't simple recipes; they require patience, attention to detail, and most of all time. But I've never had commitment so rewarded. They almost always turn out just right. And when they're a little off, no one notices or cares. I've no professional training, and I haven't been cooking all of my life. But these recipes have been so popular that I've actually made cakes for a co-worker's Uncle's birthday party, a baby shower and two wedding showers - including my own (well, my wife's actually). Every family holiday I get requests. I would test the recipes and bring the results into work, and my team was always looking for more. And people rave and rave.
Over and over again, people tell me that I should do this professionally. But it isn't really me; it's these wonderful books. If you care enough about the end product and the oohs and ahs to invest lots of time and attention - these recipes pay off.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The king of gnache gives us an outstanding chocolate collection. Here are recipes which are tested and tried and made with ingredients easily obtainable for the home cook.
Especially encouraging is his concern and detail in slowly, carefully, taking you through each step, not just assuming as some do that one is already familiar with the technique. There is also the first section which talks about buying the chocolate, what types they used, even the type of ovens used to create and test this cookbook.
Each recipe lists equipment needed, then the details on how to make, followed at the end by my favorite standard of Marcel, "The chef's touch."
Favorites from this book include "Chocolate Trinity Parfaits" "Chocolate Pecan Chocolate Chunk Pie" "Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Cake" "Chocolate Cashew Brownie Cake" and "Chocolate Raspberry Toasted Hazelnut Ice Cream."
Oh, did I mention that the photos are as mouthwatering as the recipes! Long live the King of Gnache!
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