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13 Reviews
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5-star desserts in a 5-star book
Others have noted that Desaulniers is a master of marketing, and it's true--but his recipes WORK and make absolutely stunning presentations. If you need a special occasion dessert--perhaps one to propose by? perhaps one to celebrate the birth of a child?--you can't go wrong choosing one of Desaulniers' desserts from "Desserts to Die For."
Desaulniers encourages...
Published on August 19, 2002 by Catherine S. Vodrey

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You may want Marcel's first book instead......
I am no beginner baker and I have always loved Marcel's first book "DEATH BY CHOCOLATE". However, unlike the first book, this one is clearly not as well tested. Many recipes if followed by the book will not come out correctly. If you have the wherewithall to understand where he is erring (and I must say he is trying to help - it is frequently in how long he...
Published on November 22, 2001 by shacke


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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You may want Marcel's first book instead......, November 22, 2001
This review is from: Desserts to Die for (Hardcover)
I am no beginner baker and I have always loved Marcel's first book "DEATH BY CHOCOLATE". However, unlike the first book, this one is clearly not as well tested. Many recipes if followed by the book will not come out correctly. If you have the wherewithall to understand where he is erring (and I must say he is trying to help - it is frequently in how long he says to bake/process/stir/etc and he is trying to be exact), then you will fare better.
I have made his molten chocolate cakes which are great - however the golden halo will not work without a basic understanding of how to carmelize sugar into threads. The fudge squares (Mrs D's ?)never congealed. The cranberry crostata is good but, again, following his timing will not get what the picture shows you (ie - 15 sec of food processor gives walnut powder).
Marcel Desaulniers is a terrific cook and an eloquent, humorous guy, but it is clear that it is his FIRST book is far better. It is that book which you should buy rather than this one.
Having said that, I received DEATH BY CHOCOLATE CAKES as a recent gift and I have yet to see where that one falls in the spectrum. Read the above reviews as you may, but don't say I didnt warn you if you are a beginner!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5-star desserts in a 5-star book, August 19, 2002
By 
Catherine S. Vodrey (East Liverpool, Ohio United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Desserts to Die for (Hardcover)
Others have noted that Desaulniers is a master of marketing, and it's true--but his recipes WORK and make absolutely stunning presentations. If you need a special occasion dessert--perhaps one to propose by? perhaps one to celebrate the birth of a child?--you can't go wrong choosing one of Desaulniers' desserts from "Desserts to Die For."
Desaulniers encourages "mise en place" (the French culinary term for "everything in its place," or setting out all ingredients before ever beginning the recipe), which I admire, and he instructs his readers--kindly, politely, but firmly--to read each recipe through from start to finish before beginning. This is good advice in any cooking situation, but it makes strong sense with Desaulniers' recipes, which tend to be extremely detailed. Some cooks might find this annoying, but there are others--myself among them--who understand that this concentration on every little tiny thing means that Desaulniers recognizes the difference between a pretty good dessert and a great one. And he wants you to prepare nothing but great ones!
Desaulniers' personal dessert philosophy may be best expressed by the W. Somerset Maugham quotation with which he heads the introduction: "Excess on occasion is exhilarating; it keeps moderation from becoming a habit." And are these recipes excessive in nearly every way! Desaulniers wisely avoids giving calorie counts, fat content, etc. for each recipe, and concentrates instead on seducing his readers into wanting to make each and every dessert so sumptuously photographed by Michael Grand. The names are rich and evocative as the dishes themselves--Tuxedo Truffle Torte, Chocolate Voodoo Cake, Mocha Almond Praline Snap, Chocolate Caramel Hazelnut Damnation, Trick or Treat Ice Cream, "24" Carrot Cake, Wild Orchid, Chocolate Exquisite Pain (yikes!), Chocolate Resurrection, and White Chocolate Lullaby are but a few of the many tempting offerings herein.
There are many non-chocolate desserts in this book, but it's clear that Desaulniers is most excited by chocolate anything--it sets his heart to soaring, his brain to feverish activity, and his hands to creating something wonderful for all of us to try.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Only for the most dedicated, June 16, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Desserts to Die for (Hardcover)
The recipes aren't difficult, but they are time consuming! If you want to make your reputation as an amateur pastry chef, this book is for you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, June 4, 2000
By 
Justin (ELK GROVE, CA, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Desserts to Die for (Hardcover)
I have made 5 recipes in this book, and each time I have had great successes! I would recommend that you have some time on your hands to prepare these great recipes, and get a Kitchen Aid heavy duty mixer! With these elements you'll be on your way to creating great desserts that your freinds and family will enjoy!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great dessert book, September 17, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Desserts to Die for (Hardcover)
I love 2 things about this book. 1) all recipes were tested using supermarket ingredients, and tools. 2) The desserts are impressive. You will not be sorry. I'm glad I have this in my collection.
The only thing that keeps me from using this book often is the recipes are time intensive. They literally take HOURS to prepare from start to finish. I prepare them over 2 days.
Note: be sure you have a heady duty mixer.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the sacrifice, November 27, 2001
This review is from: Desserts to Die for (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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best innovative desserts that your friends will rave abo, December 15, 1997
This review is from: Desserts to Die for (Hardcover)
This book has many dessert recipes that your friends will rave about for weeks to come. The Cranberry recipe is to die for.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME!, October 4, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Desserts to Die for (Hardcover)
The recipes in this book are simply incredible. Each time I have tackled one (they do require some time) the compliments keep coming for weeks after! Now, all my family looks forward to the occasions when I prepare these marvels! Marcel is the consumate teacher! Each recipe you are guided by this master so your success is nearly foolproof! Thanks Marcel for a great book!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece on the Finality to a Meal!, February 5, 2001
By 
rodboomboom (St. Louis, Missouri United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Desserts to Die for (Hardcover)
The King of Ganache adds yet another awesome volume to his Death By Chocolate.
This one includes more great chocolate offerings, e.g. Chocolate Resurrection which includes an easily done golden chalice, or the heavyweight of ice cream dishes, "What A Chunk of Chocolate" Ice Cream Terrine.
To these, he adds additional selections including fruits and berries, one of my favorites and so beautiful a presentation: Cherry Bomb with cherries and berries, to cookies, sticky buns, cheesecakes.
For those who want that special dessert touch,offer your guests "Long Island Iced Tea Sorbet." This book continues the author's style of clear recipes, illustrations, marvelous full-page photos, and "The Chef's Touch" where he gives hints on all kinds of adjunct bits of wonderful gourmet info.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sublime horror, Baudelarian sensuality., February 26, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Desserts to Die for (Hardcover)
There are some beautiful things in this book--I stole the pumpkin layer of one cake for my own creation--but each recipe contains more than a pound of butter, sometimes not including the icing, and some have more than a pound of chocolate. I drooled, I trembled, and in the end, I couldn't bring myself to spend the money or the fat grams to make any of these from start to finish. And I like to think of myself as a fan of extravagance. Inspiring, but daunting to all but the most sybaritic. There should be a sequel called "Desserts of Evil."
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Desserts to Die for
Desserts to Die for by Marcel Desaulniers (Hardcover - Nov. 1995)
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