Customer Reviews: The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook: Recipes and History from America's Premier Chocolate Maker
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The Ghirardelli cookbook is presented beautifully. Many of the recipes come with lovely photographs, and the recipe layout is extremely clean and easy to read. It's a very attractive book that would make a lovely gift.

The true star of this cookbook, however, is the results. The recipes perform flawlessly. Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are simply to-die-for. The double-chocolate banana bread is perhaps the first banana quick bread I've had that used enough banana for a noticeable banana flavor---and it's also one of the first double-chocolate recipes I've had that wasn't overwhelmingly chocolaty.

As awesome as those recipes were, however---and believe, me they're amazing---they're nothing compared to the chocolate bread pudding. Pardon me; I must swoon for a moment at the memory.

These recipes are hardly what I'd call good for you, but they don't tend to gratuitously use large amounts of, for example, butter, when they can get by with less; they use enough to ensure a delicious recipe without overdoing it.

In short, if you love chocolate, buy this cookbook! It has recipes for chocolate-lovers of all kinds, including some wonderful white chocolate delicacies (cupcakes, mousse, and more!).

[Advance review copy courtesy of 10 Speed Press]
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VINE VOICEon March 13, 2008
Ghirardelli chocolate was originally founded by an Italian immigrant, Domingo Ghirardelli, in San Francisco in 1849. Since then, it's been bought and sold several times, having survived the Gold Rush, Great Fire of 1851, and two world wars. The cookbook features an informative introduction into the company's early years, including reproductions of vintage posters. A handy chocolate primer tells how to effectively store chocolate (think: cool, dry place, low humidity), how to garnish pastries with chocolate, candy making, and chocolate substitutions (using only Ghirardelli products, naturally). There's even a snobby little guide on how to appreciate a good chocolate (much like wine tasting, minus the swishing). Looking to host a choc-tail party? That's in here too.

Once you hit the cookbook section, recipes are arranged straightforwardly by type, beginning with cookies (chocolate chip, lemon, sugar, shortbread, peanut butter, macaroons, biscotti), chocolate brownies and bars (the peppermint brownies are worth the price of the book; I've made them four times, and they just keep getting better!), chocolate cakes, cupcakes, tortes, pies, tarts, candies and bonbons, and chocolate breads and breakfast.

The recipes are easy to follow, although the font is a little small, and the photos are beautiful. One of the problems I ran into was the fact that some recipes called for Ghirardelli products that were not readily available at the first few stores I tried (such as the ground chocolate and cocoa powder, although a substitution is listed in front).

I decided on the Ghirardelli cookbook after looking at several chocolate cookbooks from Scharffen Berger (Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate) and Marcel Desaulniers (Death by Chocolate: The Last Word on a Consuming Passion). The Ghirardelli Chocoalte Cookbook had the highest ratio of recipes that a) appealed to me and b) actually looked doable by an intermediate baker. I was right on both counts, and everything I bake is a smash hit.
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VINE VOICEon January 5, 2009
Have you heard anyone say that when you try a recipe for the first time, follow it to the letter. When you make it the second time, you can get creative. I usually do that; but, as an experienced bakers, we have to know when to let our instincts take over. I came to that realization today.
As I looked over the recipe, I read the note on the top of the page that stated " If you want a tall cake, double the ingredients, to make 4 layers." Because I knew that I was making the cake for myself, I didn't double. I realize now that I should have.
The recipe as written only calls for ONE cup of flour (red flag # 1; most cake recipes call for 2-3 cups). The recipe also called for 1 stick of butter (red flag #2; most recipes use 2). As I went along, I kept saying to myself " I seem to be making BROWNIES and not CAKE." After I mixed the batter, I put it into 2 9in pans, as directed. When I looked at the pans, I said to myself, " These pans aren't even half full."
Anyway, I procceded to bake them off. Needless to say the layers were half the size of regular layers, so I went back and made another portion of batter. Actually, making the batter and the frosting didn' t take much time at all. When the cakes came from the oven, they looked quite yummy. They were soft, with a nice rich looking color and sheen. After I assembled and tasted the cake, I noted that it was dense. Not unpleasant, but denser than I like.
The frosting was tasty and easy to make; all I had to do was melt the chocolate and add in sour cream. Because I doubled the cake recipe, I also doubled the frosting. One note on the frosting, don't make the mistake I made. Let the sour cream come to almost room temp, and stir it smooth before adding it to the chocolate. What you are making is essentially Ganache, and it will behave as such.
Although I had a few issues with the cake today, I do not reget making my purchase. The cake and the frosting were easy to make, and tasted good. This would be a good cake to make if you get a last minute invite some where and would like to bring something sweet. I am going to retry this one, and try some other receipes in this book, as I found many others that looked tasty as well. And Ghirardelli is my favorite brand of chocolate. Not to mention the book layed flat on the counter while I was baking. LOL.
Forgive my long reveiw, but I thought that sharing my experience might help others considering buying this book.
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on December 24, 2014
The Sweetest Thing!!! This book is so DELICIOUS!!! Hi, I’m a chocoholic. Ever since reading and watching the movie “Chocolat” I have been in a baking frenzy. I wanted to wait and review this after I had baked a lot of its recipes at the top of my list. This was self-indulgence at its best.

I was pleasantly surprised how easy most of these recipes were and the reward was more than I could ask for. I love it when it takes a small amount of effort and the dessert turns out to be not only rich but decadent. I impressed myself, if I do say so myself.

At the beginning of the book there were tips about cooking chocolate that were helpful, like what to do instead if you don’t own a double boiler. I do not have one so I just melted the chocolate on the lowest setting on the stovetop. It worked beautifully. These recipes performed flawlessly for me. I don’t consume a lot of bittersweet chocolate so most of the time I substituted semisweet chocolate and it worked just right. The only thing that I thought could have made this book better was more pictures, one for each recipe. I’m visual, I like to see what I am going to make along with what type of presentation I am aiming for. After all, that makes the food taste even better.

This was the first time in my life to have ever eaten crème brulee. I was proud that I actually made it myself. I’m usually not a big fan of white chocolate but this was an exception. It was a sophisticated silky smooth dessert. I do not have a handheld torch but it was easy using the “broil” setting on the oven. The sugar was browned and it cracked on top like it was supposed to. Yum.

I have to admit this book deserved the highest rating because of one dessert alone—Triple Chocolate Truffle Cake!!! I know!!! It won an award for a contest “Is Your Dessert Intense Enough.” Pure ecstasy. It is so delicious it’s a sin…one I will gladly commit over and over again.

Tasty recipes I made from this book, so far: Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, Fudgy Chocolate Brownies, Flourless Chocolate Torte with Dark Chocolate Glaze, Triple Chocolate Truffle Cake (to-die-for), Chocolate Caramel Walnut Torte, Chocolate-Almond layered Cheesecake, Chocolate Chip Cheesecake, Individual Chocolate Souffles, White Chocolate Crème Brulee, Rich Chocolate Fudge, Milk Chocolate Truffles, English Toffee.

They were all worth it…and there’s more to make later.
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VINE VOICEon June 3, 2009
After drooling over this book for a few weeks I finally caved in back at Valentine's Day and bought it. I'm usually not a huge fan of cook books because I figure that I can find most recipes online. But I was bored with the sweets that I was finding to make and I love to bake, usually about three times a week.

I haven't gotten to make every recipe in this collection yet, but I'm well on my way, repeating mine and my husbands favorites several times for all our friends! The variety of treats will definitely stave off boredom. And while these recipes are by no means low calorie they are loaded with deliciousness and are easy for a baker with even moderate skills to pull off.

I won't spoil the fun and tell you all the recipes included in this book but I'll highlight my favorites to give you an idea of what you can expect. Of course there's Chocolate Chip Cookies, but there's also a Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie you'll cry for (and I've always hated oatmeal cookies! That was before these.), Chocolate-Dipped Lemon Cookies, a Classic Chocolate Brownie which is just perfect, Peppermint Brownies, a Blondie that incorporates the white chocolate into the batter itself, Dark Chocolate Cupcakes, Chocolate Chip Cheesecake, Double Chocolate Banana Bread which makes huge portions, an unforgettable White Chocolate Creme Brulee, gooey Chocolate Lava Cakes, and so many more recipes that I will be busy with this book for the next year! I just don't think you can go wrong with this book.
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on January 16, 2015
This was a gift for my aunt, so I'm unable to comment on how the recipes are, however, the pictures are amazing and it has a wide variety of recipes using chocolate. It's definitely a cookbook that I decided I must buy for myself next time I can! You can never go wrong with desserts, chocolate, and the amazing Ghirardelli!
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on February 13, 2014
Within the first week we made a couple of different desserts for our friends. The chocolate pecan pie had people asking if I share recipes. One of the best parts is the information and techniques for cooking with chocolate and to make it work better. We waited months before we bought the book; don't wait, buy it now and enjoy. (Don't tell, but we did not always use Ghirardelli chocolate in the recipes.)
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on January 26, 2012
I'm a big fan of Ghirardelli chocolate and to have their cookbook is a treat. Everything I have tried is truly chocoholic heaven. Really liked the muffins, souffle (amazed I could do it) and fabulous cookie recipes.
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on March 3, 2008
For the chocolate lover, this is THE best cookbook. There are so many wonderful recipes and you will find it hard to pick the first one that you will try. This cookbook is a must for anyone who can cook and even for those you are just getting started. You will love it!
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on August 16, 2013
Can't go wrong with this book when you love chocolate, great recipes, decadent and not hard to make.....all kinds or recipes, cakes, sauces, cookies, try them all..........
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