Don't let the relatively diminutive size of Marcel Desaulniers's Celebrate with Chocolate
fool you. In this age of coffee-table cookbooks, the 45 recipes and 16 pages of color photographs in this book might lull you into thinking that these desserts are simple. But look carefully at the cover and see the important subtitle, Totally Over-the-Top Recipes
The almost 20 pages of clear, easy-to-follow information on equipment, ingredients, and techniques give the confidence needed to tackle projects like the five-page Dancing Gingerbread Men Peppermint Fudge Cake: super-spicy, mildly chocolaty, moist sponge cake layers are separated by voluminous white chocolate mousse mixed with mini chocolate chips and crushed peppermint candy, and then enveloped with a smooth chocolate glaze and topped with dancing gingerbread men. Not exactly child's play. For those not easily intimidated, Desaulniers has a seriously decadent recipe for Granny's Chocolate-and-Walnut-Covered Coffee-Cocoa Marshmallow Squares. When you finally unstick your kitchen, the dense, richly flavored, chewy marshmallow bites will elicit groans of pleasure.
There are also a few less complicated concoctions such as Bob's Big-Ass Chocolate Brown Sugar and Bourbon Birthday Cake, Double Chocolate Pecan Tart, and the surprisingly easy Cocoa Berry Yogurt Mousse, which comes together in just a few minutes. For the most part, the cakes, cookies, frozen desserts, mousses, candies, and other chocolate treats in Celebrate with Chocolate are not for the faint of heart or the kitchen novice, but if you're seriously into chocolate, and are up for the challenge, let Desaulniers be your guide. --Leora Y. Bloom
From Publishers Weekly
There are two kinds of chocolate obsessives: purists, who like their chocolate unadulterated, more black than brown, more bitter than sweet, and would inject it if they could; and decadents, whose jaded palates can be tempted only by chocolate follies of increasing complexity and sophistication. Desaulniers (Death by Chocolate; Death by Chocolate Cakes; and Desserts to Die For) has emerged from the morbid fascination of his previous books with his obsession intact, taking chocolate machismo to new heights. Many consider his first book to be a certifiable chocolate bible, and may wonder where else Desaulniers can go. Whereas Death by Chocolate overpowers (with Chocolate Devastation), his newest amuses (Chocolate-Banana-Rum-Raisin Ice Cream Cakes with Rum and Almond Twinkle). Desaulniers is famous for his ambitious recipes, but this latest book is really most successful at is simplest. Cocoa Yogurt Mousse cannot take more than five minutes to prepare and tastes like a million bucks; Chocolate Madras Cake thrillingly combines dark chocolate with orange zest and a deep cranberry coulis. And despite Desaulniers's almost militant chocoholism, 40 years in the business have given him a voice more humane and interesting than most of the bad-boy cookbook authors in vogue.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.