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Chocolate Cakes: 50 Great Cakes for Every Occasion Hardcover – January 27, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
There's no such thing as too much of a good thing, as this drool-inducing, photo-heavy cookbook proves. Former pastry chef Klivans (Potpies; Big Fat Cookies) turns her attention to the most decadent of desserts, the chocolate cake, finding 50 different approaches. Klivans orients her readers with a narrative about chocolate production, tips for choosing and using chocolate, and basic tips about ingredient and technique in baking, such as beating egg whites. The remainder of the book is organized by cake type (quick and easy; layer cakes; party cakes), and the recipes run the gamut from a basic chocolate-chip loaf to her chocolate yule log and chocolate-apricot pudding cake with chocolate toffee sauce. Some, like her pavlova with chocolate-covered strawberries, and her trifle-like deep-dish white chocolate peaches and cream cake are not technically cakes, but who's counting? Klivans is nothing if not inventive—a basic devil's food recipe serves as a staple for seven other variants. With deft instructions and highly detailed, clearly written recipes, she guides even the least confident baker to a cocoa-dusted kitchen and full-on chocolate ecstasy. Photos. (Apr.)
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About the Author
Elinor Klivans is the author of Cupcakes!, The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook, and Big Fat Cookies. She lives in Camden, Maine.
Ann Stratton is a New York-based photographer.
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Top Customer Reviews
I like the format and the quality of the book and the photographs.
The recipes are very approachable and suitable for both novice and experienced bakers, and there is a good variety, even though everything has chocolate. I love the fact that ingredients are presented in weight, as it ensures more accurate baking and succes in the outcome of recipes tried.
I've tried a few recipes: the white chocolate cake, which turned out excellent, that I used in the trifle recipe, in which I unfortunately came across an error in the recipe. The cream filling definately indicates a wrong amount of cream. I had to guess and used too much, which resulted in an almost seized filling, but I was able to rescue it and got rave reviews anyway. Liked this one a lot and the cake lends itself to many uses with fruits and fillings.
I also tried the chocolate cupcakes and the ganache from the 'master' recipes. The cupcakes turned out well enough, but the combination with the ganache made them into something truly special. We loved them. Unfortunately, I also discovered a slight error in the directions for the ganache: the recipe was correct, but in the directions you were told to 'let the ganache cool down for half an hour' until it was ready to spread on the cupcakes. My ganache only firmed up enough to spread after an overnight stay in the refrigerator, after which it was perfectly spreadable and delicious still. I knew before I started that half an hour wouldn't cut it, but I can see inexperienced bakers being misled by this.
When I got it I was a bit disappointed. The recipes looks good, although many of them a bit repetitive and some don't even use chocolate for the main ingredient, or use white chocolate. But that is ok by me. There are enough good recipes in the book.
My main problem was the design of the book. The text is too small and the design is too decorative and this makes the book uncomfortable to use as a cooking book. The photography is indeed excellent but is scarcely. So you can't really get an idea on how most of the cakes will come out...