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

4.8 out of 5 stars 54 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 (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,244,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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