- Hardcover: 144 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition, First Printing edition (November 1, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0684811391
- ISBN-13: 978-0684811390
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 1 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #448,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Desserts to Die Hardcover – November 1, 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
A mordant wit leavens the invaluable culinary advice and stunningly extravagant, stylish recipes collected in this new offering from James Beard Award-winning DeSaulniers (Death by Chocolate), co-owner/chef of Trellis Restaurant in Williamsburg, Va. Aided by assistant chef Peavey, DeSaulniers begins with extensive notes from the test kitchen; given the labor and assembly required for these imaginative concoctions, he does his best to set the home cook up for success with tips on organization and ingredient selection. A few recipes are rich and simple, e.g., the ice creams; Mrs. D's Chocolate Caramels (from the author's mom); Toasted Brandy and Spice Pound Cake. Most are rich and complex?and seductive. Pillars of Chocolate with Cocoa Thunderheads, featuring skyscraper shapes of ganache-spread chocolate cake wrapped around blocks of ice cream rising from clouds of cocoa'd whipped cream will require hours, patience and skill, but will surely draw gasps of admiration and delight from those served. Raspberry-tipped, chocolate-draped, horn-shaped "bustiers" poke perkily from mounds of raspberry-laced whipped cream in Chocolate Madonna. Chocolate Voodoo Cake bristles with long thin spikes of chocolate caramel adorning a molasses/chocolate-glazed, rum-soaked Zombie Cake. For the most ambitious efforts, DeSaulniers provides illustrations and recommends spreading preparation over days. This is a masterfully photographed collection, sure to inspire smiles, pleasurable overreaching and very sweet satisfaction. Homestyle and Better Homes and Gardens selections; author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Desaulniers, chef/co-owner of Williamsburg's The Trellis Restaurant and author of Death by Chocolate (Rizzoli, 1992), loves rich, elaborate desserts-and desserts with "clever" names. Cooks can choose from Chocolate Caramel Hazelnut Damnation, Trick or Treat Ice Cream, and Chocolate Madonna (don't ask), among others. However, they are delectable, irresistible creations, and Desaulniers, who also hosts a popular cooking show on The Learning Channel, provides well-written, detailed descriptions for every step of even the most complicated recipes. Sure to have a wide appeal.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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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.