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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Desserts to Die for Hardcover – November, 1995

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books; First Edition, First Printing edition (November 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684811391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684811390
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 10.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,049,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am no beginner baker and I have always loved Marcel's first book "DEATH BY CHOCOLATE". However, unlike the first book, this one is clearly not as well tested. Many recipes if followed by the book will not come out correctly. If you have the wherewithall to understand where he is erring (and I must say he is trying to help - it is frequently in how long he says to bake/process/stir/etc and he is trying to be exact), then you will fare better.
I have made his molten chocolate cakes which are great - however the golden halo will not work without a basic understanding of how to carmelize sugar into threads. The fudge squares (Mrs D's ?)never congealed. The cranberry crostata is good but, again, following his timing will not get what the picture shows you (ie - 15 sec of food processor gives walnut powder).
Marcel Desaulniers is a terrific cook and an eloquent, humorous guy, but it is clear that it is his FIRST book is far better. It is that book which you should buy rather than this one.
Having said that, I received DEATH BY CHOCOLATE CAKES as a recent gift and I have yet to see where that one falls in the spectrum. Read the above reviews as you may, but don't say I didnt warn you if you are a beginner!
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Format: Hardcover
Others have noted that Desaulniers is a master of marketing, and it's true--but his recipes WORK and make absolutely stunning presentations. If you need a special occasion dessert--perhaps one to propose by? perhaps one to celebrate the birth of a child?--you can't go wrong choosing one of Desaulniers' desserts from "Desserts to Die For."
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.
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By A Customer on June 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The recipes aren't difficult, but they are time consuming! If you want to make your reputation as an amateur pastry chef, this book is for you.
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By A Customer on September 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I love 2 things about this book. 1) all recipes were tested using supermarket ingredients, and tools. 2) The desserts are impressive. You will not be sorry. I'm glad I have this in my collection.
The only thing that keeps me from using this book often is the recipes are time intensive. They literally take HOURS to prepare from start to finish. I prepare them over 2 days.
Note: be sure you have a heady duty mixer.
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By Justin on June 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have made 5 recipes in this book, and each time I have had great successes! I would recommend that you have some time on your hands to prepare these great recipes, and get a Kitchen Aid heavy duty mixer! With these elements you'll be on your way to creating great desserts that your freinds and family will enjoy!
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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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