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The International Chocolate Cookbook Hardcover – September, 1991
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From Publishers Weekly
Chocophiles should make room on their shelves for this voluptuous volume. The oversize cookbook literally dazzles--studded with 50 remarkably propped color photos, it's so stylishly replete that it's hard to believe it belongs on the kitchen counter. But it would be a mistake to treat Baggett's ( The International Cookie Cookbook ) compendium of chocolatiana like a museum piece. Drawn from Europe and America, her recipes are modified for the competent home cook. Her Sacher torte includes a simplified version of the chocolate glaze because, she writes, the standard preparation can be "challenging"; for purists, the traditional glaze is also supplied. The range is unusually broad, incorporating a very clear section on "chocolate artistry" (explaining how to create chocolate boxes, baskets and fancy decorations) as well as the expected cakes, cookies, pies, ice creams and candies. Fare is generally more sophisticated than in Maida Heatter's classic books (see the "Mocha Marjolaine," a hazelnut-almond meringue layered with chocolate, coffee and mocha fillings), and the directions are less fussy than those of the acclaimed Rose Levy Berenbaum.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Baggett, author of The International Cookie Cookbook (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1988), now presents recipes for chocolate desserts from around the world. Many of them are quite elaborate, but the preparation notes are painstakingly detailed and clear (unlike the layout of the book, which can be confusing), and lavish color photographs by Jacobs illustrate many of these sumptuous creations. Although this book is somewhat less approachable than Alice Medrich's stunning, but more limited, Cocolat ( LJ 2/15/91), it is a necessary purchase for most pastry collections.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
This cookbook is not for the average person trying to do some baking in his or her kitchen on a Sunday afternoon. The majority of recipes require a fair amount of culinary skill to successfully execute. Some of the recipes are fairly easy and can be done by anyone. Unfortunately, the book does not warn the reader as to which ones are easy and which are more difficult. Some of the recipes, especially the ones involving chocolate sculpture, are very advanced and require some near-professional skills in order to successfully finish.
Another problem is that of equipment. You will need a kitchen well stocked with a wide variety of baking tools and equipment. The book does not have a list of the things you will need. It seems to assume that you already have the proper equipment. Also note that you must have a large, professional food processor and a stand mixer in order to complete most of the recipes.
On the other hand, there are several positive factors. All of the recipes have been thoroughly tested. The instructions are unusually complete and correct, making for some recipes that are very long in length. The description of the various types of chocolate in the introductory chapter is one of the better and more reliable ones. It is also a great source of the elegant patisserie recipes that make dramatic statements; such recipes are not easy to find among standard chocolate cookbooks.
In summary, this is a pretty good collection of chocolate recipes. It also requires a good inventory of culinary skills that the average person probably does not have, so the chances of success will be variable. I cannot recommend it for the average person. If you are already a good baker, however, this book is an excellent source of reliable chocolate recipes.
This book won the 1991 IACP baking and overall book of the year. I think it's a good book But I think that there are better chocolate books out there. From the presentation point of view, this is the least impressive of the 4 books I own (cocolat, death by chocolat, chocolate bible). There aren't nearly as many pictures in this book. It's paperback, even though you get the other books in hardback from amazon at the same cost! This book recommends that you add vegetable oil to your mixture to make chocolate ruffles, something which makes it easier, but wrecks the taste. No help in understanding other ingredients like in Cocolat. On the other hand, there are many nice recipes, and there is a little section above each recipe which gives either understanding or a neat history behind each recipe. As with the other chocolate books, I'd recommend having another book as supplmentary material. So, overall, this is a nice book, but a notch below the other 3 chocolate books I own.
To add to the enjoyment, the author gives descriptions about where the dessert comes from and what makes it so appealing. The pictures are stunning, and are part of what convinced me to buy the book originally. I strongly recommend it to anyone looking for a cookbook to guide them through the complex world of chocolate