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Luscious Chocolate Desserts Hardcover – August 12, 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

There’s no shortage of chocolate cookbooks out there, but this volume stands out for its user-friendly nature and the sheer deliciousness of its recipes. Longbotham (Luscious Lemon Desserts), a former food editor at Gourmet, clearly knows her material: she provides a concise history of chocolate, a description of the journey from cacao pod to hot cocoa, and a brief glossary explaining the myriad different forms chocolate can take. She even includes a short discussion on the health benefits of chocolate consumption, which should come as a relief to anyone tempted by fat and calorie-laden recipes like Killer Chocolate Cheesecake or Luscious Chocolate Custard Ice Cream. Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes have become a restaurant cliché, but made at home, they regain both their originality and their integrity. And Luscious Chocolate Layer Cake, a birthday classic, is rich, gooey and satisfyingly all-American. Some of the best recipes are the ones that mix fruit with chocolate; Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread on Toast with Nectarines is like Nutella to the nth power, the nectarines a perfect foil for the chocolate spread, and Crisp Chocolate Chip Cookies with Dried Cherries and Pistachios are wonderfully crunchy and chewy at the same time. The dried cherries provide a terrific sweet-tart kick. The diversity of the recipes, along with the photographs of all these heartbreakingly gorgeous desserts, make this the perfect cookbook for any chocolate fanatic—those who love to eat chocolate and those who just love to read about it.
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Review

There's no shortage of chocolate cookbooks out there, but this volume stands out for its user-friendly nature and the sheer deliciousness of its recipes. Longbotham (Luscious Lemon Desserts), a former food editor at Gourmet, clearly knows her material: she provides a concise history of chocolate, a description of the journey from cacao pod to hot cocoa, and a brief glossary explaining the myriad different forms chocolate can take. She even includes a short discussion on the health benefits of chocolate consumption, which should come as a relief to anyone tempted by fat and calorie-laden recipes like Killer Chocolate Cheesecake or Luscious Chocolate Custard Ice Cream. Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes have become a restaurant cliche, but made at home, they regain both their originality and their integrity. And Luscious Chocolate Layer Cake, a birthday classic, is rich, gooey and satisfyingly all-American. Some of the best recipes are the ones that mix fruit with chocolate; Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread on Toast with Nectarines is like Nutella to the nth power, the nectarines a perfect foil for the chocolate spread, and Crisp Chocolate Chip Cookies with Dried Cherries and Pistachios are wonderfully crunchy and chewy at the same time. The dried cherries provide a terrific sweet-tart kick. The diversity of the recipes, along with the photographs of all these heartbreakingly gorgeous desserts, make this the perfect cookbook for any chocolate fanatic those who love to eat chocolate and those who just love to read about it. -Publishers Weekly

Whoever said single-subject cookbooks were tiresome? I think it was me, but that was before Lori Longbotham's homage to chocolatey treats crossed my path.

I practically fell face first, mouth wide open into the gorgeous color photographs by William Meppem. His glossy pics of chocolate souffle cake, chocolate panna cotta and chocolate ice cream sundaes with nib nougatine made me want to try every one of Longbotham's 65-plus recipes.

The recipes themselves are just as inviting. All are plotted out in a straightforward manner and rely on easy-to-find ingredients. Nothing daunts, not even the restauranty Ultimate Chocolate Marquise.

Longbotham also provides a short discourse on the history of chocolate, a glossary, a section on chocolate's connection to good health and a primer on tasting chocolate. -San Diego Union Tribune

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; 1st edition (August 12, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811835162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811835169
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Montgomery on November 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a terrific cookbook, even for people like me who are not trained bakers. I have succeeded in making three recipes already--they work great. Have a long way to go to try a lot of other really inviting recipes. Her book also serves as a great reference for anything chocolate.

I was quite impressed with the fact that Ms. Lonbotham pays an historical homage to Chocolate Decadence (page 42) as being a seminal contribution to chocolate lovers worldwide. Living in Berkeley at the time, I well remember what a sensatation it caused.
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Format: Hardcover
I discovered Lori Longbotham when I found a copy of Luscious Lemon Desserts at a friend's house. That book has a recipe for, hands down, the most amazingly good Lemon Curd that I have ever eaten. So when I saw that there was now a Luscious Chocolate Desserts, I had to get it. I've already made three things: the Luscious Chocolate Layer Cake and the Quickest, Easiest Chocolate Mousse Pie. Both excellent. For the third thing I made, see below.

What I really liked about this book is that all the recipes look like something you could walk into the kitchen and make without a lot of difficulty. You don't have to search all over for fancy ingredients, you don't need a lot of know-how. You just follow the very clear instructions, and you get cake (or cookies, or pie, or ice cream) like you're a professional baker. The Lemon Book is like that, too.

But my favorite thing in this book is that, besides all the cookies and brownies and the usual stuff, there is chocolate stuff that I had never even heard of. Buy this book if only to make one recipe: Bicerin. I had never heard of this before but it's an Italian drink of melted chocolate, coffee, and milk. I read about it and I thought, "I have to taste this." And I had some good Belgian chocolate in the house, so I walked into my kitchen and I made bicerin and in some ways, it was a darn shame, because now I've been drinking a cup of it every day and this book is going to make me gain 10 pounds before I'm done with it. But at least I'll have enjoyed every bite.
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Format: Hardcover
A former food editor for the Gourmet, Lori Longbotham, the author of Luscious Lemon Deserts, delights readers with her next endeavor Luscious Chocolate Deserts. Beginning with a short history of chocolate, ending with a glossary of chocolate terms and explanations, and packed with appetizing chocolate-laden recipes in between, this book is the ultimate chocolate lover's desert guide.

This 144-page book includes high-gloss and high-quality photos of gorgeous chocolate creations to compliment the recipes and information provided. The photographs alone almost make this book a must have, but when the recipes are added to help the reader create these chocolate masterpieces, this book is required reading for chocolate lovers everywhere.

The best appeal to this book is that the recipes offered range all the way from simple, down-home chocolate pudding to the extravagant and decadent delights found only in restaurants. Yet the recipes are provided in easy to follow formats and use ingredients that are not difficult to find at any local supermarket. Then just for fun, Ms. Longbotham throws in such interesting ideas as Grilled Chocolate Stuffed Bananas.

For the chocolate lover, or even for those who just occasionally like to indulge, this recipe book is a great addition to any kitchen, and makes an excellent gift for your chocolate loving friends.

Chocolate Zoom Magazine
[...]
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Format: Hardcover
With a fabulously velvety and sensual cover, this book delivers what it says--Luscious Chocolate Desserts is much more than just a pretty face. The recipes are indeed as luscious as the beautiful images make them out to be.

Even better, Longbotham is a real cookbook writer for real cooks in the real world: the recipes work, she gives just enough detail, and her prose is engaging. You feel like she's there in the kitchen with you. You like Lori, and you trust her. I suspect it would be no problem trying any recipe out of this book the first time around, even if I were making it for an important dinner party.

I loved the author's previous book, Luscious Lemon Desserts, and this chocolately follow-up is just as good as its tart sister. Right on, Lori.
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Format: Hardcover
Not only is this book visually seductive, it is a treat to cook from. The recipes are enticing and very well written. Even the rich chocolate souffle recipe tells you to boil the water so that it can go into the pan surrounding the souffle dish! Very helpful to have this kind of information BEFORE you start making the souffle.

The chocolate chip cookies with pistachios and dried cherries are a fabulous and unique combination of flavors. The French chocolate macaroons are sinful. Who wants to be good all the time?
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Format: Hardcover
I've made so many wonderful recipes from Lori's books over the years I couldn't wait to grab her latest one on desserts. What makes this book so appealing is that, unlike other chocolate cookbooks, the majority of these recipes are very easy to make. Katherine Hepburn's Brownies and Chocolatiest Crinkles cookies turned out perfectly. Next I want to try the Chocolate Panna Cotta and Chocolate Pecan Turtle Tart. I can think of 3 people already who are going to get a copy of this baking book for Christmas!
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