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Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts Hardcover – March 1, 2006

4.8 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

When it was first published in 1980, Maida Heatter's Book of Chocolate Desserts became a New York Times bestseller and then won a James Beard award. The book is Heatter's third, a mouthwatering compendium of superb but easily achieved chocolate cakes, cookies, pies, puddings, confections, sauces, and more. Like all of Heater's books, Chocolate Desserts balances good taste with warm, meticulous instruction that anticipates and addresses every question and concern a dessert-maker might have. Cooks at every skill level, from amateur to professional, will find Heater's recipes, and their results, a joy.

Arranged by categories like cakes, pastries, and cold and hot desserts, the hundreds of recipes are a chocolate-lover's dream come true. There are classic Heatter offerings, like her Palm Beach Brownies, the ultimate in dark, chewy fudginess, and her Positively-the-Absolute-Best Chocolate Chip Cookies (they are). Other must-make treats include Amaretto-Amaretti Chocolate Cheesecake with Chocolate Cigarettes, Chocolate Merry-Go-Round Cake, Chocolate Pecan Angel Pie, and 4-Star French Chocolate Ice Cream. The book begins with a comprehensive introduction to ingredients, equipment, and techniques and is filled throughout with Heatter's invaluable advice. Drawings by Toni Evans illuminate the exemplary text. --Arthur Boehm --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

 Maida Heatter, a.k.a. "the Queen of Desserts", is the author of nine classic dessert cookbooks, including the New York Times best-seller and James Beard Award-winning Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts. She is a member of the James Beard Foundation Hall of Fame, has been named to Cook's Magazine's Who's Who in Cooking, and was one of the first people inducted into the Chocolatier Hall of Fame. She continues to bake joyfully from her home in Florida.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing; First Edition edition (March 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0740758160
  • ISBN-13: 978-0740758164
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 1.3 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #472,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By G. Powell on March 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
I've had this book for 20 years and made nearly everything in it. The only recipe which I think must have a mistake in it is the "pepper" brownies. I've never been able to make them come out, and I've varied the cooking times, the tempetature, the ingrediants etc.
Ok, my favorite is the "French Chocolate Mint Truffles." You can vary this one to your heart's content. First, you can roll the results in "dipping chocolate" get a bar of high quality chocolate heat on a double boiler and use a fork to dip the cured truffle, place on wax paper to cool. Second, you can use almost any flavoring, almond, coconut, orange, lemon, peppermint, etc. Third, you can use milk chocolate, if the the mix starts to thin when you heat it, add a tablespoon of powdered sugar. Fourth you can use white chocolate although this is tricky and requres a lot of powered sugar to get it to "set" like a 3 to 5 tablespoons of powdered sugar. (With the coconut ones I mix in a 1/4 cup of grated coconut.)
Ok, then the basic brownies, ooooh you'll never buy a box mix again.
Then the flourless cakes, so rich, its incredible.
On to the "Pots of Creame" Yum, you'll have people begging for more. The trick here is to use a pan to hold the pots in, put the pan with the pots in it in the oven, then add "boiling water" and cook for exactly 22 minutes. The centers will be smooth and look runny but they'll finish cooking as they cool. Also be very careful getting them out of the oven, hot water will go right through your oven mitts. I use a canning jar lifter to get the pots of creame out of the pan. But in any case please be careful the burn you could get is bad.
I could go on and on, but if you can follow directions they all seem to come out fine.
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Format: Hardcover
I must disagree with the review posted by jerry i.h.in Aug 2004. All of the sins of omission that he mentions are covered in great detail in the ingredients chapter. For example, there is one page on sifting and measuring flour, a paragraph on egg size as it applies to the way Heatter writes recipes, and a page on beating egg whites. Ms Heatter is known as one of the "Three Fussbudgets" at my house (Rose Levy Berenbaum & Lynn Rosetto Kasper being the other two) because her instructions are sometimes detailed to the point of being fussy. Her directions yield beautiful results however, and provide techniques that can be used in other recipes to good effect. (Her pan-lining trick for bar cookies comes to mind.) The Palm Beach Brownies have become the only brownie I bake now as they are so wonderful. Her detailed instructions yield a reliably, decadently fudgy brownie, with a marvelous espresso kick. I would buy this book if only for this recipe. (Incidentally, versions of this recipe are available on the internet, but they modify the ingredients and skip significant portions of the instructions such that I cannot believe a comparable brownie would result.)
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By A Customer on September 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
I've baked quite a few of the cookies and cakes from this book and they've always turned out great! The directions are always clear and Maida introduces each recipe with some background information, telling the story of how she came upon the recipe, what the finished product looks like, serving and storing suggestions, etc. These descriptions help when trying to decide which chocolate dessert to make when choosing from such a wealth of choices.
I love the orange chocolate loaf cake and since Maida says the recipe can easily be doubled I always do. This cake goes quickly and it pays to have a spare! A friend of mine gave one of these recipes to her caterer for her wedding cake -- people are still talking about that incredible cake!
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By A Customer on August 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
I have yet to fail at reproducing a Maida Heatter recipe. She brought me from being a non-baker to a supremely confident baker. This book, as are all of her books, is a must-have for the beginner.
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Format: Paperback
Maida Heatter has written an excellent book on chocolate desserts. I made the chocolate buttermilk cake for coworkers, and two people told me it was the best chocolate cake they had ever tasted. That's worth the cost of the book alone! I can't wait to try more of her chocolate dessert recipes.
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Format: Paperback
The greatest virtue of Heatter's cookbooks is that the recipes work flawlessly if the directions are followed. This is a great beginner's book. Although the long descriptions may intimidate beginners, the detail informs and encourages.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've come to this page because my copy of "Great Chocolate Desserts" is falling apart from so much use & I need to replace it. I use it so much because I trust it completely. Every cookbook should be written like this one. Before each recipe Heatter describes the end product. Her instructions are incredibly thorough & easy to follow. She even gives advice on which brands of chocolate work best. And the results are terrific. I've earned the reputation of being a superb dessert-maker only because I rely so heavily on this book!
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Format: Hardcover
How do you rate a cookbook that you use almost everytime you have company? This book has some of the best, most foolproof chocolate dessert recipes that I know. Heatter's brownies are outstanding as are many of her cookie recipes. Chocolate Souffle Alice is the chocolate souffle against which we compare all others! We have found a few blah recipes (chocolate oatmeal cookies didn't seem to make it with my family) but the many wonderful ones outweigh the few disappointing ones. Try the Mexican icebox cookies alone make this book worth the price!
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