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Chocolate Desserts [Hardcover]

Dorie Greenspan , Pierre Herme
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

2 May 2002
Whether you are an expert in the dessert kitchen or a beginner with a desire for the delicious, this collection will introduce you to the myriad delights of Pierre Herme's desserts, his unusual juxtapositions of ingredients, his conjurer's touch with textures, and his always perfect pitch when it comes to sweetness, tartness and chocolatey-ness.

Here you will find recipes for the simplest chocolate truffle as well as the luxuriously soft and rich Suzy's Cake, which is spectacularly delicious yet quite simple to make. Through more than seventy-five recipes, you will have the many pleasures of tasting chocolate in all its states - hot and cold, creamy and crunchy, smooth and custardy, thick and chewy, bittersweet and sweet, dark, milk and white.

Finally, there are the indispensable Base Recipes and a Dictionary of terms, techniques, Equipment and Ingredients. Together they form a complete course in chocolate dessert artistry.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown & Company; 1 edition (2 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316357413
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316357418
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 21.6 x 27.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 556,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

In their second collaboration, the award winning duo of Pierre Herme and Dorie Greenspan unveil the secrets of sumptuous chocolate desserts.

About the Author

Herme is a fourth-generation pastry chef. Raised in Alsace, he aprenticed to the legendary Gaston Lenotre when he was just 14 and at 24 took over the famed pastry kitchens of Fauchon in Paris. In '97 he was decorated as a Chevalier of Arts and letters and named France's Pastry Chef of the Year.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
This is a dark-as-midnight chocolate cake that gets its strong chocolate flavor from cocoa and small chunks of premium-quality bittersweet chocolate (think the best chocolate chips imaginable). Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 45 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Flat zero 3 Nov 2007
I suppose and perhaps, people will be drawn to Pierre on the basis of his reputation. I sadly am now disavowed of this. From a marketing point of view this book will probably be superficially attractive and a logical expansion of Pierre's reportoire.
Unfortunately it proved to be in the same vane as Danni Minogogue, Rick Astley, John Major and Jamie Oliver in its mediocrity but worse... and by means of a tested example...the recipes (reported in the third person) obviously have not been subject to any cursory scrutiny.
I have now tried Pierre's "inside-out" puff pastry exhausting at least 5 kg of butter and a mountain of flour from various sources and a range of temperatures not called for in modern culinary practice.

Whereas I understand the difficulty of this pinnacle of dough's I challenge ANYBODY to achieve even a satisfactory product using Pierre's 'novel' approach. I hesitate using the F word, but faux springs to mind. I could not possibly recommend this nonsense. Stick to Roux brothers..It's damn hard but at least it's not disingenous.
Marketing gone mad. 1 star- the minimum i could give, this is NOT a stellar product
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
109 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific book 28 Dec 2001
By Eric J. Wu - Published on
Contents. Cakes: Loaf cake,Suzy cake, St. Honore cake, eclair, black forest cake, chocolate meringue cake, puff pastry w/chocolate cream and with orange cream. Cookies: cigarette cookies, macaroons, florentines, financiers. Tarts: chocolate fig tart, nutella tart, pecan tart. Puddings: rice pudding, coffee/whisky cappuccino. Candies: regular truffles, caramel truffles, nut truffles, candied fruits, passionfruit/milk chocolate truffles. Ice cream: Different ice creams, banana splits, sherbet, ice cream sandwich with meringue. drinks: variety of hot chocolate.
I recommend this book. The pictures are beautiful (though not everything is photographed), and the recipes are well explained, Most importantly, all of the recipes work (Pierre's recipes always work). The binding on this book is very strong, so you can actually use it as a cookbook.

One of the other reviewers said this book was for "novices", I see the point, but do not agree. I think this book is a little harder than "Desserts by Pierre Herme". For instance, it it asks for passion fruit pulp in one recipe ("desserts" asks for passion fruit juice, which is easier to get), some of the recipes assume you have an icecream maker, and I know of no amateur who makes St. Honore cakes. "Desserts by Pierre Herme" is organized with building blocks first, recipes second, "chocolate desserts" is the other way around. To me this assumes you know the recipes and just need to check the back for reference. ON the other hand, this book is definitely easier than his other book "The patisserie of Pierre Herme" (which also has building blocks at the end). That book assumes you have nut paste (which you can make as an amateur, but a pain), are willing to make Joconde cakes to wrap your cake around, can make chocolate ruffles, and so on. If you're a professional, that's the book you want.
This book definitely gets 5 stars, but keep in mind who you are first. If you are total beginner, there are some easy recipes here but some things will be too hard. IN this case I think "cocolat" by Alice Medrich is a good, easier alternative, or even "desserts by Pierre Herme" (that book has less chocolate though). I think a intermediate-advanced amateur will get the most out of this book. If you're a pro, you won't learn new techniques. A pro would get this book if he was a fan of Pierre and wanted to see Pierre's thinking and the original way he puts together components (for instance his use of cinnamon in general, or pears in St. Honore cake).
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolument Delicieux, Decadent, Mais Non Difficile! 2 Dec 2001
By Diana F. Von Behren - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
While the photos in this wonderful book are enough to make your mouth water, reading the fantastic descriptions will force even the most uninventive baker to hop in his/her car down to the nearest gourmet specialty shop and purchase a supply of Valrona's sumptuous dark chocolate, parchment paper and a fun assortment of accoutrements that would please the most well-turned out pastry chef. Those who have never used a pastry bag, need not panic; the results are well-worth the process. The recipes are fun and fantastic, the tastes, subtle and the step-by-step directions, complete with Pierre's sidebar tips and suggestions, foolproof. The book is divided into different sections focusing on Cakes, Cookies, Tarts, Custards/Mousses, Truffles/Candies, Ice Cream/Frozen Desserts, Hot and Cold Drinks. The book is prefaced by a brief essay on what you can expect from the book and finished to perfection with Pierre's base recipes and a dictionary of terms, techniques, equipment and ingredients with a source guide. I especially enjoyed concocting Pierre's Chocolate Macaroons, the Financiers, and the Moist and Nutty Brownies. The total chocolate experience of the Original Hot Chocolate is Proustian, (with or without the madeleine)reminiscient of that served in a Parisian specialty shop in a tiny cup. The books presentation alone would make a lovely gift even for the coffee-table brand of patisserie chef, but for those who are a little more adventuresome, there is much pleasure to be derived from this little gem.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even Better Than Cocolat, This Book is the BEST! 12 Mar 2004
By J. Carroll - Published on
I can't imagine how anyone could call this book a waste of money! When I read through and tried the recipes in Cocolat, I was pleasantly surprised. When I received this cookbook, I was in Heaven--I couldn't put it down! I've tried several recipes from this book and, being a typical home baker, I had no problems with any of them. Yes, a few of them may take more time than others, but if you want quick and easy, go to Betty Crocker...
Each recipe was clearly and concisely presented. The few recipes that need special ingredients are the most intriguing! Who doesn't want to try something new and different? In fact, the author recommends Nutella if you don't have or want to deal with hazelnuts!
The Chocolate Macaroons were a treat one would die for. If you love chocolate, and I mean GOOD chocolate, you can't pass up this book. Because Cocolat contains many other recipes besides chocolate recipes, I much preferred Chocolate Desserts for its chocolate intensity and inspiring recipes.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme 26 Sep 2001
By Patricia A. Mitchell - Published on
As with Pierre Hermes other books the photography is beautiful (not all desserts are photograped) and many of the flavor combinations are interesting to say the least. He cares a great deal about quality and choosing the correct ingredients for each formula and is specific about what to look for/purchase.
Being a professional I would have preferred more difficult formulas and ideas rather than some of the basics such as truffles or french banana split just to name a few. If you are a novice I would suggest this book as it has many interesting ideas as well as basic information. If you are a professional and are looking for a totally new book on chocolate I am not sure that this is it.
My 4 stars are for the facts that it is clear to understand, nice to look at and to say the least, has many good ideas for the novice . Some of the recipes are quite long and may not be for those individuals who want a quick easy recipe.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chocolate -- What Could be Better? 5 Oct 2001
By A Customer - Published on
This is a book of French-style recipes brilliantly worked so that an American home cook can make them. What could be better? I love French desserts and French chocolate -- what's not to love? -- and here I have the best of that world but carefully presented with American ingredients and familiar cooking techniques. Herme is a master chocolatier and master baker and some of his recipes are long and involved but Greenspan makes sure they are clear and easy to follow. She even points out when something can be made ahead of time. This is a valuble addition to my library -- to anyone's cookbook collection. If you love to bake, love chocolate, and appreciate good cookbooks, this is for you! Thank you, Pierre and Dorey.
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