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Favorite Dessert and Chocolate Books?


chocoera
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Good evening all :)

I was looking on amazon for some great dessert/pastry and chocolate books...i have a few thus far, and just love the amazing photographs and dessert/chocolate ideas and the instant urge to try out a new project and alter one to surprise friends and family.

the problem is there are a ton of great books, and a ton of NOT-SO-GREAT books...so instead of chancing it alone on amazon, i thought i'd turn to you for help! :raz:

For books, i'm looking for a great chocolate book, theory is wonderful to know, but new flavor ideas, techniques or "extras" like jellies or chocolate drinks or baked goods, etc are awesome!

other books, i could go for one or two more :smile:

looking for a fantastic "showy" or european-inspired dessert book. Component cakes, tortes, tarts, macarons and a BIG plus would be recipes for individual desserts (vs a 9inch pan)

and then, i could do a separate book, or if a book included this stuff too, that'd be cool....

some simple recipes for like a round white bread loaf, baguette, ciabatta,or crossaints (i am not a bread baker, but would like to learn and master one or two recipes! idea is to serve with jam or brie or, Lord help me, NUTELLA!!) :biggrin: and i'm always looking for a great new bar or brownie (my husband is crazy for those) or cookies (ones that are not so mainstream, like instead of chocolate chip, maybe chocolate chip/caramel/coconut cookies...) my family has me as official cookie baker for events, and i like to keep them guessing!!!.....and basically, looking for just new inspiration in general!!

any thoughts? hoping for some great input! since cookbooks can be great...but can be wildly disappointing! but i know i'll be in good hands with you guys!

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When possible, I like to browse at Barnes & Noble in person then go buy the book for cheaper at Amazon. Buying books sight unseen really can be a crapshoot.

For chocolates, Chocolates and Confections by Peter Greweling is awesome, everything you need to know about more kinds of chocolates and confections than you should be eating. It is a little technical, definitely professional level. No baked goods there, only confections. For chocolate baked goods, Maida Heatters Book of Great Chocolate Desserts is a favorite, but old and possibly not in print. Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme is a good one too, a few simple things and a few more elegant Frenchy style, with sexy pictures. Alice Medrich's chocolate books are good too, and a bit simpler.

For bread, I like Peter Reinhart's Bread Bakers Apprentice. It covers most types of bread and how it all works.

There is also a thread or two about pastry books over in the cookbooks & references forum.

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I find great deals on cookbooks at www.ecookbooks.com Some prices compare with Amazon, some are better, but the shipping deal's the same - free with a $25.00 purchase.

One of my favorite cookbooks is New Chocolate Classics, by Diana Dalass. This book takes vintage dessert recipes and adapts them to chocolate. The chocolate strawberry shortcake (on the cover) is terrific. And the white chocolate fudge cake which has become a part of my regular menu, and is often requested.

Theresa :biggrin:

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

- Abraham Lincoln

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Check out the Cookbook & References Index, but my current favorites that fit your category:

Hermè's (Greenspan) books (old and new)

Iuzzini's new book

Thank you for your post. This eGullet forum is so huge that it is impossible to learn about it all very quickly...especially for those of us who are computer-challenged. Your index is invaluable!! :wub:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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wow! love that index :) that's pretty neat! and i will be looking up each and every book suggested, and let you know what i buy...hopefully tonight or tomorrow!

PS- also love greweling's book and the chocolate bible....i have chocolate obsession and a few other pastry/dessert like textbooks from school...but all suggestions are going to be researched starting.....NOW! :0)

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wow!  love that index :)  that's pretty neat!  and i will be looking up each and every book suggested, and let you know what i buy...hopefully tonight or tomorrow!

PS- also love greweling's book and the chocolate bible....i have chocolate obsession and a few other pastry/dessert like textbooks from school...but all suggestions are going to be researched starting.....NOW!  :0)

just from what i've read so far....does anyone have any thoughts on La Maison du Chocolat's book? and as for bread, i'm leaning towards the bread baker apprentice, and for desserts, i am caught between the chocolate desserts by herme and the chocolate epiphany by francois payard...does anyone have pros cons for these books? :huh:

Edited by chocoera (log)
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just from what i've read so far....does anyone have any thoughts on La Maison du Chocolat's book?  and as for bread, i'm leaning towards the bread baker apprentice, and for desserts, i am caught between the chocolate desserts by herme and the chocolate epiphany by francois payard...does anyone have pros cons for these books?  :huh:

I saw a copy of the Payard book in our local library and HAD TO HAVE IT! :wub::wub: It has great and delicious recipes in it. (This from a relative cooking newbie)

I also have the Cake and Pie and Pastry Bibles from RLB. Wonderful! :wub: And am totally enamored of the commentary by Corriher in Bakewise. :wub:

I HAVE to know how and why things work!

Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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It's not cheap, but Chocolate by Ramon Morato has everything you need to know about using chocolate as an ingredient. Breakfast snacks, drinks, cakes, gateaux, petit fours, bon bons etc etc. If you want a book that covers chocolate in all its glory, I would recommend this one.

Edited for typos

Edited by gap (log)
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There's a whole thread on PH's Chocolate Desserts so that would definitely be a good choice for chocolate desserts. I've had good success with it's recipes.

My favourite dessert book at the moment is Tartine. Lots of great illustrations and great recipes that lean towards the rustic side so they might not be quite what you're looking for but it's a book I'd like to bake my way through.

For plated desserts have you seen the Grand Finale series by Tish Boyle and Timothy Moriarty? I've got the Neoclassic View out of the library right now. I have no idea how the recipes are but there's a picture for every desserts so it provides a wealth of ideas.

Edited by CanadianBakin' (log)

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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just from what i've read so far....does anyone have any thoughts on La Maison du Chocolat's book?  and as for bread, i'm leaning towards the bread baker apprentice, and for desserts, i am caught between the chocolate desserts by herme and the chocolate epiphany by francois payard...does anyone have pros cons for these books?  :huh:

La Maison du Chocolat doesn't give recipes for chocolate candies. Just recipes with chocolate as the main ingredient. All my books are packed away. For individual desserts, I'd focus on the European books for the most part.

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looking for a fantastic "showy" or european-inspired dessert book.  Component cakes, tortes, tarts, macarons and a BIG plus would be recipes for individual desserts (vs a 9inch pan)

and then, i could do a separate book, or if a book included this stuff too, that'd be cool....

some simple recipes for like a round white bread loaf, baguette, ciabatta,or crossaints (i am not a bread baker, but would like to learn and master one or two recipes!  idea is to serve with jam or brie or, Lord help me, NUTELLA!!) 

Choc,

For European desserts, I would recommend Healy's The Art of the Cake, a fabulous resource for French cakes. I'm no professional baker, but have reproduced some wonderful cakes from this book that rivaled what I was used to eating in Europe.

Also, for bread baking for a novice, look no further than Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes. There is a 17 page thread on here about that book alone.

-sabine

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alrighty, thanks for the suggestions sabine and to everyone who gave some input...it helped narrow down the countless books i was looking at! so, i know i said only two.....but....i got three! *ha ha ha* :raz:

i ended up with chocolate by pierre herme, the 5 min artisan bread and the art of cake book! they should be coming in 2-6 days, and i ordered off the jessica's biscuits page and also got a free 1 yr subscription to Gourmet! whoo-hoo! thank you again!!!!!!

Edited by chocoera (log)
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To really grow, I think at some point an amateur has to buy "The Patisserie of Pierre Herme" or a similar book. In terms of techniques, flavor combinations, it really changed my outlook on pastry.

When you read the cheaper Herme books, it's all about recipes. I"m going to make X, I'm going to make Y.

When you buy PH's big books, it's about teaching you building blocks, showing some techniques, and thinking in terms of assembly.

Basically teaching you the tools the pros use so that you can do it on your own.

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alrighty, thanks for the suggestions sabine and to everyone who gave some input...it helped narrow down the countless books i was looking at! so, i know i said only two.....but....i got three!  *ha ha ha*  :raz:

i ended up with chocolate by pierre herme, the 5 min artisan bread and the art of cake book!  they should be coming in 2-6 days, and i ordered off the jessica's biscuits page and also got a free 1 yr subscription to Gourmet!  whoo-hoo!  thank you again!!!!!!

Choc,

You are most welcome. Let us know what you think when you get them and what you make. Any questions, let me know.

-sabine

Edited by P1800Girl (log)
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  • 1 month later...

My favorite is Bittersweet by Alice Medrich. For those interested in lowering fat content, you should also get her Chocolate and the Art of Low Fat Desserts . This one is out of print but is readily available through Amazon.

Ms. Medrich founded the famous Cocolat in Berkeley.

Edited by mgaretz (log)

Mark

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I ordered Artisan bread in 5, too! I'll be seeing you over on that thread soon. I've been using the basic recipe that's everywhere online and have had good success so far. I'm looking forward to trying the other breads. I also ordered Greweling's book.

For baking for family or for school, I usually head first to Baking From My Home to Yours. It's not really what you asked for, but there are so many good things in there. Everything turns out for me and there are some bake-to-impress type things for that audience.

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