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