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Luscious Chocolate Desserts

Luscious Chocolate Desserts
If you agree that there are only four basic food groups—milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate and chocolate truffles—then you'll understand why Luscious Chocolate Desserts is a must-have in your kitchen.

Author Lori Longbotham, who nibbles a little chocolate every day, shares her passion in this tantalizing cookbook. A teacher at heart, she offers recipes that deliver deep, dark chocolate flavor with minimal fuss. Even if you have no experience working with chocolate, it's easy to follow her simple directions for creating spectacular desserts, from a bountiful chocolate cheesecake to a delicate soufflé.

A chapter on the history of chocolate traces the importance of this "brown gold" as a food for the Mayan gods, a privilege of the Spanish aristocracy, the medicine of Italian doctors and the democratized candy of the 20th century. The author includes informative sections on the process of creating chocolate from cacao pods. She also describes the many different forms of chocolate, including unsweetened chocolate, Dutch process cocoa powder and crunchy nibs. You'll learn about chocolate and health, how to taste chocolate, how to store it, chop it and melt it—everything that chocoholics need to know about their favorite food.

The more than 65 recipes from around the globe show just how much everyone loves chocolate. If you've ever wandered the streets of Paris in search of patisseries, you'll recognize the incomparable French chocolate macaroon—two crisp, delicate almond cookies filled with silky ganache. From Italy comes the ever-popular tiramisù as well as panna cotta, or "cooked cream," a custardy dessert that tastes even more luxurious with a swirl of bittersweet chocolate.

Recipes for grilled chocolate-stuffed bananas and soothing chocolate pudding will bring back fond childhood memories. For something more sophisticated, serve a dark chocolate tart or hazelnut truffles or even Katharine Hepburn's famous brownies.

Red dried cherries and green pistachio nuts add a note of holiday cheer to classic chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate chip gingerbread cake offers a new twist on an old favorite. Natural cocoa powder and miniature chocolate chips lend richness to the cake, which is imbued with flavorful spices.

Full-color photographs depict desserts in tempting detail. Whether you're craving a late-night bite of something sweet or celebrating a special occasion, Luscious Chocolate Desserts will inspire, indulge and delight chocolate lovers of all ages.