Divine Desserts and Sweets from the Creator of Fran's Chocolates
Clarkson Potter, Hardcover, 9780767916585, 248pp.
Publication Date: October 26, 2004
The most stylish, approachable, and mouth-watering chocolate cookbook ever, from award-winning chocolatier Fran Bigelow
In 1982, Fran Bigelow proudly opened the doors to Fran’s Chocolates, a boutique storefront styled after European chocolate salons, where she could showcase the pure flavors of the exquisite confections she had spent years perfecting. Chocolate lovers in Seattle immediately beat a path to Madison Street to taste desserts as wonderful as anything in Paris or Belgium. Over the past two decades, Fran Bigelow has grown into a world-class chocolatier, operating two elegant shops that enjoy cult status in Seattle and beyond, by way of her mail-order and Internet business.
Now, in her debut cookbook, Fran reveals the magic behind her addictive creations: how she manipulates a few ingredients—butter, cream, eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, and nuts—to create sublime textures and highlight pure flavors in her elegant modern desserts. The seventy-five recipes included here range from extravagant celebration cakes and holiday specialties (White Chocolate Torte or Souffléd Chocolate Mocha Roll); to European style fruit and nut tarts (Chocolate Cherry Tart or Milk Chocolate Crème Fraîche Tart), soufflés, cheesecakes (White Chocolate Brie Cheesecake, a Fran specialty), homemade ice creams (Dark Chocolate and Ginger Bombe), and extraordinary renditions of American classics, including brownies, chocolate cookies, the ultimate hot fudge sauce, and a chocolate milkshake that will instantly transport you back to childhood.
Fran also tells you everything you need to know about chocolate, from the different styles of chocolate-making employed in Europe, South America, and the U.S. (and how each result in different flavors), to deciphering labels (which ingredients enhance meltability, for example), and how the amount of cocoa in different brands and styles of chocolate influences the final taste of a dessert. You will learn how to taste a truffle—preferably in two bites—and the language of chocolate “signs,” the squiggles atop candies. Recipes for some of Fran’s award-winning confections are also included here: chocolate cherries and nut clusters; chocolate stuffed fruits; easy cocoa-dusted truffles; and more ambitious dipped truffles featuring liqueurs, coffee, vanilla, and other chocolate-friendly ingredients; and chocolate fondue, a perfect party dessert for children and adults alike.
Whether you are a cocoa connoisseur or devotee of the cacao bean with cravings that won’t quit, Pure Chocolate is a must-have for any chocolate aficionado.
Fran Bigelow studied at the California Culinary Academy. Her chocolates are favorites in Seattle, where she runs two branches of Fran’s Chocolates, and her thriving mail-order and Internet business can be found at www.franschocolates.com. Los Angeles food writer Helene Siegel has written more than forty cookbooks, including the Food Network’s Too Hot Tamales and the best-selling Totally Cookbook series.
Advance praise for Pure Chocolate
“To feast your eyes on Fran’s delectable chocolate creations and read her expertly written recipes will send you into the kitchen at once!”
—Chuck Williams, Williams-Sonoma, Inc.
“I’ve been enjoying Fran Bigelow’s chocolates and chocolate desserts for almost twenty years and have long thought of her as one of the finest chocolate makers in the world. I rejoice at her wonderful book—when Fran writes a chapter about ‘everything you need to know about chocolate’ you can be sure it’s brilliantly the real thing. And her recipes are tried and true, inspired, and delicious. No real chocolate lover should be without this book.”
—Nick Malgieri, author of Perfect Cakes and Chocolate
“Every chocolate-lover will cherish this extraordinary book. Fran Bigelow—pure perfectionist, pure artist, pure innovator—shares her legendary expertise through her sumptuous recipe collection—the key to 100 percent pure pleasure!”
—Flo Braker, author of The Simple Art of Perfect Baking and Sweet Miniatures
“Fran Bigelow’s recipes are irresistible—and many are surprisingly easy. I think this is a great book.”
“The recipes in this book are the culmination of more than twenty years of chocolate mastery, as Fran shares all her secrets to achieving pure chocolate perfection.”
—Joan Steuer, founding editor, Chocolatier magazine