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Chocolate Epiphany
(Clarkson Potter) ISBN 978-0307393463 0307393461

François Payard provides chocolate recipes and instructions on how to make gourmet chocolate truffles, chocolate breads, chocolate cookies, chocolate petits fours, chocolate candies, chocolate mousses, chocolate meringues, chocolate tarts and chocolate cakes.

Chocolate Epiphany is the perfect gift for chocolate lovers, but no chocoholic would give it away without buying an extra copy to keep.

Gourmet desserts

The 100 gourmet chocolate recipes in this 272-page cookbook range from simple (Charlie's Afternoon Chocolate Cake) to complex (Fontainebleau).

Especially helpful, are the metric and U.S. measurement unit equivalents in recipes, e.g., 150 grams of butter equals 10 tablespoons and one cup sugar equals 200 grams. Temperatures are in Fahrenheit.

How to melt chocolate

Organized by type of dessert (chocolate candy, chocolate ice cream, etc.) each recipe begins with preparation, ingredient and storage tips by François Payard.

A sidebar discusses how to melt chocolate in the microwave and in a double boiler.

Rogerio Voltan illustrates the chocolate creations with delectable full-page color images.

Percentage of cocoa

François Payard defines the percentage of chocolate in milk chocolate (38-40 per cent), semisweet chocolate (50 per cent), bittersweet chocolate (60 per cent), extra bittersweet chocolate (72 per cent) and unsweetened chocolate (99-100 per cent).

In the Introduction, readers learn about qualities of chocolate and how to make chocolate from three types of cacao beans (criollo, forastero and trinitario). Chef Payard describes types of chocolate: chocolate pistoles, couverture chocolate, cocoa nibs, chocolate chips, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, cocoa powder, hot cocoa and gianduja (chocolate mixed with hazelnut paste).

The Basics chapter provides recipes for how to make chocolate glaze, buttercream, browned butter, simple syrup, praline paste and chocolate ganache.

How to temper chocolate

A section on Tempering Chocolate describes how to make chocolate shine when it hardens. It includes melting, cooling and working temperatures for dark, milk and white chocolate.

The Equipment section recommends using a blowtorch to caramelize the sugar topping of chocolate crème brûlée.

In Chocolate Decorations, François Payard describes how to make chocolate strips, white and dark chocolate fans, chocolate drops, chocolate sticks, chocolate shards and chocolate shavings. For example, he suggests wrapping a simple cheesecake in white chocolate and garnishing it with chocolate fans to look like a flower.

The Resources section lists contact information for stores that sell nut flours, pistachio and praline paste, sheet gelatin, fondant, chestnut purée and other gourmet ingredients used in chocolate desserts.

Chocolate Epiphany recipes

Chocolate brioche pain perdu. Chocolate orange ginger moelleux. Ganache meringue kisses. Chocolate churros with dipping sauces. Chocolate nougat. Chardons. Vanilla chocolate truffles. Dark & white chocolate Napoleons. Honey & saffron apple tart with chocolate chiboust. Chocolate rum savarin. Apricot saffron profiteroles. Chocolate coconut rochers — flourless coconut cookies for Passover, shaped like boulders (hence, the French name).

Chocolate Epiphany


My chocolate-covered life
What I look for in chocolate
A few tips before you begin
  • Breads and Brunch dishes
  • Cookies and petits fours
  • Candies and chocolates
  • Custards, mousses, meringues and ice cream
  • Tarts
  • Cakes
  • Plated desserts
  • The basics
    • Tempering chocolate
    • Chocolate decorations


François Payard is the author of Bite Size and Simply Sensational Desserts. A master chocolatier and James Beard Award winner, he owns Payard Patisserie & Bistro in New York City, Las Vegas, Tokyo, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The co-author is Anne E. McBride.

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