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Chocolate: A Love Story: 65 Chocolate…
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Chocolate: A Love Story: 65 Chocolate Dessert Recipes from Max…

by Max Brenner

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If you're in the mood for decadent chocolate recipes, sinfully rich, with sensual descriptions, and captivating art work, you'll want to try Chocolate: A Love Story: 65 Chocolate Dessert Recipes from Max Brenner's Private Collection.

Max Brenner is an Israeli chain of chocolate restaurants. If the recipes in this book are a sample of their menu, I want one of the restaurants here in Phoenix. The recipes combine exotic tastes with warm, familiar foods. And, the recipes are all put together with lyrical, romantic commentary. Start with "Optimistic Musings: Morning Chocolate Variations," with twists on pancakes, waffles, and cupcakes. Yonatan Factor's artwork, in shades of browns and oranges, add intriguing commentary to the recipes. Try "Chocolate Therapy: Comforting Pastries," or "Happy Addiction: Concentrated Chocolate."

Who could resist a recipe called "Spy-thriller chocolate Black Forest cake, covered with Alpine whipped cream and cherry, the German double agent on top?" The recipes in this book are too sophisticated for me to make, but the cakes, pies, and drinks look luscious. And, I have someone in mind who will appreciate this impressive book.

Some readers will regret the absence of pictures, but the artwork seems perfect with this luscious compilation. And, anyone who loves chocolate should be able to perfectly imagine this decadent desserts. Chocolate: A Love Story is summed up perfectly by a quote from the book itself. "Chocolate is the substitute for love and will always be there for you." ( )
  LesaHolstine | Dec 14, 2009 |
Chocolate A Love Story by Max Brenner is a very different cookbook. There are no pictures of the finished recipes but there is fabulous artwork by Yonatan Factor. The book reminds me of the seventies and is very interesting. I did not know anything about Max Brenner when I received the book so I started by looking up Max Brenner who I learned is the owner of some pretty spectacular chocolate restaurants located around the world. Check out his menu! After learning more about Max I dove into the cookbook. There are some pretty spectacular recipes such as Heaven-on-earth cocoa tarte tatin, Meaningless sweet spaghetti, and a Philosophical highly concentrated fudge brownie. There are 65 chocolate dessert recipes in the book. While all these recipes sound delish, I think they are way out of my league. However I do have a brother who is a chef who I know will love these recipes. The cookbook is quite interesting and if you are a gourmet chef or someone who likes to pretend they are, you will love this book. It would also make a great gift for someone who is more skilled in the culinary department than I am. ( )
  bookaholicmom | Dec 8, 2009 |
Chocolate: A Love Story by Max Brenner is a chocolate-lovers paradise. The recipes included in this book are so different and decadent. How does “A philosophical highly concentrated fudge brownie” sound? Or “Lipstick banana chocolate cake bonbons”? My daughter and I made the bad boy chocolate pizza. If you think you know dessert pizza, think again. This one includes chocolate-hazelnut spread, semisweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and marshmallows which are the ultimate gooey roasted topping. This one was not for the faint of heart and is just the tip of the chocolate kiss when it comes to the chocolate paradise shared in this book.

Mr. Brenner has been in the chocolate biz for quite a while and is owner of Max Brenner: Chocolate by the Bald Man. He not only shares his recipes but also when and how his love for chocolate started. He also includes an introduction concerning the book’s illustrator, Yonatan. I would be amiss if I did not mention the pictures that accompany the recipes. There is a wonderful mixture of photography and art that is the perfect companion to the delectable concoctions. ( )
  cjz111 | Nov 9, 2009 |
"On the one hand, it is the most romantic gift; on the other hand, a commodity that is traded in the bourse. It is sold like precious jewelry that is picked carefully from a crystal glass, but also is an addictive snack in every corner kiosk. It is tasted like a fine wine and licked straight from the bowl...These diverse aspects of chocolate and of life are the inspiration for our book."
- Chocolate A Love Story: 65 Chocolate Dessert Recipes from Max Brenner's Private Collection by Max Brenner

This upcoming holiday season and just in time for Halloween celebrations, Max Brenner (the Bald Man) and artist Yontan Factor have come up with Chocolate A Love Story: 65 Chocolate Dessert Recipes from Max Brenner's Private Collection. Large and eye-catching, the book looks like pop art. I was dying to know what recipes Max Brenner selected for this homage to chocolate and I know you must equally curious.

Here are just some of the creations described in the book:
Dependable banana cupcakes, Bohemian French toast chocolate sandwiches, Intimate Hungarian crepes (they have figs), Control freak chocolate spread, Plain Jane sweet chocolate rolls, Intimate scones, Nostalgic dark chocolate cheese crumb cake, Handsome tiramisu, My very own honey pie manifest, Mon cheri cherry pie, A therapeutic chocolate pot pie, A philosophical highly concentrated fudge brownie (if you're going to make brownies - why not a Max Brenner brownie?!), Enticing sugar churros, Max and Mortiz profiteroles, Forever young white chocolate custard, A mannered white chocolate creme brulee, Banana split, Tacky double chocolate fondue, Once-upon-a-time small almond cookies, Contentious chocolate chip cookies, Wannabe French hot chocolate, Shanti white chocolate chai image, Innocent meringue kisses, and Such a beautiful chocolate souffle.

I hope that I didn't ruin the surprise by naming the dishes. I figure that if you're interested in Chocolate A Love Story, you will check out the book for yourself.

Almost just as seductive as the food is the accompanying artwork. Each recipe is paired with an eye-catching 8 by 11 mini poster. The posters are gorgeous enough to frame.

If you'd like to learn more, visit Max Brenner's website at http://www.maxbrenner.com. Better yet - visit any one of the Max Brenner locations and sample the finished product!

A huge thank you to Hatchette Book Group for the review copy and for the opportunity to review Chocolate A Love Story! ( )
  gaby317 | Oct 24, 2009 |
I don't dislike chocolate, but I confess that I am by no means a chocaholic, so I thought this might spur me to dive more into this delicious (and good for you) ingredient.

This is a cookbook....there is very little text except for the recipes themselves. It comes appropriately blurbed on the back cover by Paula Dean and John Travolta and Kelly Preston. There are some interesting but pretty normal recipes...
For instance, my husband always had chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for his birthday, a habit we've kinda gotten out of these past years. Now I have the recipe for "my lost childhood chocolate birthday cake sprinkled with shiny colorful candy tears" (lower case is from the author!), and it looks like something I might be able to concoct although I've never tried to make chocolate ganache....

Then there are the more esoteric concoctions--I myself could go for the 'therapeutic chocolate pot pie with a rich filling of soul-refreshing strawberries'.......at least it comes with a picture to tempt me.

And herein lies my big problem with this book: While the recipes have lots of yummy ingredients, clearly written and come with 3-4 lines of 'teaser text', the pictures are IMHO AWFUL. I am not an art deco person, and when I pick up a cookbook, I want to see a picture of what this is supposed to look like when I'm finished mixing all these ingredients together. I don't want to see something that looks like a 1st grader made from torn construction paper. The illustrations are done by Yonotan Factor, and they are not pushing any buttons for me.

But there's chocolate rice pudding, meaningless sweet spaghetti, and bad-boy chocolate pizza. And then there's 'miltary porridge' with the following introduction:

"My love, three years have passed since I last saw you. So many things are changing around me and the war seems endless. Only this late afternoon ritual, standing in the long line of soldiers in front of the huge aluminum saucepans covered with steam leaves me with the feeling that after all there are some things that never change in life. Still waiting for your letter."

This is on a page opposite a very tackyart deco sillouette of helmets atop rifles, with a tank and a missile in the background. Ok...what pray tell does that have to do with food? The recipe appears to be a semolina bowl of grits/polenta type gruel, topped with sugar, water, heavy cream, stirred together to make a toffee, and sprinkled with milk choc chips...I guess we have to be there.

In spite of its avant garde-ness, it's a fun book. If you don't mind the illustrations, and you love chocolate, this is the book for you. ( )
  tututhefirst | Oct 20, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316056626, Hardcover)

Book Description

With gigantic vats of churning chocolate, desserts like their famous chocolate pizza, and 12 varieties of hot chocolate served in custom mugs, Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man has turned their line of hip, colorful themed restaurants into an international sensation. Chocolate: A Love Story is a vibrant new cookbook that includes 65 original recipes narrated in the quirky, captivating voice of Max Brenner, the restaurant's visionary founder and "bald man." Bold original illustrations inspired by Art Deco poster graphics, full-color photographs, easy-to-follow, delicious recipes, and a serving of Max's unique vision for spreading "chocolate culture" around the world make this book a must for every chocolate lover.

Recipe Excerpt from Chocolate: A Love Story: My lost childhood chocolate birthday cake

Ingredients

Cake

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-3/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1-1/2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Sprinkles for decoration

Ganache

1-1/4 cups heavy cream

20 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

Syrup

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon Cointreau

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly flour and butter a 9-inch round cake pan

2. Make the cake. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric beater until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until just combined.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the crust is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Set to cool on a cooling rack.

4. Make the ganache. Bring the cream to a simmer and pour over the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Let sit until the chocolate begins to melt, about 1 minute, then beat with an electric mixer until the ganache is fluffy and smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

5. Make the syrup. Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Lower the heat and simmer until the sugar dissolves, about 10 minutes. Stir in the Cointreau and remove from the heat.

6. Cut the cake horizontally into 2 layers. Brush the still-warm cake with the syrup (do not soak). Once the syrup is absorbed, spread the cooled ganache frosting generously over the top of one round. Top with the second layer of cake and cover with the remaining ganache, using an offset spatula to smooth the ganache down and around the sides of the cake.

7. Sprinkle liberally with multicolored sprinkles.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:50 -0400)

A colourful, fun, chocolate-infused dessert cookbook for the whole family from the newest star of the chocolate world.

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