Book Index  

Pure Chocolate: Divine Desserts and Sweets from the Creator of Fran's Chocolates

Fran Bigelow & Helene Siegel

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.
      
Chris's Notes*