Picks and Pans Review: A Passion for Chocolate

updated 12/11/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/11/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Maurice and Jean-Jacques Bernachon
Translated and adapted by Rose Levy Beranbaum

The Bernachons—père Maurice and fils Jean-Jacques—are preeminent chocolatiers of Lyons, France. Rose Levy Beranbaum, author of The Cake Bible, last year's top-selling cookbook, spent a month observing them create their exquisite confections. What ethereal layers of meringue! What silky buttercreams! Les Brownies are as moist and chewy as promised, dense with bittersweet chocolate and superfine sugar. There are plenty of tips—a Ziploc bag makes a good pastry bag, pulverize chocolate for the ganache (a mixture for fillings and frostings) in a food processor—but too many repeated instructions. That problem might have been solved by starting off with the fundamentals instead of leaving them to the end. Sixteen pages of color photographs (oh, that gâteau of glazed cream puffs) show that even the simplest pastries can be ravishing. (Morrow, $22.95)

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