By People Staff
November 22, 2004 12:00 PM

Pure Chocolate: Divine Desserts and Sweets from the Creator of Fran’s Chocolates
by Fran Bigelow with Helene Siegel

Could any reader resist this book’s blowsy charms? Not likely. Created by the chocolatier who blazed a trail in Seattle in 1982 by opening her European-style Fran’s Chocolates boutique, these wickedly rich recipes are accompanied by food-porn style shots of pots de crème, Triple Chocolate Pyramids and White-Chocolate Crème Citron Tarts. The level of difficulty ranges from kid-simple (peasant bread with bittersweet chocolate) to challenging (a Chocolate Cabernet Torte), but there’s something here for every cook. Since working with chocolate can be tricky—get ready to master the double boiler—Bigelow includes lots of guidance on technique (don’t try to fold cold butter into a ganache; whip the cream loosely for a Marquis au Chocolate). Whether it’s Gold Bar Brownies—littered with chocolate chunks and infused with caramel sauce—her lascivious Chocolate-Stuffed Figs or her intense White-Chocolate Espresso Semifreddo, these confections will haunt your dreams.