Carole Bloome + a Giveaway

December 7, 2010

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A few weeks ago, I received a very flattering email from an editor at Wiley Press.  She had noticed that I love to bake (just kind of ) and inquired if I would be interested in writing a review for Carole Bloome’s latest book, intensely chocolate.  I happen to have several of Carole’s books; Bite Size Desserts, Truffles, Candies and Confections, and The Essential Baker and I continuously use them for inspiration.

Upon getting the email, I immediately responded and jumped at the opportunity to review the book.  This is my very first “official” book review.  I have a vast library of cookbooks, and in my own way, do my own personal review of them, but I have never been asked to give my “semi-professional” opinion and tell all of you about it.

As, I  rifle my way through this book, I am amazed at how many recipes I want to recreate.  I love chocolate and this book is all about chocolate. I am drawn to the various flavor profiles and combinations and am inspired to take some of my favorite basics and create some not so typical flavor pairings.

What I love most about Carole’s books is how user and reader friendly they are.  She takes simple, pantry ready ingredients and creates recipes, and in turn gives us complicated flavor combinations. She maps out the basic kitchen utensils and essentials and writes extensively about “understanding chocolate”.  Generally, I like to use the best chocolate I can find (Valrhona, Callebaut, Scharffen Berger) and typically, I buy lots of it when it goes on sale!

There are so many recipes I have yet to try; bittersweet chocolate gingerbread, triple chocolate-toasted coconut brownie wedge, cocoa and bittersweet chocolate frangipane tart, milk chocolate dulce de leche bars,and countless others.  Thus far, the few recipes that I have tested,  have all been thoroughly enjoyed!  This book will be used over and over again.  For me, this is the perfect holiday gift and I can’t wait to give it to all of those that love to bake just as much as I do!

Here is a sampling of some very sweet creations:

white chocolate mixed berry muffins (pg. 70)
i made these for some clients of mine.  we had a full day of photography ahead of us and these muffins were the perfect way to start our morning.

milk chocolate-oatmeal pecan scones (pg. 62)
my kids love a good scone, especially laced with chocolate.  these are delicious.

milk chocolate chunk-pecan biscotti (pg. 134)
recently, I was asked to create a “thank you” gift for a friend of a friend.  this was the first recipe I baked out of the book and I knew, after my first bite, that this would be only one of many recipes I tested from this book.

intense hot chocolate (pg. 198)
intense is a mild description. this is decadent, rich, and delicious!!

December is the perfect month to indulge in the baking experience.  I bake all the time, but in December, I go a little “crazy”. I feel fortunate and grateful that I have this book, sitting atop my bookshelf, along side many of my other favorites.  I want you to feel blessed and grateful as well.  That is why, I am doing a GIVEAWAY to one lucky reader who follows the entry suggestions below.

  1. leave a comment and tell me what your favorite holiday memory is and your favorite holiday treat. the good, the bad, and the ugly!
  2. become a fan of The Urban Baker on Facebook and leave me a comment there and let me know we are now “friends”.  then I will turn around and “friend” you!
  3. tweet this tweet; copy and paste the following Tweet into the Twitter Message Field; @theurbanbaker has a copy of Carole Bloom’s intensely chocolate -a giveaway; enter to win here:  or be creative and write one of your own!
  4. follow the urban baker on Twitter; here.  we can become fast growing pals.
  5. subscribe to The Urban Baker and receive weekly updates and become my virtual friend.
  6. leave Carole Bloom a comment on her facebook page; here – she will appreciate it!
  7. link this giveaway on one of your blog posts and then come back here and let me know you did so.  i will be eternally grateful!

the winner will be chosen at random by
the contest closes on Sunday, December 12th at 11:00 p.m., pacific standard time. I will send the winner an e-mail letting them know of their good fortune.  Please don’t forget to leave me your email address!  The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S.A. only.  One last thing, I can not send this fantastic book to a P.O. Box.  Sorry!

Good luck!