There are many recipes in the book we didn't try. There are three that we did and they all had fatal flaws. If one of them had worked we might have tried again but we don't have the time or money for that and we expect you don't either. Therefore, for all of our reviews, we take a 3 strikes and your out approach. We bought this book with the hope of bringing at least a small amount of a desert masters influence into our kitchen. Instead, we essentially got a wall calender that's missing the useful bits and is far to heavy to stay pinned up.
Here are the three we tried:
Chocolate Rice Pudding
A good rice pudding is hard to come by much of the time. A good rice pudding is something that has to be eaten to be believed. A bad rice pudding is discouraging and faith killing. This is a bad rice pudding. The variation in cooking times of rice, and the range of what people will consider "simmering" can and does lead to one reducing the liquid in this recipe to the point of producing the opposite of pudding. A solid, hard, slice-able mass of expensive chocolate and expensive rice. Ridiculous.
Hazelnut Chocolate Sablés
This was one of the many times when confronted with a recipe that we just knew we should alter it. We didn't for the sake of continuity and because we, at this point, still had faith that we wouldn't be lead astray. Wrong again. We should have added salt. We knew we should have and we didn't. The result was two professionals, one with years of pastry production experience, spending a harrowing afternoon off wrestling dough around and ending up with cute little squares of expensive tastelessness. The texture was great, they would have been an absolute pleasure to eat had they had any flavor.
Moist and Nutty Brownies
The brownie. An American classic. Also, like many of life's great pleasures, exceedingly and essentially simple. This "brownie" is neither simple nor pleasurable. To much butter, not enough chocolate, and no salt. Terrible. We have no more to say.
"Chocolate Deserts by Pierre Hermé" is visually inspiring for anyone with even a remote interest in sweet, tasty looking things. That unfortunately does not make up for the books lack of substance or the fact that it seems to be an advertisement for a very specific (and expensive) brand of chocolate. We like expensive chocolate. Hell, we love expensive chocolate. If you are going to recommend we buy expensive ingredients with witch to make one of your recipes though, we expect that recipe to deliver. Something this book does not do.