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Cooks' Choice

April 22, 1993|RUSS PARSONS

Almost everyone loves chocolate, but almost everyone loves chocolate a different way. That became obvious last weekend when we asked several notables at the Julia Child Cookbook Awards in New Orleans to name their favorite chocolate dessert.

Rose Levy Beranbaum, author of "The Cake Bible" and "A Passion for Chocolate": "Actually, I haven't been thinking about chocolate for a while, but I guess my favorite would be 'Oblivion' with raspberry sauce and whipped cream. It's very simple, just eggs, butter and semisweet chocolate. It's like a cross between a truffle and a brownie."

Flo Braker, author of "Simple Art of Perfect Baking": "There is nothing better than a good piece of devil's food cake with ice cream on the side."

Julia Child: "Almost everything with chocolate in it is wonderful. I guess my favorite would be a pudding from my second 'Company' book called Gateau Victoire au Chocolate. It is a cake with whipped cream and it is served tepid. It is wonderfully warm and soft."

Nathalie Dupree, television cooking teacher and author of "Nathalie Dupree Cooks for Family and Friends": "My favorite is still a recipe I learned a long time ago-- boule de neige (a dome-shaped cake covered with whipped cream), but lately I have been making it with mint chocolate chips. It is sinful."

Joyce Goldstein, chef/owner of Square One in San Francisco and author of "Back to Square One: Old-World Food in a New-World Kitchen": "Honestly, chocolate is not my vice. I would much rather have coffee, caramel or citrus. I find chocolate too rich for my body. I will not die for chocolate."

Lynne Kasper, author of "The Splendid Table": "That's easy for me: It's the Torta Barozzi from my book. It's made by only one pastry shop, and the recipe is so secret it's like the Italian version of Coca-Cola. Everyone in Emilia-Romagna wants it, but I think I figured it out."

Robert Mondavi, owner of Robert Mondavi Winery: "I would say my wife's chocolate cake with sour cream. It's a real moist devil's food-type cake. And I might add that it goes beautifully with Cabernet."

Jacques Pepin, author of "The Art of Cooking": "It's nothing fancy, but a good chocolate pudding made with bread, chocolate and eggs with a chocolate sauce on top is fantastic."

Richard Sax, author of "Good Old-Fashioned Desserts": "My favorite chocolate dessert is either cold M&Ms right out of the refrigerator or a warm chocolate brownie with a cold glass of milk."

Barbara Tropp, chef/owner of China Moon restaurant in San Francisco and author of "China Moon Cookbook": "I hardly ever eat chocolate, but I do love a bittersweet chocolate sauce on top of fresh ginger ice cream."

Anne Willan, director of La Varenne Cooking School in France and author of the "Look and Cook" cookbook series: "I love a good chocolate souffle. You make it without any flour, just dissolve the chocolate in the cream. It works every time and you can make it ahead and just bake it at the last minute. It has been an exam dish at our school for years."

Faith Willinger, Florence-based guide for culinary tours of Italy and author of the guidebook "Eating in Italy": "Chocolate Cipriani gelato is extremely dark, extremely intense and they serve it with whipped cream. When I make it at home, I also like to serve it with amarene , candied cherries."

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