It's the New York Times website, and they ask that you register before viewing their site. I never got any junk mail from them. Here's the review.
Dreaming in Chocolate
By Mary Bergin and Judy Gethers.
Random House, $35.
The cover of "Spago Chocolate" by Mary Bergin and Judy Gethers looks like a gold foil chocolate box, but this is not just a book for armchair cooks to nibble on. It deserves full attention in the kitchen, even at the risk of cocoa and butter smudges on its slick pages.
Ms. Bergin was the head pastry chef at Spago, Wolfgang Puck's restaurant in Los Angeles, from 1987 to 1992 and is now the head pastry chef at Spago Las Vegas. Her collaborator has written and tested the recipes for all the Spago cookbooks. Together the two have compiled user-friendly recipes that are especially noteworthy in the cake department. There are also good choices in ice creams, candies, soufflés, tarts, cheesecakes, brownies and sauces.
A few of the desserts are elaborate restaurant-style constructions involving cake, filling, glaze, carefully piped decorations and even a dusting of gold leaf. Most, though, are relatively simple and, if you take the butter out to soften in advance, easily whipped up to satisfy a craving.
If you forget the butter, there is always a rich, dark chocolate chiffon cake, made with vegetable oil. A chiffon cake may sound 1950's, but this one is the foundation of a number of thoroughly modern desserts.
Many recipes do not require ambitious equipment, just good chocolate. I easily made a moist, bittersweet cake infused with Grand Marnier without an electric mixer. A handsome marble cake was another homey winner, though the pan size specified was skimpy. (A standard 9-by-5 inch pan works better.)
I'll keep this cookbook handy to make shortbread cookies, chocolate zabaglione and crepes, which can be done in advance and then filled with mascarpone cream.
The introductory text is mercifully brief, especially as it contains misinformation, like advising that bittersweet chocolate can be kept a year on the pantry shelf (even in a cool, dark spot, it's likely to develop whitish "bloom"); stating that couverture, an extra-smooth chocolate, is not readily available (all Valrhona chocolate is couverture); and describing cocoa pods as smooth and not elongated (they're like ridged footballs).
Those who want an education in chocolate should look elsewhere. This is a book for those who want to bake with it and devour the results.
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.
- Desiderius Erasmus