, Alice Medrich continues her mouthwatering crusade to educate chocoholics everywhere about her passion. With 30 years experience, first at her famous Berkeley bakery, Cocolat, and then as an award-winning cookbook author, there is little Medrich doesn't know about chocolate. And what sets this book apart from all others is her willingness to share what's she's learned.
As the American palate has changed, and we've learned to appreciate better quality chocolate, more and more of it is has become available to us. These premium chocolates come labeled with their percentage of cocoa solids. This delectable book is made practically foolproof thanks to the "chocolate notes" that follow any recipe where the percentage would affect the outcome. In them, Medrich provides equivalencies which allow you to use your favorite chocolate, and tweak the recipe to make it work. She's brutally honest, too, so when she says you can't mess up the rich and magnificent Queen of Sheba cake, or the Cold Creamy Truffles that started her love affair with chocolate, believe her. And when she warns that there are possible pitfalls for novices when attempting Extra Bittersweet Ganache Truffles, read carefully. The vast majority of her recipes, mostly sweet, some savory, are quite simple; her instructions are painstaking and reassuring; and the tales with which she introduces each chapter are enchanting. So dive into Warm Bittersweet Mousse, White Chocolate Ice Cream, Raspberry-Laced Chocolate Cake, or Chocolate-Flecked Cocoa Soufflés, because doing the dirty work has never been so delicious! --Leora Y. Bloom
From Publishers Weekly
Medrich founded the dessert shop Cocolat in Berkeley in 1976 and authored Cocolat and Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts, which offered new, more "adult" flavors than the super-sweet tastes in vogue until that time. Today, as Medrich points out in an interestingly market-savvy introduction, the popularity of high-quality brands of chocolate is on the rise, and each of these recipes includes notes about how to alter it using chocolates with a higher percentage of "chocolate liquor," or cocoa bean content. This all sounds highly cerebral, but once Medrich puts her theory into practice in the form of Macadamia Shortbread Brownies, and Grappa, Currants, and Pine Nut Torte, it becomes deliciously clear. Hers are highly inventive creations, grouped in chapters loosely defined more by feel than by strict adherence to categories, such as a group of fluffy confections that includes Intensely Bittersweet Souffles and Melting Chocolate Meringue. Medrich provides a recipe for her signature Queen of Sheba torte, along with detailed notes about how it has evolved over the years. She even uses chocolate in a handful of savory recipes, such as Roasted Squash Soup with Cocoa Bean Cream. Clearly, this author's curiosity is her defining characteristic; her ability to convey the fruits of that curiosity is the readers' good fortune.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.