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A Year in Chocolate: Four Seasons of Unforgettable Desserts Hardcover – October 24, 2001

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Medrich has written several other cookbooks, but chocolate is her real love, and she returns once again to it here. She had originally intended this to be a holiday cookbook but decided that that idea was too limiting, so she instead categorizes her recipes by season: "robust flavors" for fall (Chocolate Cranberry Bread Pudding), rich and indulgent treats for winter's chill (Very Rich Hot Chocolate), "celebratory" sweets for spring (Apricot Orange Wedding Cakes), and fruit and frozen desserts for summer (Independence Day Sundaes). There are full-page color photographs throughout and useful sections on "Dressing Up Desserts," as well as coverage of ingredients, equipment, and special techniques. For all baking collections.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

To its devotees, chocolate knows no season. Yet Alice Medrich takes just about everyone's favorite sweet and traces its uses through the changing seasons to create A Year in Chocolate. The skilled promoter of all forms of the cacao bean shows how to harmonize chocolate best with each quarter's prime produce. Fall brings figs to be drizzled with chocolate ganache. Winter holds Christmas cookies. For Easter, chocolate combines with rice cereal for an egg-shaped version of a popular candy bar. And summer's bounty offers ice cream sundaes. Chocoholics scarcely need an excuse to indulge their appetites, but others may find new taste dimensions in Medrich's more elaborate creations, such as Hazelnut Chocolate Meringue with blackberries. Chocolate Cream Puffs with Spun Sugar demand both culinary and artistic talent for success. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; First Printing Stated edition (October 24, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446526649
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446526647
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,309,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying that I have never prepared any recipe of Alice Medrich's that was not all that she promised. This book is no exception. It has some nice recipes and a lovey selection of desserts. My only problem was that I was expecting more. It is a small volume, like her cookie book. I would recommend the book as a gift to a novice but if you are expecting the grandeur of Cocolat you will be disappointed. It is cute and even the common recipes have some kind of flare. For $18.00 it is a nice book, I do not think I would pay the full $26.00 for it.
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Format: Hardcover
Alice Medrich is one of my favourite chocolate cookbook authors, and this one is another winner. Her recipes are all very carefully tested and if you follow her instructions you will be very pleased with the results. There is a range of simple to complex recipes, and all of the ones I've tried taste wonderful. The Breakfast Valentines are unassuming looking, but taste great! The Winter Solstice Cookies look and taste spectacular. I'm making them as my contribution to a Christmas cookie exchange. The Chocolate Cranberry Bread Pudding is wonderful "comfort food" and would be perfect for a holiday brunch. The Mocha Marjolaine looks very complicated, but is relatively simple to make, a nut meringue cake and a ganache. The ganache is divided, with part whipped for the filling and the rest used as a glaze. You will really impress company! These recipes are all in the winter section - I'm looking forward to spring, summer and fall to keep trying more of the recipes.
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By A Customer on November 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Again, Alice Medrich offers a catchy concept, meticulously researched recipes, informative tips and techniques, and eye-catching visuals... but this former devotee is left with my appetite unsatisfied. Just as with her last book "Cookies and Brownies", Alice seems tight-fisted with the number of recipes offered (some seem recycled from her previous books). Also, while the photography and food styling are lavish as always, the design goes over the top with soft-focus artsy-ness that's more fitting to a coffee-table artbook than a cookbook. I can't always make out what the photos are intended to show. Finally, it's odd that the bookjacket identifies Alice as a columnist for the San Francisco Examiner when (as far as I know) she hasn't published there for nearly a year. (I look for Alice's contributions to foodie magazines, etc., but haven't seen much at all in the last few years.) All told, this book is another attractive if not brilliant effort. Let's hope there's more fulfilling inspirational juice in the future!
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Format: Hardcover
Chocolate cookbook maven Alice Medrich's premise in A YEAR IN CHOCOLATE: FOUR SEASONS OF UNFORGETTABLE DESSERTS is that we should cook and eat different chocolate desserts at different times of the year. In the fall, where this collection of 54 recipes begins, the author suggests adding chocolate to the classic pecan pie-- but not too much-- and gingerbread and cranberry bread pudding. Winter is "a grand excuse to abandon restraint in favor of the richest, deepest, and darkest chocolate of all." I couldn't agree more. Chocolate truffles, chocolate souffles, very rich hot chocolate and "The Ultimate Flourless Chocolate Cake" make appearances. A word about that recipe. I have baked it twice. It falls into my quick and easy category. If you can melt semi-sweet butter in a double boiler, you are pretty much home free. You do not even have to separate the eight (8) eggs required to make this baby rise. The finished product has the beautiful, delicious consistency somewhere between a mousse and a brownie and is one of the best chocolate desserts I've ever baked. Ms. Medrich maintains that she lightens up in springtime, adding Passover and Easter goodies as well as a white chocolate-lemon cheesecake if you find white chocolate light. I do not. In sultry summer she includes recipes that are cold or frozen, along with fruit, and a chocolate pound cake. I suppose you might get a cool breeze from the ocean, should you take that heavy dessert to the beach.

Ms. Medrich discusses how to measure both dry and liquid ingredients, how to measure flour, how to melt chocolate, along with other tips to make sure that you get perfect results every time. Set out and measure all your ingredients before you start the recipe, for example.

After all is said and done, I was not convinced that you can put chocolate recipes nicely into the seasons of the year.I suspect that Ms. Medrich just wanted an excuse to write another chocolate dessert cookbook. That works for me.
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