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Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolateby Alice Medrich
2004 IACP Cookbook of the Year
Synopses & Reviews
The time when home bakers had only one choice of baking chocolate is long past. Today, we have an entire new generation of chocolates to choose from: chocolates with less sugar, more cocoa bean solids, and definitely more flavor. And these "new chocolates" — called percentage chocolates — beg for the creation of new recipes and a fresh take on the classics.
Every recipe in Bittersweet is foolproof and utterly delicious, no matter what your level of expertise. You'll marvel that recipes as classic as brownies, chocolate cake, and ice cream can still surprise and that souffles, crepes, and even pasta sauces can be so dramatically flavorful.
"This all sounds highly cerebral, but once Medrich puts her theory into practice...it becomes deliciously clear....Clearly, this author's curiosity is her defining characteristic; her ability to convey the fruits of that curiosity is the readers' good fortune." Publishers Weekly
"Scattered throughout are insightful essays on Medrich's love of chocolate....Attractively designed with wonderful color photos and simple recipes, this is highly recommended for all collections." Library Journal
Book News Annotation:
The former owner of the innovative Berkeley, California dessert shop "Cocolat" and author of the award-winning cookbook of the same name describes her conversion to "chocolate for adults" and her quest to create extraordinary desserts. Medrich includes recipes (some of lighter versions and non-desserts), sufficient photos to induce chocolate lust, a glossary, and fine chocolate sources.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Today's chocolates are not your mother's baking squares. The new-style chocolates are much more flavorful and they come in as many varieties and blends as wine grapes. These new chocolates — made by Lindt, Valrhona, Scharffen Berger, El Rey, Callebaut, and others — are known as percentage chocolates: the higher the percentage, the more chocolate, the less sugar. Percentage chocolates have their own baking characteristics as well as unique flavor. In Bittersweet, Alice cracks the code for substituting one type of chocolate for another and offers new recipes — and fresh takes on old ones — that will please all who want flavor and nuance in their chocolate desserts.
The "first Lady of Chocolate" introduces us to the "new chocolates" — called percentage chocolates: chocolates with less sugar, more cocoa bean solids and definitely more flavor. Award-winning author Alice Medrich cracks the code for substituting one chocolate for another, and offers new recipes — and fresh takes on old ones — that will please any cocoa-bean lover. From basic brownies to chocolate pasta sauces, this book will change the way we eat and bake with chocolate.
This recipe book involves "percentage chocolates" - the higher the percentage of chocolate, the less sugar they contain, as well as their own baking characteristics. It thereby cracks the code for substituting one type of chocolate for another and offers new recipes - and fresh takes on old ones.
These days, people are accustomed to seeing chocolate labeled 54%, 61%, or 72% on grocery store shelves, but some bakers are still confused by what the labeling means and how to use it. In Seriously Bitter Sweet, Alice Medrich presents 150 meticulously tested, seriously delicious recipes--both savory and sweet--for a wide range of percentage chocolates. "Chocolate notes" appear alongside, so readers can further adapt any recipe using the percentage chocolate on hand. The book is a complete revision of Alice's 2003 Bittersweet, which was named the 2004 IACP Cookbook of the Year. Since 2003, the world of chocolate has grown exponentially and terms like "bittersweet" and "semisweet" no longer suffice as chocolatiers everywhere are making chocolates that are labeled with specific percentages of cocoa.Alice clearly outlines the qualities of different chocolates as she explains how to cook with them. With tricks, techniques, and answers to every chocolate question, Seriously Bitter Sweet
It is hard, today, to imagine a time when the word bittersweet was rarely spoken, when 70 percent of the chocolate purchased by Americans was milk chocolate. Today's world of chocolate is a much larger universe, where not only is the quality better and variety wider, but the very composition of the chocolate has changed.
About the Author
Alice Medrich's personal approach to recipes and techniques and her obsessional understanding of chocolate hvae inspired several award-winning cookbooks, including Cocolat: Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts and Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts. She lives in Berkeley, California, with her daughter.
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