Seriously Bitter Sweet: The Ultimate Dessert Maker's Guide to Chocolate

Seriously Bitter Sweet: The Ultimate Dessert Maker's Guide to Chocolate

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by Alice Medrich
     
 

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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

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Overview

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 Sweetwill appeal to a whole new audience of chocolate lovers

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Editorial Reviews

Better Homes & Gardens

“Learn everything you need to know about baking and cooking with chocolate in this comprehensive guide.”

—Better Homes & Gardens

The Wall Street Journal

“I recommend Alice Medrich’s recent revision of her classic Bittersweet. Now called Seriously Bitter Sweet, the book offers recipes substitutions that allow you to use whatever percentage chocolate you favor.”

From the Publisher
“Learn everything you need to know about baking and cooking with chocolate in this comprehensive guide.”

—Better Homes & Gardens

“I recommend Alice Medrich’s recent revision of her classic Bittersweet. Now called Seriously Bitter Sweet, the book offers recipes substitutions that allow you to use whatever percentage chocolate you favor.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781579655112
Publisher:
Artisan
Publication date:
10/22/2013
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
407,571
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

LESSONS FROM A CHOCOLATE SAUCE

At my house, it is important to have a really good chocolate sauce recipe available in case of emergency. Even if your house doesn't have emergencies of this nature, you can still use this recipe. Good chocolate sauce and a little good vanilla ice cream make a dessert more delicious and satisfying than 90 percent of those you could order in even a top-flight restaurant. Good chocolate sauce and an assortment of ripe fruits and chunks of cake will get you chocolate fondue. And when things look bleak, good chocolate sauce and a spoon will make you smile.

The recipe that follows immediately is one I have used for at least a dozen years. It is flexible and contains some interesting lessons about flavor, perhaps about life.

There is a simple secret to good chocolate sauce: You need good chocolate. Don't buy the individually wrapped squares of chocolate at the supermarket. Buy chocolate you love to eat because the sauce is mostly chocolate and you are going to eat it. A recipe like this shows off all of the qualities, good or bad, of the chocolate you use. The many options and imprecise measurements in this recipe may suggest either that I can't make up my mind or that I don't think the details really matter. Neither is true. I know what I like, and every detail is important.

But what do you like? Depending on the choices you make, you can have a sauce that is rich and creamy or intensely bittersweet, or anything in between. You can have a thin sauce that mingles pleasantly with the melted ice cream in the bottom of the bowl, or one that thickens like fudge and makes you groan a little with pleasure. You can make the sauce with a standard semisweet chocolate or a powerful 70 percent bittersweet—it all depends on your tastes.

Once you've selected your chocolate, you are ready to consider the milk versus cream question. Milk is the more convenient choice if you don't usually keep cream in the refrigerator (and that's what I used when I first made this sauce). So you might make the sauce with milk, all the while thinking that cream would be better if only you felt like going to the store. But you might be wrong. Richer is not always better. Milk allows the tastes of the chocolate to come through more—but that also means it does less to hide flavor flaws. Chocolate sauce made with milk has the most intense bittersweet chocolate flavor. So, if you are using a harsh or mediocre-tasting chocolate, don't make your sauce with milk! If your milk-based sauce is delicious but a tad too tart or austere, stir in bits of the optional butter to round out the flavor. Way over at the other end of the taste spectrum, chocolate sauce made with heavy cream—although still bittersweet—is positively voluptuous and creamy. It is also decidedly milder, less chocolatey, and less bittersweet. Half-and-half or a combination of milk and cream lends you somewhere between. If you've read my story about the nectarine

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