Medrich is the author of another beautiful cookbook, Cocolat: Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts (Library Journal 2/15/91), which showcased the indulgent desserts from her California pastry shops. Her low-fat book is not, as one might expect, at the opposite end of the spectrum; there are rich-tasting, elegant creations here too. Some readers will be disappointed to find that, despite the book's title, not all of the recipes are for chocolate desserts, but many are, and the nonchocolate recipes are just as enticing. It's impossible to cut the fat drastically in some desserts without ruining the taste, and Medrich, rather than compromise on flavor, chose 30 percent calories from fat as her limit-which some readers will find too high for their liking. Nevertheless, these are at least "lower-fat" desserts-and they are far more tempting than the recipes in most low-fat dessert books. Highly recommended.
Forget the newfangled fat substitutes such as prune puree. Shelve a lot of the cocoa, carob chips, and other low-calorie ingredients. And don't resign yourself to eating only fruit and fruit-type desserts. Balance, as chocolate maven Medrich underscores, is the key to baking enlightened sweets. She considers fat a budgetary item. Use quantities of chocolate, for example, but then decrease amounts of egg yolks and/or butter. Her theory is unique, but better yet are her results. Each recipe includes working and baking times and complete nutritional information, along with some occasional variations. Her friendly prose and thoughtful hints make this collection of more than 110 recipes the stuff readers' dreams are made of.