Just about everyone enjoys a little (or a lot) of chocolate every now and again, whether it comes in the form of a hot mocha from a coffee shop or a batch of homemade brownies. All chocolate desserts start with some form of chocolate, whether it is cocoa powder or chocolate bars, and it only takes a quick walk down the baking aisle or the candy aisle at your local grocery store to notice that there are more chocolate options out there than ever before. Seriously Bitter Sweet: The Ultimate Dessert Maker’s Guide to Chocolate is a cookbook from dessert guru Alice Medrich that details the ins and outs of using chocolate in all its forms to make some impressive and indulgent chocolate desserts.
Although the book has a new name, it is a revised version of Medrich’s award-winning Bittersweet, which was published more than a decade ago. Fans of the original book will find this to be very similar to the original, though it is a sturdy paperback rather than the original hardcover. The differences between the two books include more streamlined recipes, updated explanations and terminology and new photography. The way that most consumers talk about chocolate has changed a lot since the turn of the century and Medrich is right to point out that some things that needed a lot of explanation then need less now. Still, the book is incredibly thorough and will give you an in-depth look at the definition of chocolate, different cacao percentages and detailed recipes on how to use it in everything from cakes to souffles to candies.
The recipes are very clearly written and easy to follow along with, whether you have a lot of experience working with chocolate or not. There are many suggestions for the types of chocolate to use and suggestions for altering the recipes when switching between chocolates with different cacao percentages to keep the flavor and consistency of the finished product the same. It’s a great book for the chocolate enthusiast, especially if you don’t already have a copy of the earlier edition. Even if you do, the changes give the book a fresh feel that makes it even easier to work with, so you’ll want to make chocolate desserts just a little bit more often.