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

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Black-bottom pecan praline bars

    • Jane on February 02, 2014

      So, so good. I made these for a Super Bowl party and they disappeared so fast. A fudgy brownie base with a crunchy praline topping.

  • New classic chocolate brownies

    • DJM on April 07, 2012

      The gold standard for brownies. The techniques developed by Alice of using an ice bath post-baking makes these brownies solid chocolate pleasure.

    • TrishaCP on July 08, 2015

      I had major user error with these (had turned the oven off by mistake- and had to guesstimate how long to re-cook them), so the end result was way overdone. Having said that,the flavor is wonderful- rich and deliciously bitter. Not sure if kids would like this version, but adults for sure. I used the pan size called for, and my brownies were a bit flatter than pictured- would love to know if my over-baking somehow prevented a bit of rise.

    • PatriciaScarpin on April 01, 2011

      Amazing! These brownies are easy to make and absolutely delicious. Gooey - I prefer fudgy brownies to cakey ones.

    • mamacrumbcake on July 26, 2017

      The quintessential brownie.

  • Tiger cake

    • sgump on June 15, 2010

      Delicious on its own, not too difficult, and beautiful, to boot! Freezes well; is delicious at room temperature or microwaved just a bit; also delicious toasted. Has a very dense crumb. Make sure to use good-quality olive oil--the fruitier, the better. Together with the white pepper, the vanilla, and the cocoa, the olive oil does lovely things for this dessert.

  • Warm mocha tart

    • Cati on December 16, 2019

      Made by my grandson. Perfect recipe bound to impress. 14.12.19.

    • Astrid5555 on February 12, 2013

      Incredibly rich and delicious, just like chocolate pudding over shortbread. Love the fact that the crust can be made with melted butter and is simply pressed into the tart pan. No chilling, rolling out, pricking and weighing down with beaking beans required.

  • Albert's mousse

    • Lindacakes on February 05, 2012

      If I want a chocolate recipe for guests, this is usually it and never fails to impress. Easy to make, and can be made ahead.

  • Best cocoa brownies

    • Astrid5555 on February 10, 2013

      Absolutely delicious! Simple, quick and very fudgy, always a big hit with kids.

    • stockholm28 on September 29, 2014

      Absolutely the gooeyest brownies ever. I cooked them an extra 10 minutes because they were so "wet". These have very little flour in comparison to the cocoa.

    • e_ballad on May 24, 2019

      Completely worthy of the hype!

  • Queen of Sheba

    • Astrid5555 on January 31, 2013

      Have made several times already, and always a big hit!

  • Fallen chocolate soufflé cake

    • Astrid5555 on February 10, 2013

      Medrich calls it a "slimmer reincarnation" of her Queen of Sheba, but it is just as delicious. The torte sinks like a soufflé while cooling and thus is not as nice to look at as the Queen of Sheba, but this is actually the only difference.

  • Chocolate cheesecake

    • Astrid5555 on October 28, 2012

      Not so sweet and very chocolatey, thus also a very "adult" cheesecake which the kids did not like. Took 15 minutes longer to set properly and get to the described puffiness.

  • Nibby nut and raisin cookies

    • hillsboroks on March 07, 2014

      I tried these for the first time tonight. The raw cookie dough is delicious and my husband kept snitching bits of it. You get the chocolate flavor but without the extra sweetness of regular chocolate chips. However the final baked cookie was a bit disappointing. Maybe the flavor will improve as they cool down. Cookie has a nice texture and appearance.

  • Alice's chocolate sauce

    • swegener on January 30, 2015

      Quick and easy--love the versatility of the recipe.

  • Strawberry celebration cake

    • Acequiamadre.nm on May 04, 2017

      The mascarpone frosting was not a hit. Would not repeat, though the chocolate cake was lovely.

  • Lacy coconut-topped brownies

    • Xyz123 on November 03, 2021

      I paired these with the New Classic Brownies. I made it as directed but didn’t feel there was enough coconut topping for adequate coverage so I quickly made another batch of the coconut and added it to the top. This made them perfect.

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Reviews about this book

  • Boston Globe by T. Susan Chang

    Given Medrich’s meticulous ways, it came as no surprise that nearly every recipe worked exactly as written.

    Full review
  • Serious Eats

    Personal narrative aside, (it) is the first and only cookbook of its kind to feature chocolate recipes using various percentages of chocolate, as well as recipes built around the use of cocoa nibs.

    Full review
  • Kitchn

    If you love chocolate, if you love to work with chocolate and cook with chocolate, then this book is a must. If you are interested in learning more about chocolate... then this book is a must.

    Full review
  • Lisa Is Cooking

    I do tend to appreciate...cookbooks with lots of precision and detail, and this one fits that description. The how’s and why’s of ingredients and techniques are delightfully well-explained.

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • ISBN 10 1579655114
  • ISBN 13 9781579655112
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Nov 01 2013
  • Format Paperback
  • Page Count 336
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Artisan
  • Imprint Artisan Division of Workman Publishing

Publishers Text

When Bittersweet was published in 2003, home bakers were left to rely on baking chocolate that was labelled simply 'bittersweet' or 'semisweet' with no further explanation of the content of the product. Fast forward to 2013 and the world of chocolate has changed dramatically. Now there are artisanal chocolatiers all over the globe making chocolates with cocoa in every percentage to yield recipes with very different results. To respond to this, Alice Medrich has updated Seriously Bitter Sweet and filled it with her vast knowledge of baking with chocolate. Each recipe contains notes for the baker, so whether you are baking with a mild 52 per cent chocolate from Scharffen Berger or an intense 72 per cent chocolate from Ghirardelli, the recipes can be customized to yield fantastic results.

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