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Chocolate And The Art Of Low Fat Desserts [Hardcover]

Alice Medrich
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 4 1994
Featuring more than eighty recipes, the follow-up cookbook to Cocolat, from the author whose name is synonymous with chocolate desserts, offers such delights as Triple Mousse Cake, Chocolate Walnut Torte, and Chocolate Truffles--all with lower fat and fewer calories.


Product Details


Product Description

From Amazon

There are considerably fewer calories in Alice Medrich's latest book than in Cocolat, her first, award-winning cookbook. In Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts, Medrich presents recipes that cut fat without compromising texture or flavor--a chocolate lover's dream come true. With offerings like Black Bottom Bananas Napoleons (made with chocolate custard) or Double Chocolate Layer Cake (with less than a third of its calories from fat), Medrich proves that wonderfully indulgent treats don't have to add to your waistline. The book won the 1995 James Beard Cookbook Award.

From Library Journal

Medrich is the author of another beautiful cookbook, Cocolat: Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts (LJ 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.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Ho-Hum June 13 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I have read all of Medrich's books so far-this being the last one. I know that this book has recieved accolades from the critics and fans alike, but I disagree.
For one thing, with the word chocolate highlighted in bold print in the title, it would seem to suggest that the book is primarily about chocolate; (the author writes books about chocolate after all), but half of the recipes in this work are not made with chocolate at all.
As I have written in other reviews of her books, the self-congratulatory text in her books are tiresome and it is evident in this one as well...when you look at the paragraphs in her introduction, it seems every third one starts with "I" and then follows with something like "my stuff was so fantastic..everyone was amazed!" You know, there is such a thing as humility, but it is certaintly not evident in these books. I prefer cookbooks with a forward written by someone else; a person with "know-how" to stand up for the author-to show examples why the author should earn our respect..this is what feels comfortable to me as a reader.
Also, the photos were not as good as shown in her other works and I had expected the same quality and consistancy, so this was a disappointment.
The techno-culinary babblings (informational writing) got pretty stale too, although some other readers may like this. Obviously the critics did...this book recieved an award.
Personally, I don't think this is her best work.I have seen several authors offer excellent low-fat recipes for desserts (Steven Raichlin is a good example) so the fact that Medrich has a few recipes that work here is not really that noteworthy. I know this review reads like I am a sourpuss but rest assured, most of my other reviews are not as harsh as this. It is only one opinion-mine.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Don't think of this as a low-fat cookbook... May 15 2002
By Anne
Format:Hardcover
These are not excellent low-fat desserts. They are excellent desserts that are also low-fat. Whether or not I am watching what I eat or cooking for people who are watching what they eat, I always look here first, and no one ever, ever misses the fat and calories. Alice Medrich has done a fantastic job of lightening the dessert tray without resorting to artificial sweeteners, fat-free dairy products, "light" margarine, etc. She emphasizes ingredients of the highest quality, but stretches the fatty stuff (for example, she decreases the amount of nuts in a biscotti recipe, chopping them coarsely to make them go farther and toasting them to maximize flavor). If a recipe can't be lightened successfully, it's not in the book (for example, you won't find shortbread, although somehow, miraculously, she has found a way to lighten whipped cream!).
I have made many of these recipes and have never been disappointed. I'll recommend the Kahlua Fudge Cake, Frozen Hot Chocolate, Lime Cookies (yes, even the handful of non-chocolate desserts are heaven), Michael's Brownies, Fallen Chocolate Torte, Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti, Genoise, Hot Ginger Cookies, and Buttermilk Chocolate Sauce. I have not tried a recipe that I cannot recommend. You will not be disappointed.
The book is illustrated beautifully and divided, helpfully, according to recipe type (fancy desserts, everyday desserts, individual desserts, etc). It includes nutritional information. The desserts obtain 30% or less of their calories from fat, and although not all are low-calorie, most are (Michael's Brownies, for example, have around 150 calories each and are sinful).
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very good dessert book, more than just recipes Nov. 17 1999
Format:Hardcover
My brother lost my copy, and I am so aggravated! The recipes in this book were (except for one mistake in the lemon squares; leave the flour OUT of the lemon filling folks, and either halve the crust recipe or double the filling recipe. Do that and they are great) The beauty of these recipes is that they work so well without cream. One of the dirty secrets about restaurants is how much cream and butter they use; they do it because IT INCREASES SHELF LIFE. If a dessert is made of cream, it will keep for a good while. Alice M. is careful (bless her!) to note how long a dessert will last, frozen or refrigerated or in a cookie can. If you are going to make a dessert, you seldom keep it for the lengthy time most restaurants do. A mousse made with egg white is not only better for you, but you will notice (next time you eat a cream-filled mousse) the fuller chocolate flavor. Cream crowds the delicate chocolate taste right off your tongue. You may not be able to keep Alice's lemon curd more than a few days, but it is so good it won't last that long anyway. Now I'm going to go over to his house and turn it over and shake it until I find my copy again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Godsend for the Health-Conscious Chocoholic March 15 1997
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
For a person like me who loves fabulous, rich desserts but yet is trying to fight the battle of the bulge, Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts, by Alice Medrich, is truly a godsend.

When I was in college at Berkeley and weighing-in at a scant 118 pounds, Alice Medrich's Cocolat bakery on Shattuck Ave. was a frequent indulgence. I adored her sinfully delicious capuccino truffles and could down several in a sitting. After graduating from college and moving to San Diego, away from the land of Cocolat, I was ecstatic when Alice published her first book, Cocolat, as I found I could easily replicate her delicious and stunning creations at home on a weekend afternoon.

Unfortunately, time, age and a sedentary lifestyle no longer permitted me to indulge in the heavy cream and chocolate-laden desserts. Cocolat was permanently shelved and titles bearing the words "spa cuisine" became ever-frequent additions to my cookbook library. I tried and tried to find satisfaction in fruit sorbets and poached pears but failed miserably. There was just no substitution for the desserts I loved.

Two years ago, I was combing the cookbook shelves of my local bookstore and was both shocked and delighted to find that Alice Medrich had written a low-fat chocolate cookbook. Although I had high hopes that this could be the answer to my prayers, I could not bring myself to believe that her prized desserts could possibly be transformed into low-fat versions. I rushed home and cooked-up a batch of "Michael's Brownies" (a recipe Alice came up with as a birthday cake for a hospitalized child whose liver ailment prevented him from eating fat) and shared them with my husband, a devoted chocoholic and low-fat skeptic.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An ingenious cookbook
I have yet to make something in this book that isn't delicious. So far, I've made the marble cake, brownies, tiramisu, chocolate chip biscotti (mmm, tasted just like a real... Read more
Published on March 25 2004 by JS
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Wonderful!
Clearly Ms Medrich has turned creating low fat, high flavor desserts into an art form! Many low fat recipes taste low fat, but not the ones in this book. Read more
Published on Oct. 26 2001 by Valerie S.
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing!
I bought this book recently and was initially a little daunted because everything in it look so very gourmet -- it was intimidating to a novice baker. Read more
Published on Aug. 28 2001 by BG
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty and Practical -- and Delicious!
I got this as a gift, and have since given it as a gift. It is attractive enough to live on the coffee table but practical enough to see a lot of kitchen time. Read more
Published on Aug. 25 2001 by Jeanne Gibbs
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Cookbook All Around
I bought this cookbook for the brownie recipe - incredible and low fat. Alice Medrich has brought a great sensibility to low-fat baking. Read more
Published on Dec 12 2000 by "s_tache"
5.0 out of 5 stars Alice Medrich is God
This book is excellent and dispells the myth that lowfat is boring and not tasteful. The recipes in this book are actually better than some "full-fat" recipes I've... Read more
Published on Feb. 8 2000 by Chrispy Goddess
5.0 out of 5 stars Tried and true from an amateur cook
I can't call myself an expert in any area of the kitchen -- you know, just the Home Ec 101 type. This book was a revelation for me. Read more
Published on Nov. 16 1999 by A. Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars delicious light flavor!
Absolutely delicious and not too sweet! Highly recommended to dessert lovers looking for alternatives!
Published on Oct. 22 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for your cookbook shelf!
I have never posted a review on the internet before, but I believe Alice Medrich deserves a big pat on the back for this amazing book! Read more
Published on July 28 1999 by Julie (semenchm@cadvision.com)
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