Some cookbooks are worth revisiting, even by the author. Alice Medrich, one of the early pioneers in switching America's taste for chocolate away from sweet milk chocolate and toward the more adult pleasures of dark and creamy ganache truffles, has updated her award-winning Bittersweet cookbook with Seriously Bittersweet. In the decade since Medrich penned her book, there has been a greater understanding of cacao percentages and a surge in the varieties of artisan chocolate. Medrich, who also worked on the revision of the kitchen standard, The Joy of Cooking, knows plenty about revising recipes to suit changing palates.
Part of what is interesting about this book is how Medrich experiments not just with ingredients but with ratios and proportions in order to get different results. She includes multiple recipes for mousse, truffles, brownies, and more showing how subtle tweaks in ingredients and techniques can yield different flavors and consistencies. After spending years with chocolate, she's attuned to variations and to the knowledge that the amount of bitterness that people prefer in their recipes vary widely.
Medrich proclaims that she isn't a cake decorator but she includes recipes for shiny glazes as well as chocolate ruffles, spun sugar, and more. Perhaps the most unusual section of the book is when she dips into the savory world including recipes using cocoa nibs in unusual ways such as adding them to a salad and even coq au vin.
This book is nothing less then a full compendium of both Medrich's career in desserts and of serious chocolate's ascendancy in the American palate.