Expert Alice Medrich's Tips on Cooking With Chocolate

By Joyce Hendley, M.S., "The Queen of Chocolate," January/February 2011

Tips for how to make healthier chocolate desserts.

Medrich also likes to layer several chocolate elements in a single recipe, using just a little of
each to keep calories down and chocolate intensity up. “Juxtapose flavors and textures. It should be a dynamic and exciting experience to eat,” she advises. She’ll drizzle a dense chocolate glaze over a chocolate cookie or combine cocoa powder and chocolate chips. She might add flavorings that complement and enhance chocolate, like coffee, cardamom or nutmeg. “But my favorite way to add flavor is to sprinkle it on top,” as she does with cinnamon and ancho chile powder for Chile-Cocoa Graham Crackers, “so that it creates an aroma before you take a bite,” she says. “The lingering flavor is chocolate, but you’ve had a more interesting and complex experience.” The combination of citrus and chocolate can also create magic; for proof, just try one perfumed bite of Chocolate Decadence with its candied-orange-peel garnish.

Though she’s kept an eye on moderation, Medrich likes to think of the following recipes as indulgences, steering clear of the idea of eating chocolate for health reasons. “We all need to have some indulgent things in our lives that please us,” she declares. “That in itself is healthy.” We heartily agree.

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