Cocolat - Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts By Alice Medrich Alice Medrich's career was launched with a truffle. Not the prized fungus unearthed by trained dogs, but the cocoa-dusted, unevenly shaped confection named after the black truffles it's thought to resemble. After an extended stay in France in the 1970s, Medrich returned to California with a truffle recipe and introduced Americans to the small, intensely chocolatey treat. When she started her (now-defunct) shop, Cocolat, in Berkeley, California, American desserts were oversized cakes that tasted mostly of sugar. Medrich's desserts were more French in style: most were simply decorated and intensely flavoured. Cocolat, her first book, was published in 1990. Since then, she's written several others, all focused mainly on chocolate. The recipes featured in Cocolat include chocolate hazelnut torte, lemon bombe, Aztec layer cake, chocolate marquise, frozen chocolate buche de Noel, brandied chocolate loaf, gateau Grand Marnier, bittersweet chocolate truffle tart, chocolate truffle torte, tricolour mousse and truffles (of course).