Alice Medrich

Courtesy: Artisan

Our secret weapon for foolproof desserts is Alice Medrich. The pastry chef is widely dubbed the First Lady of Chocolate for good reason: In the 1970s, she introduced Americans to chocolate truffles and never looked back. Medrich went on to author nine cookbooks, providing us with iconic desserts, such as her take on the Queen of Sheba cake, a velvety chocolate torte, or her satiny chocolate pudding. The results are elegant and positively addictive. Yet what we appreciate most is her constant pursuit of perfection. As Medrich writes in Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts (Artisan, 2012), "Today my house truffles have a touch of salt, a vastly easier method of heating the yolks, and a new, ultrasmooth texture. You cannot buy truffles like these." With recipes this good, we have to agree.