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Max Brenner: Maximum Chocolate

Max Brenner: Maximum Chocolate


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As a fan of Food Network, I put a lot of faith in the word of celebrity chefs, especially when it comes to restaurants. We would have walked right by it as we were leaving Union Square and paid no attention to what we just missed. And we would have missed a restaurant serving some amazing chocolate.

Max Brenner is known for its chocolate. The chocolate pizza was featured on The Best Thing I Ever Ate, but there are a number of other items that feature chocolate, including drinks, pastries, and other baked goods. We saw people around the restaurant trying some incredible looking desserts such as a s’mores kit, chocolate fondue, a deep dish brownie, and ice cream sundaes. It felt like we had walked in to a restaurant that was being run by Willy Wonka.

I knew I couldn’t handle something rich or heavy, especially with all the walking we were planning to that afternoon, but I wanted to try something light that would still give me the opportunity to try the chocolate. I narrowed my selection down to the pastry case and ordered a chocolate twist, which was a croissant-like pastry that was filled with chocolate chips. It was also served with a side of dipping chocolate. The pastry was light and the chocolate chips were excellent, but I could have ordered a pitcher of the dipping chocolate. I have no shame – it was that good.

It really is amazing when you have the opportunity to enjoy gourmet chocolate. The flavors are so much deeper and strong than the typical junk you get from a candy bar. And the chocolate at Max Brenner is the epitome of gourmet.

For more reviews, check out my blog: From Ballparks to BBQ.


There's more to cacao than chocolate

Oded Brenner is a modern-day Willy Wonka. In the 1990s, he co-created an international chocolate empire, Max Brenner Chocolate, that includes a 7,000-square-foot emporium on Broadway in New York City.

Brenner left that venture in 2012, and a few years later began exploring a different side of chocolate. A trip to Jamaica in 2015 ignited a passion for cacao, which is more than just the beans that are turned into chocolate.

Brenner saw people making juice, liquor and flour from the cacao fruit and using the whole pod instead of just the beans. He was amazed at how little he knew about cacao, despite having worked in chocolate for 20 years.

“It is the most unknown fruit behind the most known fruit,” summed up Brenner.

Brenner told me that traditional chocolate production wastes most of the fruit. By contrast, he said, in Ecuador, they drink cacao water and eat the dried fruit of the pods.

“In fact, the entire pod is edible, but in our quest for the traditional chocolate, all of the other parts of the fruit are wasted,” he said.

Brenner now promotes the unsweetened fruit as having high antioxidant properties. The cacao fruit, he says, is packed with potassium, magnesium, iron and thiamine B1, among other things. The water is full of natural electrolytes.

Brenner has created Blue Stripes Urban Cacao, with an online shop and a store in New York's Union Square neighborhood, to tell both sides of the chocolate story. On one hand, you have the decadent, luxurious, refined experience of chocolate truffles and bonbons from fine chocolatiers. On the other hand, you have the rustic, unrefined, jungle experience of the colorful cacao fruit.

When I first met Brenner and was introduced to his line of sustainable and farmer-equitable cacao products, I started with the fruit itself. It was the first time I had ever held a cacao pod. It was deep red, about 10 inches long and shaped like a football with ridges. I cracked it open and tasted it. It is full of white sacks that hold cacao seeds, and around the seeds is the pulp or fruit.

The fruit is slightly sweet and slightly sour, and has a pleasing, thick texture kind of like passionfruit. The seed inside, of course, is the cacao bean, which is traditionally fermented and roasted to make chocolate.

Next, I drank the cacao water, and I was in I felt hydrated and refreshed.

I fell in love with Blue Stripes' Cacao and Tahini Bars. With Brenner's help, I created my own recipe for Dark Chocolate Tahini Cups, inspired by his focus on the whole cacao fruit:

DARK CHOCOLATE TAHINI CUPS

These homemade chocolates were inspired by Oded Brenner and his focus on the whole cacao fruit. They are satisfying and delicious like a good cup of espresso. Slightly bitter, creamy and exploding with dark, dark chocolate flavor. Remember to have all your ingredients are at room temperature before mixing, or the chocolate will cool down too quickly and you won’t be able to pour it.

1 cup Blue Stripes Urban Cacao 100% Cacao Chocolate Chips

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons room temperature tahini (not salted)

3 tablespoons date syrup (to sweeten)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla bean paste, like Nielsen-Massey

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

Fresh grated nutmeg, about 1/16th teaspoon

Pinch of fine-grain sea salt

Candied ginger, cut into slivers (optional)

Unsalted pistachios (optional)

Set a mini-cupcake tin with mini-cupcake papers.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or on the chocolate-melting setting of a microwave. Meanwhile, mix the tahini, date syrup, vanilla paste, cardamom, nutmeg and salt. Add the melted chocolate slowly, and mix well until completely combined.

Divide mixture among the 24 mini-cupcake papers. Immediately sprinkle each with a bit of Maldon sea salt. You can stop there or add the candied ginger and nuts. If adding, place a couple of pistachio nuts on top of each chocolate cup, and then a sliver or two of the candied ginger.

Place the cups uncovered in the refrigerator to set. Remove when hard, and place in an airtight container, separating the layers with parchment paper.


'Max' Brenner Was Pushed Out of His Own Company, Financially Destroyed, and Banned From Making Chocolate For Five Years. But He Learned: 'Hell Has Benefits.'

As an ambitious young man looking to leave his mark on the world, Oded Brenner never planned to make chocolate. He probably didn&rsquot plan to be bald, either, but when we spoke on the phone, the 52-year-old founder of Max Brenner: Chocolate by the Bald Man suggested that plans are often a detour from the main event. He quoted John Lennon: &ldquoLife is what happens when you&rsquore busy making other plans.&rdquo

Growing up in Israel, Brenner wanted to be a writer. But he needed money to finance his writing, and it turned out he had a knack for making pastries. So he went to Paris to study under the chocolatier Michel Chaudun, and in 1996, when he was 25, he returned to Israel to open a chocolate shop in the small town of Ra&rsquoanana.

&ldquoThe things I was doing in my shop were very out of the box, different from classic European chocolate stores,&rdquo he says. &ldquoI felt there was a big gap between the way people talk and think about chocolate and the way they experience it in the retail world. Traditional chocolate stores treat chocolate almost like jewelry, in these beautiful boxes &mdash don't touch it! But when I talked to my customers, they were talking about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, sexy gifts, romantic childhood memories, the emotional connotations of chocolate. So this was the beginning of Max Brenner. I said: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Let's create chocolate pipes that go all around the restaurant. Let's create a &lsquohug mug,&rsquo so you can hug your mug close and feel like you are in a chalet on a ski vacation. You say, &lsquoI'm addicted to chocolate, I want a chocolate fix.&rsquo So I created a big syringe full of chocolate so you can shoot it into your mouth. And so on. I really turned it into a chocolate amusement park.&rdquo

Word of the chocolate amusement spread, and Max Brenner (a hat-tip to Brenner and his original partner, Max Fichtman) quickly became a household name in Israel. In 2001, the company was acquired by Israeli food conglomerate Strauss Group. And while the brand continued to grow, moving its headquarters to New York and opening 50-plus international locations, Brenner began to feel the loss of control more acutely. With Strauss&rsquos blessing, he opened a separate cafe chain, Little Brown Chocolate Bakery & Coffee, in 2011. But when the new concept started to find success, Strauss sued him for violating his non-compete. Brenner fought down to his last penny, but still lost both Little Brown and his place at Max Brenner. And he was banned from creating anything chocolate-related or putting his name or face on any brand for five years (Entrepreneur reached out to Strauss for comment but didn't receive a response prior to publication).

Brenner says those five years were the darkest of his life he moved his family, struggled financially, called up friends to ask for help finding work. His whole sense of self changed. But when the exile was over, he returned with a new venture. In 2018, the Blue Stripes: Urban Cacao shop opened just a block and a half from the Max Brenner flagship in Union Square. Brenner had discovered the myriad uses of cacao &mdash a football-shaped fruit with white, somewhat ghostly-looking &ldquopods&rdquo inside &mdash on a trip to a Blue Mountain Coffee plantation in Jamaica. He was aghast to learn that chocolatiers only use 30 percent of the whole &ldquosuperfood,&rdquo and trash the rest. &ldquoI was shocked that I had dealt with chocolate for 20 years and was so unaware of the potential,&rdquo Brenner says. &ldquoI was like, wow, this is cacao the way I want to talk about it. The purity and the cultural origins of it.&rdquo

Blue Stripes uses all parts (shell, fruit and pods) of the cacao to make impressively healthy products &mdash from cacao water and dried fruit, to cookies, energy bars and protein balls, keto dessert bites, granola, hazelnut butter, and pastry flour.

&ldquoI think Max Brenner was a phenomenal brand,&rdquo Brenner says. &ldquoBut what I'm doing today with Blue Stripes is much more beautiful in terms of both creativity and meaningful message. When you see what's going on around the world &mdash climate change, pollution, the gap between the rich and other countries &mdash it feels like finally here is a small way that I, with my 25 years of experience, can do something to make a change. And all of this came about because of those five years of hell.&rdquo

In a candid conversation, Brenner opened up about what he learned while going through his own personal hell. He talked about his initial fateful decision to sell Max Brenner, trying to work in a corporate environment as an entrepreneur, the bitterness that came with losing control of his own creation, being banned from doing what he was best at, and how he came to view those five years in the emotional and financial wilderness as an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. His perspective is valuable to entrepreneurs considering selling equity in their business, those in the midst of a nasty split with business partners, or anyone simply figuring out how to start again after a staggering loss.

What were the factors that led up to you deciding to sell Max Brenner?

Max Brenner was a big success from the beginning, but the success had nothing to do with making money. I had a lot of fame, I was participating in many TV shows, and everybody knew about the brand. But maybe three years in, if I was making money, it was for sure not enough to continue. So I had to bring on a partner. Strauss was the largest food corporation in Israel, and they basically took over the company. They gave me a very nice salary, bonuses here and there, consulting fees and a little bit of royalties, but left me with a very small percentage in the brand &mdash 3.5% equity. I became a very minor shareholder.

What was your mindset at that time?

I was exhausted, I didn&rsquot want to let this dream die completely, and I didn&rsquot have the money to continue. So I had no other choice. I wanted to believe that we would grow this thing together, and I would still benefit from it. I was convincing myself that it would eventually be a billion dollar company, and my 3.5% could be $35 million. But to be honest with you, I was also so in love with my own creation that I wasn&rsquot thinking rationally from any business angle. I couldn&rsquot stand to think of the stores closing down. I couldn&rsquot stop getting the love from my customers. I was addicted &mdash in a good way &mdash to the food, to the love, to the applause. I didn&rsquot want it to stop. And I didn&rsquot really think about what it meant that I had just a 3.5% vote on anything. I thought that three, four, five years later I would look back and say, &ldquoI saved the brand.&rdquo

Did Strauss give you the impression that you would retain creative control?

Yes, they gave me the impression that, &ldquoYou&rsquore Max, you're the bald man! You're this amazing guy, you're the creator!&rdquo Today I'm less naive than I was then, and I think experienced people do a lot of these things intentionally. I don&rsquot say intentionally in such a bad way, but they are looking at it as pure, cruel business. So yes, they gave me the impression that there was no brand without me, even though they didn&rsquot actually share the same vision as me.

What was it like going from running your company to being part of a corporation?

Many people told me that an entrepreneur cannot work in a corporate environment. It&rsquos almost like an impossible marriage. I don't want to generalize, but usually, an entrepreneur is a very impulsive, gut-instinct person. He has crazy passion, like a fire. He wants to do things, he wants to see them happen right now. The corporate process is extremely different. It's, &ldquoLet&rsquos think about it, analytics, who told you this is true? Why this packaging? Why these colors? Why are you changing the brand language?&rdquo It's endless. When you say, &ldquoLet's try to sell in Japan,&rdquo it&rsquos, &ldquoWhy Japan? Who told you it's a market?&rdquo But the Japanese love dark chocolate! &ldquoHow do you know, show us research. Why do you think this is the way?&rdquo The entrepreneur usually doesn't think, he knows. He's pushing and he makes mistakes. But he just says, &ldquoOkay, so this was a mistake. Doesn't matter.&rdquo This is almost his nature to push forward and make things happen. And the corporate is mostly people who are running an already existing business. It&rsquos not good or bad, but they are thinking and analyzing and slowly, &ldquoLet's bring in a consultant.&rdquo An entrepreneur and a consultant, they are like oil and water. I mean, they cannot work together.

How did your relationship with the corporate Max Brenner team start to sour?

For a very long time, bitterness and frustration were building up. At some point, I started to show up less to meetings, and I think they were relieved because they didn't want to see me there. I was showing up for PR, events, interviews, whatever, here and there, and I was making new recipes sometimes. But in general, I wanted to be involved less and less. And eventually I decided that I wanted to start a new concept, like a Starbucks of chocolate &mdash smaller stores, self-service, quick serve. It was called Little Brown. I pitched it to Max Brenner and they weren&rsquot interested, so I told them, &ldquoI think it's not in competition with Max Brenner, and I want to open a store like this under a different brand name.&rdquo They said no problem. So I opened one on the upper East side, and then I had a franchise in Russia and one in Dubai, and I leased another store in Chelsea&hellip they never told me I was doing anything bad. But one day the chairman of Max Brenner came to me and told me, &ldquoListen, I don't think it's working between us, we should split.&rdquo I told him no problem. But then he said, &ldquoYou need to stop doing this and this and this in Little Brown.&rdquo I said, &ldquoI cannot, I already have franchisees, and you know you&rsquore jeopardizing my concept.&rdquo Well he didn't say anything much, and then one day on a Friday afternoon, somebody knocked on the door and said, &ldquoYou're being served.&rdquo

What was the legal battle like?

I was extremely emotional, like, &ldquoI'm going to show you and fight.&rdquo You just don't think that a $3 billion corporate company is going to smash you, but that's what happened. It was a very short and aggressive fight. Then we went to court, and right when we started the discussion the judge said, &ldquoYou should settle.&rdquo I had not a drop of energy to continue fighting, not a dime left in my pocket. So I gave up on everything. The five year non-compete was always part of the settlement. But I just wanted it to finish, I didn't care. I&rsquom lucky because at some point they even said 10 years and I was ready to sign.

You had to really change your lifestyle after losing the court battle. What was that like?

I lived a very comfortable life in Manhattan, and I moved my family to a very small house in Jersey. We had one car, we didn&rsquot go out to restaurants. No vacations, no nothing. I had to call friends and ask for help. It's not pleasant when you were the big shot who gave job interviews, and now you need to do job interviews or ask friends to hire you for consulting work. And consulting is very unstable work. You never know when you'll get the next job. Sometimes I had a little more money, sometimes I didn&rsquot have any. And I was very surprised how much people don't want me as a consultant. I thought, &ldquoI'm the bald man, Max Brenner, everybody needs my advice!&rdquo It was not that easy. Nobody was waiting for the bald man. But eventually I started to fill up a CV, which I&rsquod never had before. For a self-made man who was the boss, becoming an employee is devastating. But I said, this is another stage in the journey I need to go though.

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs who need to bring on partners for their company to survive?

Don't give up control. Be extremely tough in the negotiation. If people really want your brand, they will give in eventually. If not, they&rsquore not the right partners. They will negotiate hard because they are more experienced than you. Sometimes they will be mentally stronger because you&rsquore in a very tough spot, and you are tired and exhausted. But don't give up on equity because equity is the most important thing. And I&rsquom not talking here about a huge, mature brand. Then you can give up on control and it's a different situation. But when a brand is in the earliest stages of entrepreneurship, you need to have control in the decision-making. Even if you are kind of diluted in your financial equity of the company, because sometimes somebody's putting a lot of money in and yeah, the company is not in a great situation. I understand this, but if you're not going to have the control, it's not going to be your company.

What did you learn from the emotional journey?

At a certain point, you just want to collapse. You're angry at the world, angry at God, angry at everyone. This is hell. You ask: How could this happen to me? Even though you know that part of it is probably your fault. But hopefully &mdash and this is what I told myself &mdash you're not going to go through hell many times. So this is a one-time experience. I would say it even stronger: This is a one-time opportunity. Hell has benefits. It has benefits on your ego, and ego is a very destructive element in our personalities. Hell has benefits on the way you talk to other people and how you think about business. Mostly, hell makes you think a lot. It can change your personality. It is not there coincidentally, and this may sound maybe a little bit too spiritual and mystical, but I would say listen to it carefully. Give it all the room and time it needs. Feel sorry for yourself, be angry. But use this period to build you for the next stage in your life, which can be unbelievable. If you are creative, if you are a true entrepreneur, you will be able to come back and do it again, and the next thing will be better.


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Amazon.com Review

With gigantic vats of churning chocolate, desserts like their famous chocolate pizza, and 12 varieties of hot chocolate served in custom mugs, Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man has turned their line of hip, colorful themed restaurants into an international sensation. Chocolate: A Love Story is a vibrant new cookbook that includes 65 original recipes narrated in the quirky, captivating voice of Max Brenner, the restaurant's visionary founder and "bald man." Bold original illustrations inspired by Art Deco poster graphics, full-color photographs, easy-to-follow, delicious recipes, and a serving of Max's unique vision for spreading "chocolate culture" around the world make this book a must for every chocolate lover.

Recipe Excerpt from Chocolate: A Love Story: My lost childhood chocolate birthday cake

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly flour and butter a 9-inch round cake pan

2. Make the cake. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric beater until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until just combined.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the crust is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Set to cool on a cooling rack.

4. Make the ganache. Bring the cream to a simmer and pour over the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Let sit until the chocolate begins to melt, about 1 minute, then beat with an electric mixer until the ganache is fluffy and smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

5. Make the syrup. Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Lower the heat and simmer until the sugar dissolves, about 10 minutes. Stir in the Cointreau and remove from the heat.

6. Cut the cake horizontally into 2 layers. Brush the still-warm cake with the syrup (do not soak). Once the syrup is absorbed, spread the cooled ganache frosting generously over the top of one round. Top with the second layer of cake and cover with the remaining ganache, using an offset spatula to smooth the ganache down and around the sides of the cake.

7. Sprinkle liberally with multicolored sprinkles.

Review

Max Brenner's desserts are so amazing and so creative! With this delightful book, y'all can re-create the magic of his chocolate restaurants in your own home.―Paula Deen, host of Paula's Best Dishes and Paula's Party

We've always enjoyed bringing our daughter, Ella, to Max Brenner's inNYC. We look forward to using his cookbook at home. ―John Travolta and Kelly Preston


Cacao Storyteller –Oded Brenner:

25‭ ‬years ago I went out on a chocolate journey without really planning it‭. ‬I started in Paris with the famed Master chocolatier‭, ‬Michele Chaudun‭, ‬who had the most romantic chocolate store that I needed as inspiration material for my writing career that I was planning carefully to myself‭. ‬I never stopped planning the writing career ever since‭, ‬chasing vigorously after inspiration materials that I needed so badly in order to finally make it happen‭. ‬Meanwhile‭, ‬some relatively extensive chocolate drama happened without me putting too much attention to it‭. ‬I created a brand‭, ‬which you’ve might have heard of‭: ‬Max Brenner Chocolate by the Bald Man‭- (‬the bald man in the logo‭? ‬That’s me‭) ‬opened many chocolate restaurants around the world‭, ‬invented some fun chocolate dishes wrapped in all kind of wacky ideas‭ ‬and didn’t really write anything‭. Many said that I’m some kind of a Willy Wonka reincarnation…‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

But then, seven years ago, I left my chocolate youth creation – Max Brenner – and took a long five years chocolate break. Put aside my Willy Wonka hat and went to the other side of chocolate, its unknown wild side – Cacao‭. ‬On a trip to the Blue Mountains in Jamaica I met a cool guy‭, ‬Jody‭, ‬which served me with‭ ‬”Jamaican Cacao Breakfast”‭- ‬a beverage that enlightened me with a fascinating way of preparing chocolate beverages straight from the beans‭ ‬and retain the wild flavors of its origins‭. ‬

It was a real coincidence when I stopped few weeks after in a Brazilian grocery store in Queens and discovered the Cacao Fruit Pulp and yet another unknown cultural aspect of the endless possible culinary creations of Cacao‭ – this time refreshing granola bowls and energy smoothies’‭ ‬that are prepared from the fruit in South American cultures‭. So I decided to go back to USQ, Manhattan, open “Blue Stripes Cacao Shop” and tell sensual stories of taste, smell and colors that are known for so long to the tropical cacao jungles tribes and share what I believe we miss for too long – physically, mentally and emotionally – in our urban, concrete jungle, lifestyle. I invite you to open all your senses and bring the tropical cacao jungle to your urban plate. ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬


Review: Chocolate: A Love Story: 65 Chocolate Dessert Recipes from Max Brenner’s Private Collection

A stunning chocolate recipe collection from the infamous Max Brenner. Using both photographs and Art Deco graphics, this is not only a cookbook, it also serves as a coffee table book. From crepes, to cakes, to chocolate pizza, this book covers everything a chocolate lover could desire.

I must confess to being a huge chocolate lover. I have no problem eating chocolate any time of day, heck even for breakfast. Not only are the recipes mouth-watering just to read, almost all require common ingredients and have easy-to-follow directions. I even found a new cookie to add to my batch of Christmas goodies I make every year: Once-Upon-A-Time Small Almond Cookies. This was one of my review testers and the family gobbled them up. That’s when I knew this was getting a promotion to my recipe box. A great book for those like me who think chocolate should be it’s own food group.


Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cocktail

Melt chocolate ganache and use on the rim of the glass. In a blender, combine vodka and crème de cacao. Add strawberry puree and two scoops of vanilla ice cream. Blend until smooth. Pour into coupe cocktail glass and garnish with a chocolate ganache dipped strawberry.

For those who have never made chocolate ganache before, you need chocolate chips, heavy cream, a microwave or stove top, and a whisk. Check out this simple recipe with great reviews here.

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Chocolate: A Love Story: 65 Chocolate Dessert Recipes from Max Brenner's Private Collection

I am in love with Chocolate: A Love Story! The Bohemian French Toast is amazing I have made it almost twice a week since I received the book from my husband at Christmas. Needless to say, he has benefited. His favorites so far were the Intimate Scones. They were so very buttery, crumbly, and subtle, nothing like the overly sugary ones you&aposll find at Starbucks or the like. I&aposve also enjoyed the dark, dense Highly Philosophical Brownies which are even better after a day in the fridge as the recip I am in love with Chocolate: A Love Story! The Bohemian French Toast is amazing I have made it almost twice a week since I received the book from my husband at Christmas. Needless to say, he has benefited. His favorites so far were the Intimate Scones. They were so very buttery, crumbly, and subtle, nothing like the overly sugary ones you'll find at Starbucks or the like. I've also enjoyed the dark, dense Highly Philosophical Brownies which are even better after a day in the fridge as the recipe suggests. The Contentious Chocolate Cookies are great for a traditional cookie with a twist of cinnamon Mr. Brenner's argument for making them whenever the mood strikes will get no argument from me. I'm looking forward to trying the Belgian Street Waffles, Parisian New Life Chocolate Dream Cake, and the Anonymous White Chocolate Cosmos.

I also find Yonatan Factor's illustrations to be quite beautiful and fun. They encourage you not to take yourself too seriously when baking. Do not be turned off by the lack of actual photographs of the finished desserts. The recipes are written in such a straightforward manner that you will easily find your way to a charmingly-sweet end result. . more

This is a large hardcover cookbook with 65 recipes, not all of them strictly dessert recipes, but all involving chocolate in some way. And like most chef inspired cookbooks there are some recipes that you can use for every day indulgence, and some that require more effort that you might want to save for special occasions.

I loved looking through this book and decided that before I could write a review I needed to test out a recipe. There were so many that sounded yummilicious that I had a hard ti This is a large hardcover cookbook with 65 recipes, not all of them strictly dessert recipes, but all involving chocolate in some way. And like most chef inspired cookbooks there are some recipes that you can use for every day indulgence, and some that require more effort that you might want to save for special occasions.

I loved looking through this book and decided that before I could write a review I needed to test out a recipe. There were so many that sounded yummilicious that I had a hard time deciding. Here are some of my favorite recipes:

* Veg-out chocolate cornflake TV wraps with lazy Brazil nuts and coconut sofa dipping sauces
* Parisian new life chocolate dream cake sprinkled in white powder sugar point of view
* Politically correct Sacher torte with a loyal good taste
* My lost childhood chocolate birthday cake sprinkled with shiny colorful candy tears
* A philosophical highly concentrated fudge brownie made of 70 percent dark chocolate thoughts
* A high school bonfire chocolate melting heart cake with a soft marshmallow first memory hidden inside
* Bad boy chocolate pizza with hazelnut spread, pure melted chocolate chips, and passionately roasted marshmallows

After much debate between I decided on the Highly concentrated fudge. For me there could be no better judge of the book than this recipe.

The brownies were relatively easy to make. It only took about 15-20 min to mix, about 30 min to bake, and the ingredients were not expensive. There were a couple of small drawbacks. First, it made a HUGE pan of brownies (13x18 pan) and second it recommended that you refrigerate the brownies overnight before eating to have them at their fudgiest best. I have to say they were better after being refrigerated, and a more chocolatey brownie you would be hard to find. I loved it, but friends who were not as much a chocoholic as I am thought they were too much. I say, just cut a smaller piece :)

I loved reading the recipes as well as the journal like musings accompanying some of these recipes. They were at times lyrical, insightful, poetic, frank and sometimes even sad. Let me give you an example:

"Night. Candles. Lots of warm yellow candles reflecting and shimmering in a shiny sauce poured over sweet desserts. Colorful alcohol served with incandescent straws, as on a tropical island. It is crowded. Everyone is handsome as movie stars in the dim light that flickers over their faces, hiding a magical intimacy behind twinkling eyes. A voluptuous smell whispers secrets that intoxicate the people. Peter Pan flies about among the guests. Adults revert to being children. The grand soiree of sweets releases inside us, as always, the most beautiful feelings." p. 76 from the recipe Forever young white chocolate custard perfumed with lemongrass and mixed with falling-in-love sweet wine lychees

This is a cookbook that I enjoyed reading if that makes any sense. I loved the commentary that went along with the recipes, and took almost as much pleasure reading the recipes as I did consuming these confections. It has a nice variety of desserts, soups, drinks, shakes and so much more. I only wish that it would have contained more pictures, rather than the artwork. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is a chocoholic, or loves to cook. I think it would be a great hostess gift, or a gift to yourself. This is a book that I think I will end up keeping for a long time. . more

"On the one hand, it is the most romantic gift on the other hand, a commodity that is traded in the bourse. It is sold like precious jewelry that is picked carefully from a crystal glass, but also is an addictive snack in every corner kiosk. It is tasted like a fine wine and licked straight from the bowl. These diverse aspects of chocolate and of life are the inspiration for our book."
- Chocolate A Love Story: 65 Chocolate Dessert Recipes from Max Brenner&aposs Private Collection by Max Brenner

Thi "On the one hand, it is the most romantic gift on the other hand, a commodity that is traded in the bourse. It is sold like precious jewelry that is picked carefully from a crystal glass, but also is an addictive snack in every corner kiosk. It is tasted like a fine wine and licked straight from the bowl. These diverse aspects of chocolate and of life are the inspiration for our book."
- Chocolate A Love Story: 65 Chocolate Dessert Recipes from Max Brenner's Private Collection by Max Brenner

This upcoming holiday season and just in time for Halloween celebrations, Max Brenner (the Bald Man) and artist Yontan Factor have come up with Chocolate A Love Story: 65 Chocolate Dessert Recipes from Max Brenner's Private Collection. Large and eye-catching, the book looks like pop art. I was dying to know what recipes Max Brenner selected for this homage to chocolate and I know you must equally curious.

Here are just some of the creations described in the book:
Dependable banana cupcakes, Bohemian French toast chocolate sandwiches, Intimate Hungarian crepes (they have figs), Control freak chocolate spread, Plain Jane sweet chocolate rolls, Intimate scones, Nostalgic dark chocolate cheese crumb cake, Handsome tiramisu, My very own honey pie manifest, Mon cheri cherry pie, A therapeutic chocolate pot pie, A philosophical highly concentrated fudge brownie (if you're going to make brownies - why not a Max Brenner brownie?!), Enticing sugar churros, Max and Mortiz profiteroles, Forever young white chocolate custard, A mannered white chocolate creme brulee, Banana split, Tacky double chocolate fondue, Once-upon-a-time small almond cookies, Contentious chocolate chip cookies, Wannabe French hot chocolate, Shanti white chocolate chai image, Innocent meringue kisses, and Such a beautiful chocolate souffle.

I hope that I didn't ruin the surprise by naming the dishes. I figure that if you're interested in Chocolate A Love Story, you will check out the book for yourself.

Almost just as seductive as the food is the accompanying artwork. Each recipe is paired with an eye-catching 8 by 11 mini poster. The posters are gorgeous enough to frame.

If you'd like to learn more, visit Max Brenner's website at http://www.maxbrenner.com/home.aspx. Better yet - visit any one of the Max Brenner locations and sample the finished product!

A huge thank you to Anna and Hatchette Book Group for the review copy and for the opportunity to review Chocolate A Love Story! . more


Chocolate: A Love Story : 65 Chocolate Dessert Recipes from Max Brenner's Private Collection

With gigantic vats of churning chocolate, desserts like their famous chocolate pizza, and 12 varieties of hot chocolate served in custom mugs, Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man has turned their line of hip, colorful themed restaurants into an international sensation.

Chocolate: A Love Story is a vibrant new cookbook that includes 65 original recipes narrated in the quirky, captivating voice of Max Brenner, the restaurant's visionary founder and "bald man." Bold original illustrations inspired by Art Deco poster graphics, full-color photographs, easy-to-follow delicious recipes,and a serving of Max's unique vision for spreading "chocolate culture" around the world make this book a must for every chocolate lover.

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LibraryThing Review

If you're in the mood for decadent chocolate recipes, sinfully rich, with sensual descriptions, and captivating art work, you'll want to try Chocolate: A Love Story: 65 Chocolate Dessert Recipes from . Читать весь отзыв

LibraryThing Review

Chocolate A Love Story by Max Brenner is a very different cookbook. There are no pictures of the finished recipes but there is fabulous artwork by Yonatan Factor. The book reminds me of the seventies . Читать весь отзыв


Hot Chocolate for Cool Parents: 4 Creative Recipes

A cozy night of watching Christmas movies with your kids calls for one thing: hot chocolate. No kid's going to complain about a regular mug of steaming cocoa, but you'll turn into supermom (or superdad) if you add some extra pizzaz to their favorite winter treat.

A cozy night of watching movies with your kids calls for one thing: hot chocolate.

We all have a stash of pre-mixed hot chocolate powder stashed in the cupboard but, really, it’s not that much more work to use the real stuff. The keys to the perfect cup of cocoa: Choose solid dark chocolate squares or bars (instead of powder), use whole milk (instead of skim or low-fat) and let the mixture simmer (not boil) on the stove.

And now for the fun part�ing delicious new flavors. Top Chef Desserts alum Katzie Guy-Hamilton, now the executive chef at gourmet chocolate company Max Brenner, shares four ways to take your hot cocoa over the top!

1. Maple syrup mix-ins. The sticky stuff isn’t just for breakfast, Guy-Hamilton says. She stirs a teaspoon of maple syrup into her mug of hot cocoa, 𠇋ut feel free to bump that up to a healthy tablespoon if you like things on the sweeter side,” she adds. Ever eaten chocolate chip pancakes soaked in maple syrup? It’s the same flavor combo (yum!).

2. Candy cane straws. Guy-Hamilton loves drinking her hot chocolate through a peppermint straw. Crack the hook off of a candy cane so only the rod remains, and often you’ll find a narrow hole that will work to suck the liquid through. You may have to go through a few candy canes to find the right one, but the minty flavor it adds to the cocoa𠅊nd the fun your kids will have slurping—is worth it.

3. Ice cream volcanos. “Pour hot chocolate on top of a scoop of vanilla ice cream𠅊nd hurry up and eat it before it melts!” Guy-Hamilton says. Bonus points if you shape the ice cream into a volcano and pretend the hot chocolate is lava.

4. Peanut butter ice cubes. Mix two tablespoons of peanut butter into every 8 ounces of hot chocolate, freeze the mixture in ice cube trays, then blend for an icy treat, she says. This cocoa slushy is so cool, we can forgive it for not actually being hot. As long as we’re drinking it indoors.


Watch the video: Шоколадный рай Max Brenner Chocolate Bar обзор (May 2022).