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Chocolate: A Love Story: 65 Chocolate Dessert Recipes from Max Brenner's Private Collection Hardcover – November 2, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1ST edition (November 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316056626
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316056625
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1 x 12.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #773,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Book Description

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



  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1-3/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened

  • 1-1/2 cups sugar

  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Sprinkles for decoration


  • 1-1/4 cups heavy cream

  • 20 ounces dark chocolate, chopped


  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon Cointreau


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.


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

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Customer Reviews

Easy to follow cooking directions and great tasting.
Amazon Customer
In this book there are over 65 dessert recipes from author Max Brenner's private collection.
A. Jacobs
I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to cook and who likes chocolate.
J. Branam

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Branam on October 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Chocolate A Love Story is a collection of 65 chocolate dessert recipes from Max Brenner's private collection. Max Brenner, at an early age of 10, read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and decided from that point forward, he was going to find a river of chocolate.

Max has locations in Philadelphia, New York City, Australia, Phillipines, Singapore and Israel and there are many products available at his online shop HERE. One product that Max is known for is the "Hug Mug" which is a coffee mug shaped to keep your hands warm. In NYC and Philadelphia, this is a great idea! If you are looking for a great gift with a chocolate or indulgence theme, this is your spot.

What I enjoyed the most about Chocolate A Love Story was Max's inclusion of himself into the various pages of this creative book. The artist, Yontan Factor, provides an interesting and unique perspective to introducing art into this clever display of mouthwatering chocolate creations. I have to admit, my first impression was one of confusion as I couldn't understand how this was a recipe book but after opening my mind, reading personally about Max and the artist, finally each recipe, I quickly fell in love with the concept of the book. I feel this would be a great gift to any chocolate lover, a chef, a novice or even as a romantic gift. This is not your run of the mill cookbooks as it's a piece of art on many levels from this chocolate genius.

I believe by reading Max's path towards his reality of bringing his chocolate to life, one can understand the passion behind the book, the recipes and the man himself.

"On the one hand, it is the most romantic gift; on the other hand, a commodity that is traded in the bourse.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Booklover1335 VINE VOICE on November 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
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. Believe me it was no hardship :) 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
* Control Freak chocolate spread with late night toasted almond splinters on a crispy munchy French brioche toast
* 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
* Home industry chocolate cheese pockets filled with pears cooked in wine and made according to a cheesy chef's recipe
* and so many more that I can't list them all!

After much debate I decided to try the highly concentrated brownie recipe. For me there could be no better judge of the book than this recipe.

The brownies were relatively easy to make.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christine J. Zegelis on November 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Chocolate: A Love Story by Max Brenner is a chocolate-lovers paradise. The recipes included in this book are so different and decadent. How does "A philosophical highly concentrated fudge brownie" sound? Or "Lipstick banana chocolate cake bonbons"? My daughter and I made the bad boy chocolate pizza. If you think you know dessert pizza, think again. This one includes chocolate-hazelnut spread, semisweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and marshmallows which are the ultimate gooey roasted topping. This one was not for the faint of heart and is just the tip of the chocolate kiss when it comes to the chocolate paradise shared in this book.

Mr. Brenner has been in the chocolate biz for quite a while and is owner of Max Brenner: Chocolate by the Bald Man. He not only shares his recipes but also when and how his love for chocolate started. He also includes an introduction concerning the book's illustrator, Yonatan. I would be amiss if I did not mention the pictures that accompany the recipes. There is a wonderful mixture of photography and art that is the perfect companion to the delectable concoctions.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Spicy Mamma on May 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Chocolate, A Love Story: 65 Chocolate Dessert Recipes from Max Brenner's Private Collection is a coffee table art book that doubles as a chocoholic's kitchen companion. Any Max Brenner fan will want to have this book in their collection.
The stories and artwork that make up more than half of this cookbook are interesting and the recipes are quite indulgent, as a chocolate love story should be.

I'll give this one 3 spatulas. It's a good book, but for a very targeted audience. If I were a visitor to the restaurant, or a die-hard Max Brenner fan, I would want to have this book as a keepsake.
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