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Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook Hardcover – October 22, 2013

3.1 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A beautiful, thoughtful cookbook that not only delivers their take on the tried and true with recipes for brownies, cupcakes, and truffles but also offers some innovative chocolate-based recipes such as Chocolate Meringue Pie... this book is a winner."―The Kitchn

We are forever enriched by people like the Mast Brothers, who have helped us appreciate the range of flavors possible in a single bar of chocolate.―Thomas Keller, from the Foreword

The story of Mast Brothers Chocolate is one of family and one of craft.―The New York Times

Crazy delicious.―Gizmodo

Mast Brothers Chocolate, made in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, since 2007, has been on the cutting edge of the craft-food movement since the start. Their new book . . . is filled with chocolate-focussed recipes, but it also illustrates how something as basic as a chocolate bar can become a culinary obsession.―Julia Moskin,
The New York Times


Hands down the most beautiful packaging.―Time

The Mast brothers have written a book of delicious simplicity, filled with recipes so evocatively photographed and so clearly written, you will cook from it.―J.M. Hirsch, The Associated Press

For chocolate fanatics, there's only one cookbook that matters this Fall: Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook by Rick and Michael Mast. . . . Other cookbooks could learn a thing or two about how luxuriously simple recipe layouts can be from this one.―Eater

"It's a beautifully constructed book overall, with signature custom paper designs showing up throughout and gorgeous photographs, which tell the story of Rick and Michael Mast's bean-to-bar craft chocolate, alongside recipes for classic American desserts."―Brooklyn Paper

"The Mast brothers are poster boys for the Brooklyn craft food movement. Their story, which they tell beautifully through a series of essays in their new cookbook, is a great American entrepreneurial one. . . ."―Food and Wine

About the Author

Rick and Michael Mast are the co-founders, owners, and master chocolate makers of Mast Brothers Chocolate, pioneering "bean to bar" chocolate making in New York City. They were born and raised in Iowa.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (October 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316234842
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316234849
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1.2 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I've never written a bad review before, but his book merits it. I tried 2 recipes, and both were bad. The ginger chocolate-chip cookies sounded good but tasted weird and somehow flavorless. I think the recipe should include salt, which would bring out the flavors of all the spices. The recipe for "Chocolate Snow Caps" is just wrong - it couldn't possibly have been tested. I followed the recipe exactly, double and triple-checking as always. The batter was hopelessly soft, even after 2 hours in the refrigerator. Completely impossible to roll it into balls. I added some more flour, enough so I could at least drop spoonfuls into the powdered sugar and then more or less roll the sticky batter into a ball. Even then, they baked up much flatter than in the photo and tasted awful. I threw them away.
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Format: Hardcover
The Mast brothers have a wonderful person story to share about their lives, their families, their love of chocolate, and their incredible journey creating their business. The sailboat story alone is worth a book itself! The photos are artistic and beautiful, and boldly unlike most other cookbook photos. Those are the two best parts of this book.

The recipes are probably not the strong part. I made the cupcakes and I agree with another reviewer--they are too tender (only 3/4 cup flour) and fall apart. The recipe also has an odd mixing order; makes way too much batter for 12 cupcakes--the cups overflowed; and the baking time is 5 minutes too short. (Of course, that's just one recipe. I'll make some others and update my review.) The directions for all of the recipes are also very brief, so if you are not an experienced baker, you could make some mistakes.

To sum up, buy this for the compelling story and artistic photos. For dependable recipes, try the unexotic but trustworthy household names such as Hershey's, Martha Stewart, and Good Housekeeping websites/cookbooks.

UPDATE: I made the "Dark and Stormy Night" cake. The batter was shockingly watery--thinner than crepe batter. (It has 2 full cups of liquids and only 1.25 cups of flour.) Is it supposed to be so watery? The minimalist instructions don't give a clue. In a panic, I added 1.5 cups MORE flour, and baked for 45 minutes (instead of 30). The cake turned out fine--firm but good. Probably one additional cup of flour would have worked better. The book is batting 0 for 2 for recipes at this point.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I live in NYC and bought a bar of the vanilla and smokey Mast Brothers chocolate at a local cheese shop. I thought the chocolate was excellent. Since I paid $12 for a 2.5 oz bar I looked online and found they also had a recipe book. I am a baker for the last 40 years and a member of various associations and clubs although I am a hobbyist. I bought the book sight unseen and received it and it is a very pretty book.I made the chocolate choc chip cookies and bec I am OCD I check everything before I pour and or add. The consistency was like a cupcake icing and I called the "brothers" in Brooklyn. I was told by Amanda that there was no chef that could speak to me and that they do not return phone calls and she could only offer me an email address. What kind of a business is this ? When I baked the cookies they flattened and they also over cooked at 15 min per the recipe even though my oven was just calibrated and the inside temp did read 350.
DO NOT BOTHER- the recipe was a disaster and the customer service is to match.
Very disappointed.
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Format: Hardcover
Recipes are clearly not tested well. I made several from this book, and none of them turned out even reasonably close to how the photos look, or how one would expect from an upscale cookbook. The chocolate chip maple cookies were a huge disappointment. I followed the directions meticulously, yet the dough spread and flattened in the oven, and also browned a full five minutes before the end of the 15 minutes the recipe states ( and my oven thermometer confirmed the correct temperature). I refrigerated the remaining dough after the first batch was ruined, but that didn't help at all. A total waste of money for ingredients that cost more than the book ( this one called for maple sugar, which alone came in at $20). Not using this lame cookbook again.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So, I really like this cookbook. Or rather, I want to like it more. It's beautiful, all the recipes sound lovely, and the Mast Brothers story is so wonderful. Also, their chocolate is truly a thing of beauty. If I could base a review off these things, it would be five stars. But...

Recipe testing, man. It's a bummer. As someone who tests lots of recipes for my job, I understand that it takes a lot of time and money and effort. But seriously, there are some recipes in this book that I can tell just by looking aren't going to work out. When you write a recipe for making candy, you need to provide a temperature for the sugar syrup. You just need to. If you've made peanut brittle a thousand times you can probably get away with not using a thermometer, but for the vast majority of cooks, an accurate temperature is a good way to ensure success. Or at least promote success.

The chocolate bread is pretty delicious, but there is no way that thing will fit in a loaf pan. Maybe two loaf pans. I actually just turned my dough into a boule and baked it on a stone. This is another place where providing an internal temperature is more than a good idea. Chocolate bread is already very dark, so it's hard to tell when it's done just by look and feel. A good internal temperature would give the cook a better idea of when to pull the loaf from the oven.

The chocolate granola lacked crunch and salt. The peanut brittle was a little sticky on the teeth (probably due to the lack of corn syrup, which I know we're all supposed to revile, and I appreciate their effort to do without, but sometimes it really makes a difference) and again, not salty enough.
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