Love Letter to a Cookbook: Mast Brothers Chocolate

By Hans Westerink | December 15, 2014
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Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook
Little, Brown and Company
2014 James Beard Award Finalist
2014 IACP Cookbook Award Winner

The first time I tasted Mast Brothers chocolate, I knew that I had found something special. Chocolate is important—much too important to be left solely in the hands of massive factory producers.

The Mast Brothers live out this concept, crafting world-class chocolate in Brooklyn, New York. Never before had I experienced such a range in chocolate. Although the bars were made only from cacao and cane sugar, each was drastically different and uniquely delicious: Smokey Papua New Guinea, rich, chocolatey Dominican, bright and fruity Madagascar.

In Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook, brothers Rick and Michael Mast demonstrate their love and knowledge for what could be called real chocolate, as well as its versatility. Th ink cocoa encrusted ribs, pasta with a savory chocolate sauce, or dark chocolate waffles. Th e best recipes, not surprisingly, are the desserts. Amazing cookies, cakes, truffles and, my favorite, pie! Their Chocolate Ganache Pie with Meringue and Chocolate Blueberry Pie are probably the best pies I’ve ever had.

Besides recipes, the book is full of gorgeous pictures of all things chocolate, intertwined with the story of the brothers themselves, their philosophies on food and how they got started.

I have been inspired by many people and places, but the Mast Brothers were the first to really set me on the path toward making chocolate and becoming part of the growing culture of real, nourishing and delicious local food.

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