Mast Brothers LA

Just a quick drive to the LA Mast Brothers location on a recent trip.  It was really in the middle of no where LA.  A bunch of warehouses.  But there it was.  The transaction was quick:  6 bars and 1 little bar to eat that night.  I knew what I wanted.  We’ve had such a tough time finding it on the West Coast, especially in San Francisco.

Brownies. Homemade Chewy Goodness.


I finally made a recipe from my Cooks Illustrated magazine.  And of course it was brownies!   They were trying to achieve the chewiness of the box mixes (Ghiradelli), which is a 28%/72% saturated to unsaturated fat ratio.  Most homemade recipes are more like 64%/36% saturated to unsaturated fat.  I meant to do a side by side but the box mix got made a few weeks ago (ooops!).

Two kinds of chocolate into the mix…

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And then stirring and then baking…Yes, I even did the foil exactly like they said.



IMG_5529Done!  I ate a good quarter of the pan.  Alone, and with ice cream in a sundae form.  I think they actually got better the next day.  The larger chocolate pieces were nice in the bars.  Very chewy.  Though I will say my mom’s box ones are equally as good.  I don’t know, I’m just a sucker for brownies!




Levain Bakery & Pink Pants

Cookies and pink pants?  They have nothing to do with one another.  I just wanted to document my bright pants!  Bought these last weekend at my sister’s and have worn them twice already.  I’m not usually looking so put together on a weekend, but was coming from my Institute for Integrative Nutrition conference at the Time Warner Center. Had a great afternoon of seeing Dr. Andrew Weil and Alicia Silverstone.  The latter didn’t convince me to become vegan, but Dr. Weil was great.


So after Mark picked me up post conference, we walked north for a stop at Levain Bakery.   It was 5 and I was hungry.  So we ate dessert first.  Sometimes I feel a bit guilty, but…I had biked 50 miles yesterday morning and figured what the hell.  Followed that up with fries with dinner.


I’ve always wanted to try a Levain cookie.  When you walk down the steps into the little kitchen, you can SMELL the baking and the chocolate.  And we went for a big fat cookie.  Right out of the oven.  Ooey and gooey.  Chocolate with chocolate chips.  More like a lava cake, or warm brownie.


Cadbury Creme Eggs, My Downfall


I love Cadbury Creme eggs.  I love the milk chocolate and the sugary filling.  I love them slightly frozen. I love that they are only out once a year or I’d eat more.   I think they are smaller than they were when I was younger.  But they do taste the same so I can’t complain. I picked 3 up at Duane Reade when I ran in for a card.  I had to hold back from the Cadbury mini eggs, the malted milk eggs, the black jelly beans…


Out to Brooklyn for Mast Brothers Chocolate


For Valentine’s Day I gave Mark some Blue Bottle TCHO chocolate (must have been a collaboration between my favorite coffee place and the San Francisco chocolatier) and Mast Brothers.  Awhile back, I thought their hipster chocolate thing in Brooklyn was a bit much.  Two guys making chocolate, beards, and those Williamsburg caps sailing to South America to get beans….


So I’ve been converted.  They have nailed the product, packaging, story and marketing.  They sell the bars all over New York, and I’ve seen them in the Stone Wall Kitchen in Connecticut.  We ate the Serrano Pepper one on Thursday, and I suggested we go out to Brooklyn to see where they make the chocolate.


Mark tried the marble brownie.  Delicious.  Rich and moist.  And I love a good brownie and hate hate hate to be disappointed with a bad one (Fat Witch, sorry).  Let’s say I sampled my way around the store.  I may have had just a few pieces of the Vanilla & Smoke.


All of it is dark chocolate, retailing at about $9 a bar, but it was 3 for $20 at the wholesale location.  And they were in the back, wrapping chocolate bars.  I’ve been enjoying the Mast Brothers Chocolate Cookies at Blue Bottle, but would go back to try the cake here.

We had the Brooklyn Blend at home.  Nice flavor, dark chocolate, hint of fruit.  I liked!

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BusinessInsider has a good video on them.  They temper the chocolate to give it a nice “crack” sound, when you dig in.

Birthday Surprise from Kyotofu


I received a surprise package around my birthday.  At first I wondered what I ordered and then forgot about!  It was the nicest box of treats from Carol.  The Happy Birthday Assortment of Japanese desserts from Kyotofu included Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes, Miso Chocolate Brownies and shortbread.  Needless to say, we dug in.


The cupcake has a great crumb, and I have one in the freezer for breakfast this week.  Kyotofu makes modern Japanese desserts with tofu. I don’t know if that’s what makes them so moist, but they were delicious.  The little brownies with sesame seats were just the right chocolate and nice and fudgey.

IMG_0608And the beauty is this place is right up the street in Hell’s Kitchen.  I know I’ve walked by it, too.  Why haven’t I stopped in before, that is the question.

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Tache Artisan Chocolate

What a great guy I have here.  He was over on the LES and brought us home some chocolate from Tache.  And he even met Aditi Malhotra, the woman behind it all.

Delicious is how I would describe it.   I loved the little mendiants (dark chocolate circles with fruit and nuts), because I could eat a few and not feel so guilty.  I will admit to even indulging at 6:15 am before I left for work.  It’s the breakfast of champions of course.


Mark went for the grignotines (35% milk chocolate, dried fruit, nuts and rice krispies).


The chocolate classes sound like fun, so am going to investigate and will report back.  In the meantime, take a look at the NYT article on the classes.  Check out the Tache site!