Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Max Brenner Chocolates

Name: Max Brenner Chocolates: Dark Chicao, Waffle & Milk Chocolate Cubes
Brand: Max Brenner
Place Purchased: candy swap (thanks Michal)
Price: unknown
Size: various
Calories per ounce: 135-160
Type: Chocolate/Coconut/Nuts

Here’s a little Hanukkah treat for everyone, some Israeli chocolates! The Max Brenner package says “Creating a New Chocolate Culture” and I’m inclined to hop on board this philosophy. Michal, a candyblog.net reader, sent me these wonderful treats and I’m very impressed by the combination of flavors, textures, the simplicity of ingredients and most of all, the playfulness of the packages and formats.

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Dark Chicao: Dark chocolate thins with Ecuadorian cocoa bits. These are rather similar to the Scharffen Berger Cacao Nibs I tried and loved recently. I was a little scared when I took them out of the tin because they looked a little chalky, but we can chalk that up to their trip half way around the planet to get to me. They were a little bruised but tasted phenomenal. Dark, dark chocolate with crunchy nibs. The chocolate is buttery with a strong woodsy essence and a slight dry finish. Because there’s so much cacao in there and not much sugar they don’t get me hyped up the same way a chocolate bar does. At 75% cacao though, they’re probably giving me some sort of theobromine high.

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Waffle: Crispy Belgian waffle in milk chocolate praline. I’ve had many bars like this and they’ve usually ended up being too much cookie and not enough chocolate or too waxy or greasy. Here’s a wonderful balance of chocolate, soft flavors and crispy waffle with a hint of hazelnut. The box is fun (the size of a pencil box with a tray/sleeve to pull out and reveal the candies) and the size of the little drops is just right, two bites for me. The Max Brenner milk chocolate is very rich, with 52% cacao, it’s darker than many consumer dark chocolates.

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Milk Chocolate Cubes: Michal was good enough to translate the boxes for these. They’re minitruffles I’m guessing, one set is “Milk Chocolate Cubes filled with Hazelnut Praline and Caramelized Pecan Bits” and the other is Milk Chocolate Cubes filled with “Caramel Hazelnut Praline and Roasted coconut” (well, those are not really cubes, more like spheroids). The hazelnut/pecan one is sweet and toasty, like a hit of toffee only in a milk chocolate with just a few flakes of crispy to it. They’re very rich and sticky and should probably be consumed with some strong coffee. (Or the Dark Chicaos!). The coconuts were amazing fun. Instead of soft coconut like you’d find in a Mounds of Bounty bar, this is crispy coconut that adds a bit of crunch and chew to the sweet milk chocolate. The boxes are cool because they’re designed to be a greeting card or favor of sorts. You can write a little message on the back like those Valentines boxes of candy that we used to exchange in junior high.

I’m digging Mr. Brenner’s new chocolate culture. Their packaging is interesting and not overdone. The little mylar packs kept everything fresh and the design on them is really inventive, slightly self-deprecating and sets it apart from a lot of other candy that I’ve seen that positions itself in this part of the upscale market.

Rating - 9 out of 10 (now I just need to find a source in the States)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:54 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyChocolatierReviewEliteChocolateCoconutCookieNibsNuts9-YummyIsrael

Comments
  1. Pretty sure the Waffle is darkly chocolated, actually. There is a milk chocolate variety as well, of course, but the highlight colour on that box is orange, so red is for dark.
    Glad you liked it, and Thanks grin Cybele, as I have my own Bag o’ Goodies with me now.
    Don’t know about the States, but your half-a-world-away source is still in operation, in any event.
    Sweet and Happy Holidays to All!

    Comment by michal on 12/27/05 at 4:08 pm #
  2. Chocosphere carries some Max Brenner chocolates. Don’t know if they have those exact same ones, but they do have a nice selection.

    Comment by mariko on 12/27/05 at 6:19 pm #
  3. Cybele's avatar

    Ooh! Thanks Mariko! I really need to place an order with Chocosphere one of these days.

    Michal - I think the waffle may be dark now that you mention it, but it’s not as dark as the Chicao dark of course, so maybe it’s a semisweet ... but it’s goooooooood. Thanks again!

    Comment by Cybele on 12/27/05 at 6:56 pm #
  4. I really want to try those waffle ones!

    Comment by Robyn on 12/27/05 at 9:53 pm #
  5. What about Canada?
    Does anyone know where is Max Brenner Chocolate available there?

    Comment by Ron on 1/01/06 at 3:01 am #
  6. Cybele's avatar

    Ron - I don’t know about Canada, but you can definitely get them from Chocosphere as Mariko pointed out. They have a pretty good selection (though not all of the stuff I reviewed). They should ship to Canada.

    Comment by Cybele on 1/02/06 at 11:19 am #
  7. Still unsure about Canada… but I was just hired as a barista to help bring Max Brenner to America! The first store should be open in New York City within three weeks.

    Comment by Ricky on 6/28/06 at 1:10 am #
  8. Yep, right on Broadway and 13th St. Looks promising!

    Comment by Jeni on 7/12/06 at 12:58 pm #
  9. When exactly is Max Brenner’s New York opening day?!  I plan on camping outside!

    Comment by Zahav on 7/16/06 at 11:04 am #
  10. Cybele's avatar

    Zahav - I think there are two locations and I think they’re already open:

    841 Broadway New York, NY 10003
    141 2nd Avenue New York, NY 10003
    Phone Number: 212-388-0030

    I hope to visit them when I’m NYC next time.

    Comment by Cybele on 7/16/06 at 11:08 am #
  11. No, I passed by the one on Broadway… it’s not open yet

    Comment by Zahav on 7/17/06 at 4:10 am #
  12. Hey guys! I’m an employee (barista) at the new Max Brenner in Union Square (the one on Broadway). We’re currently in the “Friends and Family” testing period for the restaurant, and the current goal is being open next Thursday, July 27th. For the first week or so, we’re only going to be open for a limited number of hours a day, and we’ll operate on a normal schedule after that.

    Additionally, they’re opening up a second Max Brenner on 2nd Avenue a few weeks after the first one opens. Stop by, enjoy it—if you’re after something from the shop, I recommend “Nuts.” My personal favorite from the cafe (thus far, I haven’t tried everything) is either the “Chocolate Mess” or the Chocolate Pizza.

    The food is absolutely fantastic.

    Comment by Ricky on 7/21/06 at 6:43 pm #
  13. Cybele's avatar

    Thanks for the info Ricky! It’s great to hear it from an insider.

    Comment by Cybele on 7/21/06 at 6:46 pm #
  14. a coworker of mine sent me the link to max brenner today, unfortunately i’ve spent the last hour drooling over the dessert menu. this looks like an amazing concept and i can’t wait to head down to union square in the next couple of weeks to partake in the chocolate.

    Comment by cyra on 7/25/06 at 11:18 am #
  15. Any idea if it will expand to other parts of America.  Like the west coast?

    Comment by Brenner fans on 7/31/06 at 8:56 am #
  16. Max Brenner is something else! We are witnessing a chocolate revolution and Max Brenner’s kinda like fonzie jumpin over the shark. The Chocolate “lifestyle” as we know it is now dead and gone with the creation of his 5,000 square foot Applebee’s in Union Square New York. Trendestters like Jacques Torress are alive and well not like the candy-created vision for which Wonka-like “Max Brenner has been created. Well iIt was fun while it lasted. Me, I’d rather feast at the originals, Payard, Maison du Chocolate, Chocolate Bar and Li Lac. Give me back the old days please….

    Comment by Brenner Bar on 10/02/06 at 3:43 pm #
  17. Do you know if the candies with blueberry and cherry liquer contain alcohol?

    Comment by Sebastian on 11/22/06 at 4:17 am #
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