Sunday, 2 September 2012

Mast Brothers Caramelised Pecan & Maple

The last Mast Brothers bar I reviewed, Black Truffle & Sea Salt, seemed on the blogosphere, to have relatively mixed reviews; some, like me, adored it, others thought it was vile. Regrettably when I visited NY I only picked up 2 bars from Mast Brothers, this Caramelised Pecan & Maple bar was the other.

Like the Black Truffle & Sea Salt bar this used a base 74% dark chocolate which was combined with Crown Maple Syrup from the Catskills and caramelised Native American Pecans. From the description it sounded like this may be slightly like a pecan pie in dark chocolate bar form.

Mast Brothers Caramelised Pecan & Maple Bar

As usual the bar had the same simplistic feel to it, with Mast Brothers letting the chocolate do the talking; from the front the bar was regularly cubed, but on turning over was generously studded with delicious looking pecan nuts; because of this it is quite hard to snap off just a regular cube of chocolate, so you end up with more shard like pieces depending on where the nuts are.

Mast Brothers Caramelised Pecan & Maple Bar

I expected a really sweet bar what with the addition of the maple syrup, well, at least sweeter than what I got anyway, the chocolate has quite a dry, acidic bitter flavour and this takes the predominant role in the overall taste of the bar. You do get a slight hint of maple/caramel flavour near the end of the melt but it wasn't as powerful as I was expecting. This certainly isn't "maple syrup drenched pancake-esque", but more subtly mellow.

I did however like that as the chocolate slowly broke down in your mouth that the maple did provide an almost warming sensation that I found ran down the back of my throat on melt. The pecans add a further caramelised nutty flavour to the bar; whilst providing a nice texture contrast with great added crunch that I found particularly satisfying.

Don't get me wrong, this is still a very good/"nice" bar of chocolate, I just wish that the maple flavour had been a bit more prevalent, I was hoping for sweetness and indulgence to counterbalance the deeper cocoa flavours of the dark chocolate, overall I was left hoping for a bit more from this bar.

Mast Brothers Caramelised Pecan & Maple Bar  

Taste - 8.2/10 - Quite a dry acidic dark chocolate, a nice nut flavour added from the pecans but would have liked a stronger maple flavour.
Texture - 8/10 - Lovely melt from the dark chocolate and nice crunch added from the pecans.
Appearance - 7.5/10 - A simplistic yet elegant looking bar, good shine to the chocolate.
Price - 7/10 - I paid around $9 for this bar and just wished it had lived up to expectations a bit more.
Overall - 7.7/10 - Nice, but not as nice as the Black Truffle & Sea Salt bar.
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WHO FOR?
Anyone who is willing to pay a bit more than the norm for a chocolate bar.

WHERE TO BUY?I picked mine up from New York, I know that Paul A Young stocks some in his London shops, but not sure whether this bar is available. You can also check out the Mast Brothers website.

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