A chocolate café by Death by Chocolate author Marcel Desaulniers
WARNING: This review may induce drooling, cravings and jealousy. Those with a sweet tooth should proceed with caution…
I have a major sweet tooth. It’s more like I have sweet teeth. So, when I found out that MAD about Chocolate would be opening earlier this year, I was really excited. I visited the first week they opened and have gone back multiple times since. When thinking about who would fill our review spot for this month, it was a no-brainer to ask MAD About Chocolate. Not only does MAD have incredible food, but their interior is one of my favorites in Williamsburg. It’s funky, eclectic, and colorful. Connie Desaulniers, who co-owns the shop with her husband Marcel, is an artist and her work literally pops off the walls of this little shop. Connie’s husband Marcel does not need much of an introduction, being that he used to run the Trellis and authored the famous “Death by Chocolate”. He and Connie started MAD about Chocolate in April of this year after his two year retirement. They say he opened the shop because he just missed the chocolate too much. I sure am glad he did!
We started the review by tasting two of their staple cookies, “Mrs. D’s Chocolate Chip” and their “Black Mamba”. MAD’s cookies are some of the best I’ve ever tasted. They are super chunky, soft and full of “mix-ins”. They certainly do not skimp on ingredients here. The cookies are so big you “shouldn’t” eat it all at once, but so good you just can’t resist. Our next taste was of their “MAD & Hot Chocolate”. I’m pretty sure there was no powder mix from a package being poured in here. The hot chocolate is rich and makes you want to savor each sip. They then brought out an ice cream sampler for us to taste. You certainly wouldn’t find some of these flavors at your local grocery store. We tried corn ice cream, mulled wine sorbet, white chocolate ice cream, dark chocolate ice cream and Belgian beer ice cream. I loved the combination of the mulled wine with the dark chocolate. The other ice cream flavors were good and not too strong, which I liked. Next, so we wouldn’t get a sugar overload, they brought us out some savory dishes. The first dish was Savory Bread Pudding. It had ham, tomatoes and cheese inside. I loved the flavors and seasonings in this. Next was the Savory Cheesecake. You’d be surprised at how well a chocolate shop can make savory dishes. These were both delicious. We thought we were done until Connie saw us gawking over the dessert case. She then brought out their peanut butter truffle and Golly Polly Doodle. Both were peanut butter and chocolate, which I love. The Golly Polly Doodle was really good. It reminded me of the consistency of brownie batter or cookie dough, which is one of my favorite “desserts”. I thoroughly enjoyed this visit (Can you tell?) and am sure I will be back again soon whenever I get another craving for some chocolate!
My Favorite Thing: Savory Cheesecake- I really surprised myself picking this one to be my favorite seeing how much I like sweets. It was just that good. The top layer of the cheesecake was soft and was similar to a light biscuit. The inside of the cheesecake was like quiche, but way better. I ate this about two weeks ago and I can still remember how yummy it was.
What I would like to try next time: MAD’s Hot Pot - “Marcel’s choice of fresh market ingredients”. If this savory dish is as good as the other two I tried, I’m all in!
Deep in the darkness of many a mind lies an obsession, an almost carnal craving, for one particularly tasty bean. This harmless, yet addictive little guy has made quite an impact on human history. From Montezuma’s daily slothful consumption to today’s multi-billion dollar chocolate industry, the cocoa bean has played it’s part in driving human kind crazy. Or shall we say MAD.
MAD About Chocolate opened in April of 2012 as a chocolate café featuring desserts by award-winning chef and author, Marcel Desaulniers. Marcel decided to open the café after selling one of Williamsburg’s culinary landmarks, The Trellis. This is where Marcel created his famous Death by Chocolate dessert cake. I guess he couldn’t hold down his “madness” for chocolate much longer, as his desire to create with the delicious medium spawned this wonderful gift to us. After hearing about this opening, we decided it was clearly our civic duty to check this place out and “serve” you by engulfing huge amounts of chocolate and other deliciousness on your behalf. I know, I know, we’re pretty awesome.
We started our chocolate endeavor with a couple of their huge cookies. The first was their Mrs. D’s Chocolate Chip – “The mother of all chocolate chip cookies“. This enormous overstuffed cookie was packed with high quality warm and gooey chocolate chips. It was a fantastic cookie. The second cookie was the Black Mamba – “Killer combo of chocolate, chocolate chips & nuts“. Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate – with some nuts too. Another really good cookie. Next came two little ceramic shot glasses of the best hot chocolate I have ever had. It was their MAD & Hot Chocolate – “Thick, dark & decadent“. It tasted like they just melted straight dark chocolate in the cup, yet somehow kept it in liquid form. This was amazing. I wanted more. Following this liquid goodness came some frozen goodness in ice cream form. Their creativity and inventiveness really came through here. They provided us with five different scoops and flavors of their ice cream – Corn, Mulled Wine Sorbet, White Chocolate, Belgian Triple Beer and Dark Chocolate. Wow, were these interesting. You can taste that unique sweet corn flavor in the corn ice cream. It was very good. The Mulled Wine Sorbet was fantastic. A delicious sorbet with great combinations of fruit and wine. My favorite though was the Belgian Triple Beer. This one was truly unique. I don’t even really know how to describe the taste, but I loved it. We then took a break from the sweets and tried a couple of their savory dishes. Yes, they also offer savory items here. And they’re really good! We had their Savory Bread Pudding and Savory Cheesecake. The Bread Pudding had tomatoes, ham, cheese, spinach and a few other items. It was different having a bread pudding that was savory, and not sweet, but the tastes were very good. Same thing goes for their Savory Cheesecake. Simply awesome. It was very cheesy. It was similar to a quiche, but it still maintained many of the characteristics of a cheesecake. This combination made for a very unique, yet delicious dish. We ended the review by trying their creamy and silky Mini Peanut Butter Truffles and rich and sticky Golly Polly Doodles. Both of these packed a lot of flavor and delightful textures in small little packages. Which was all we could take in at that point since we were filled to the brim with chocolate and sweets. And yet despite that, I still craved more. Mmmm, sweet insanity.
My Favorite Thing: MAD & Hot Chocolate. Again, the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had.
What I would like to try next time: Peregrino Cookies – “Dried Cranberries, Oatmeal, Orange Zest, Hazelnuts, Sambuca, White Chocolate“. These aren’t always available, so I have to hope they have them there the next time I visit. If not, I guess I’ll have to suffer through one of their other desserts. Oh well.