Recchiuti’s Asphalt Jungle Mix

Recchiuti asphalt jungle mix

Michael Recchiuti was recently here in Paris for a few weeks, visiting, and eating his way around town. Because he’s a chocolatier (from San Francisco), of course, he concentrated on chocolate. Interestingly I couldn’t remember how we met, but he recalled the event pretty well.

Apparently a group of us had been invited to Robert Steinberg’s kitchen, since he was working on developing ScharffenBerger chocolate. Along with me and Michael, Harold McGee was there, as well as a few other local pastry types. Although I vaguely remember this (so I reserve the right to dispute it at a later date), Michael said that I arrived for the chocolate tasting and discussion with a bag filled with my very own plastic containers and proceeded to unload and open them, each containing a recipe I was working on for my chocolate book, asking the various pastry chefs and food professionals sitting around the table for their opinions.

He described it as pretty “bold” – taking over the tasting – but we had a good chuckle about it now. And it reminded me of one of the nicest things about having a wide, friendly circle of people like Michael in my life; it’s nice to know people who are really experts at what they do, but who are still just a down-to-earth folks, like Michael, who understand serious techniques and has loads of talent and combines them to create chocolates and confections infused by playful humor and great flavors. And to remind you of all the embarrassing things you’ve done in your past, too.

Recchiuti asphalt jungle mix

His Asphalt Jungle Mix is a good example of that. It was part of a care-package he handed to me with some of their new products since they’re not available in Paris (although that’s something I’d like to work on) and I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened the box. Michael is now the proud owner of a panner; a machine with a turning and tumbling drum (like a washing machine) that allows a chocolatier to make round, chocolate-coated candies.

This “riot” of flavors, as he describes it, mixes up burnt caramel-coated nuts, cherries “two ways” and best of all, peanut butter pearls, tiny little beads filled with creamy peanut butter, which he told me get dozens of distinct coatings of chocolate and they go round and round in the giant tumbling drum. I first kept picking out the peanut butter ones first, like a kid rifling through a cereal box looking for prizes, then I finally dumped the whole box out on a white plate which led me to go on the attack, devouring them all—without discrimination.

Recchiuiti Confections
One Ferry Plaza, Shop #30
San Francisco, CA
(415) 834-9494

Related Links

Panning Attachment for KitchenAid Mixer (

Confectionary Coating Pan Attachment

Chocolate FAQs

The Best Chocolate Sauce Recipe

Chocolatiers and Chocolate-Makers


  • May 16, 2011 9:09am

    Peanut butter coated choc is a nice change from peanut coated – a mushy centre with crispy choc would be fantastic. Lucky to be doing tastings Reply

  • May 16, 2011 11:05am

    Wow, this truly does look like great candy. Reply

  • May 16, 2011 11:06am

    Well, I am happy to know that even my idols have fallen prey to the same culinary rites of passage as yours truly. The first time I had a “real” chef taste one of my fruit tarts at a dinner party I hammered the poor guy for critiques and criticisms until he had to be rescued by the host! Oh well…I have learned that I get all the opinion I need when someone bites into one of my treats and smiles :) I absolutely LIVE for that moment! Reply

  • Elaine
    May 16, 2011 11:31am

    Now we know the real man behind the blog.

    David Lebovitz: “I proposition my own chocolate creations at other parties and I am not one to discriminate.” Reply

  • May 16, 2011 11:48am

    You can have the peanut butter balls if I can have the burnt caramel nuts and cherries “two ways”. What ways, by the way?

    Think of the calories we’ll both save if we share nicely, like our moms told us to do. Reply

  • May 16, 2011 1:34pm

    You had me at ‘beads of peanut butter’! I’ve never heard of asphalt jungle mix but I think it’s time to try it! Reply

  • May 16, 2011 2:49pm

    David, hope you can use your charms and get that asphalt jungle mix available in Paris. It sounds fabulous! Reply

  • Betsy
    May 16, 2011 4:21pm

    Recchiutti chocolates are absolutely the best, especially the fleur de sel caramels. Stopping by the shop in San Francisco’s Ferry Building is the closest I could possibly get to heaven on earth. Reply

  • May 16, 2011 4:24pm

    I would take each piece and savor – one-by-one. If I knew there was a world in which eating chocolate could maybe procure a living – I might have stayed away from theatre. I have children to remind me of every faux pas in my last 20 years. I thought they were supposed to be your solace as you aged. Reply

  • May 16, 2011 4:28pm

    If you haven’t tried chocolate covered blueberries, please do. Very dangerous. Reply

  • May 16, 2011 4:33pm

    David; I let you generously keep the peanut butter ones…. the thought makes me jump from my chair – but PLEASE share the rest of your asphalt pieces…. looks and sounds great! I also love some of the comments :) especially the one about sharing the calories… thank you! Reply

  • Norine
    May 16, 2011 6:58pm

    Oh David, aren’t those social gaffs hilarious. I have monthly conversations with a good friend, and two topics always surface – good food and our social gaffs. I wonder how the two might be tied… In any case, we always reassure the other that she is wonderful. So glad to hear that you occasionaly go unconscious in your enthusiasm. Reply

  • Mindy
    May 16, 2011 7:27pm

    I own Chocolate Obsession and it’s brilliant! I’ve been making his marshmallow for several years and giving them as gifts. Words can’t describe how totally amazing they are. Quite addictive. Reply

  • Susan
    May 16, 2011 8:02pm

    I’m so glad you featured a chocolate shop in SF. Now I have somewhere I can visit that’s not 6000 miles away! lol!

    I see you linked your chocolate sauce recipe. I must tell you, this is the best darn sauce and it’s so versatile. I keep it on hand always. It makes, among other uses, the best chocolate milk, bar none, that I’ve ever tasted! It stays suspended in the milk much better than any other choc syrup I’ve ever tried, and the flavor…well, there’s no comparison. You can just barge into my kitchen any time and ask my opinion about anything that you’re making. No offense would be taken, at all! Reply

  • May 16, 2011 8:54pm

    Love the story about how you and Michael met. Robert brought so many people together. I’ve been giving Asphalt Jungle Mix as a gift, that is if I haven’t broken into the box myself! Good thing I’ll be at the Ferry Building tomorrow and can pick some up at the Recchiuti shop. Reply

  • May 16, 2011 11:06pm

    Yum! Was just at Recchiuti last week when I was in San Francisco! Lovely little shop! Reply

  • May 16, 2011 11:42pm

    Now I have ANOTHER reason to go to the Ferry Building. It is already dangerous (to waist line) territory and now it’s just down right silly dangerous. Thanks David. Reply

  • May 17, 2011 1:22am

    We are lucky to have this fine chocolatier in SF, conveniently located in the Ferry Building. They generously provide tastes and, along with his chocolate, I fell for the Pates de Fruits. (It’s OK, it’s a fruit serving, right?) Reply

  • May 17, 2011 1:27am

    Wow, I bet I could live on these! Reply

  • May 17, 2011 2:16am

    This jungle mix is on my list for this Saturday’s Ferry outing. Merci!! Reply

  • May 17, 2011 3:49am

    gorgeous! i want a panner! Reply

  • May 17, 2011 4:50am

    while I must say the peanut butter one sounds appealing to me, I can’t say the same for the burnt caramel one. haha Reply

  • Susan
    May 17, 2011 6:06am

    recchiuti is THE best. My husband picked up a Butterfly Box of 8 dark chocolate squares for mother’s day. Butterflies were my mom’s favorite so it was perfect & the chocolates are perfection. Just enjoyed one an hour ago.
    Will always remember the Recchiuti hazelnut chocolate bar that my husband put in my Xmas stocking a few years ago. So will my dog as she ate it and we spent Xmas eve at the pet emergency room. Vet said it was the best smelling vomit he ever encountered.
    And still we return…
    Reading your blog in preparation for trip to Paris next month. Mar in to Barcelona to PARIS!! Reply

  • May 17, 2011 10:09am

    I will have to come back later, with time to read the whole article. I just wanted to leave you a heartfelt thank you for taking the time and sharing your world. It is such a joy to come here and find a smile (and so much more!), even on days when one really did not feel like being able to. It so often happens that one experiences immense joy thanks to a stranger and never takes the time or has the opportunity to say so or life’s too busy and whatnot. In this spirit, merci beaucoup, David, I am looking forward to come here, over and over again.
    With immense gratitude,
    M. Reply

  • Victor Sugiharto
    May 17, 2011 5:15pm

    Recchiuti’s chocolate is the best chocolate I ever had Reply

  • Susan
    May 17, 2011 6:29pm

    Congrats on winning 2 of Saveur’s 2011 best blog awards for “Best Professional Blog”
    and “Best Culinary Travel Blog”. Reply

  • May 17, 2011 9:11pm

    Ditto on the congrats! Am anxiously awaiting your “I’d like to thank God and the Academy” speech. Reply

  • May 18, 2011 3:57am

    These remind me of some delicious caramelized cacoa beans I had the other day; I could have eaten a whole bag.

    Congratulations on the Saveur Food Blogger awards! Well earned! Reply

  • Shannon
    May 18, 2011 3:02pm

    My newly minted husband and I had Recchiuti chocolates as our wedding favors. We live in Paris now, about a block from Un Dimanche à Paris and other super good chocolate shops. Despite the wonderful chocolates that abound all around us, Recchiuti is the best chocolate ever. Reply

  • May 18, 2011 10:54pm

    I was reading this entry, lost in a reverie in which I became the first one on my block to own a panner and tumble my own chocolate beads, when I clicked on the panner link. OMG – how will I fit it in my kitchen? Probably won’t even fit into my urban backyard. Back to reality, where at least I can order the asphalt jungle mix online. Reply

  • May 18, 2011 11:21pm

    I couldn’t agree more–Michael is so talented–a real expert at what he does. He gave me a little tour around his factory a couple years ago (complete with samplings, of course), and I was impressed on how he’s always experimenting and stretching to come up with amazing flavor and texture combinations. Wouldn’t mind a sampling of that jungle mix right now. Reply

  • Rose
    May 19, 2011 1:03am

    Usually I’m drooling over cheese or pastries I can’t easily try, so this post was very exciting to me. I picked some up today, they are so good! I didn’t think I’d like the peanut butter ones, but I keep searching for those too. Now I’m just trying not to eat the whole bag in one day. I think Recchiuti may owe you a commission. Reply

  • May 20, 2011 3:12am

    Oh, that mix sounds really good! And I always eat trail mix the same way — pick out my favorites and leave the rest for later :) Reply

  • Gaile
    May 21, 2011 1:21am

    What a delight to have discovered your blog and recipes (the rhubarb and red wine dessert, 2008, is simmering on the stove). I immediately sent the link to my daughter in Europe so we can both salivate in anticipation of trying out more of your inspired ideas. We totally relate to making apple jelly while on holiday…as we too have clambered into local crab apple trees ( passing trucks hooting encouragement) to harvest the bounty for apple jelly. It gives the jelly a lovely blush and enhances the flavour. Have you ever tried putting scented geranium leaves (rose) in jellies? Reply

  • Laurie
    May 22, 2011 7:33pm

    Hi David. I am a huge fan of you. So far I have purchased two of your books, “The Sweet Life in Paris”, and “Ready for Dessert”. I have ordered your Chocolate book, and will be buying “The Perfect Scoop” book this week. I am a pastry student at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in Vancouver. You are my chosen homework. My assignment: discuss the history, influence and significance of your work as well as come up with a dessert or pastry recipe based upon your likes. I have been reading your blogs here, as well as on egullet. I have read cover to cover two of your books. I know that you prefer not too sweet desserts, that you like the freshness of fruits and ingredients to shine rather than being overpowered by the sweetness of sugar. You also like to experiment with novel ingredients like candied bacon and Mesquite bean flour. You have so many interests though that I am having a hard time narrowing down some ingredients to focus on in creating a dessert that speaks volumes about you. Could you please provide me with some assistance? Thank you for any help.

    Am not sure that I can narrow anything down but I do prefer straightforward flavors: dark chocolate, fresh fruits and berries, and pure ingredients to things that are overly complicated. -dl Reply

  • May 24, 2011 6:06pm

    David- I just wanted to tell you that you have managed to take very beautiful photos of (just) chocolate here (with a white background) which I find so very hard to do. The variety of color and texture within the mix help, but you took some great shots here that have me wanting to try again to shoot my chocolate desserts. Merci. Reply

  • May 31, 2011 7:59am

    This looks delicious, and I agree re: impressive chocolate-on-white photos.

    I used to work as a barista at Farley’s Coffee on Potrero Hill, where (lucky me!) Robert and Michael were both customers; Robert lived a block away, and Michael’s factory is close by. Robert was very friendly, and encouraging when I confessed to being an aspiring baker, and he even wrote out his brownie recipe for me by hand. I did my post-pastry school stage at Cafe Cacao, attached to the Scharffenberger factory, and Robert would occasionally drop by, saying that seeing me there made him feel at home. So sweet! It had been several years since I’d seen him, and was heartbroken when I read that your latest book was dedicated to his memory; I hadn’t known of his passing. Excuse the novel of a comment; all this is to say that reading this post made me happy, thinking about my three favorite chocolate gurus all hanging out together, sampling chocolates.

    I’ll be sure to pick up some of this mix the next time I’m at the Ferry Building. Reply

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