Robert Steinberg

Robert Steinberg
Did you know?

Robert could frequently be found in his chocolate factory, standing next to the antique blender machines he had imported from Germany, doing his own tasting.

Robert Steinberg
Robert's Featured Recipe
Baked Hot Chocolate

Click here for recipe

Robert Steinberg was a family physician who changed careers to go into the chocolate business, eventually joining with a partner to make the Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker brand into one of the most highly regarded, fine American chocolates.


A Harvard University graduate and accomplished cook, Robert was diagnosed with a form of cancer in 1989. He sold his medical practice shortly thereafter to devote time to things he loved – among them cooking and eating fine food. Initially inspired by his friendship with San Francisco restaurateur and coffee roaster, Bob Voorhees, Robert became fascinated with the chocolate-making process, eventually apprenticing himself to a small chocolate maker in Lyon, France. He traveled to several other countries to steep himself in the nuances of cocoa beans.


When Robert decided to try to manufacture fine chocolate in the United States he discussed the project with John Scharffenberger, his friend and former patient, and in 1996, the two agreed to work together. They traveled to Europe to look for the right machines, eventually finding their first machine at a chocolate factory in Germany.


Robert not only had a passion for making chocolate, he was dedicated to sourcing the best beans, meticulously roasting, blending, and grinding them to develop the best flavor profiles. His ultimate goal was to reveal and deliver the best chocolate that nature had to offer.


Aside from making solid bars of various sizes and taste intensities, Scharffen Berger eventually sold exotic varieties with subtly flavored ganache or caramel centers, mint fillings with fresh mint leaves, a smoky Yunnan tea flavor with tea leaves and chocolate dipped fruits. In 2005, the company was acquired by the Hershey Company, which has kept the Scharffen Berger brand and many of its formulas. 


Robert passed away in 2008 in San Francisco. The website for the chocolate company he helped to found is


Latest Recipes

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

If you're looking for the perfect addition to your holiday cookie tray, then this recipe for Chocolate Crinkle Cookies is it! This easy cookie recipe can be made in advance, and you can even freeze the dough so that you can bake only what you need. These cookies are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth, especially if you're craving chocolate. Keep in mind these cookies can keep for up to four days as long as no one eats every last crumb first, of course!

(1 Votes)

Chocolate Almond Cake

CONTRIBUTED BY JIM DODGE Pastry chef, author, and teacher Jim Dodge has an expert touch with chocolate. His recipes are easy to follow an...

(1 Votes)

Baked Hot Chocolate

CONTRIBUTED BY HEIDI FRIEDLANDER Baked hot chocolate is almost like having three desserts in one—the top layer has just a hint of crispne...

(1 Votes)

Whipped Cream

A cold bowl and whisk will give you much better results when you whip cream. Chill the bowl, the whisk or whisk attachment, and the cream...

(1 Votes)

Fudgy Brownies

Robert developed this recipe, but when the brownies came out of our test kitchen oven, they didn’t have their usual glossy, crackled top ...

(1 Votes)

Chocolate Shortbread with Cacao Nibs and Sea Salt

CONTRIBUTED BY ELIZABETH FALKNER If you like salt with your chocolate, this will be your favorite cookie, hands down. While other shortbr...

(1 Votes)

Chocolate Liqueur

We’ve always liked the idea of crème de cacao, but the bottled liqueurs available in the United States don’t have the pure taste we like....

(1 Votes)

Chocolate Martini

A traditional martini is made with gin and vermouth. So as not to overwhelm the flavor of the chocolate, we make this martini with vodka....

(1 Votes)

John’s Classic Drinking Chocolate

Everywhere I go–the bookstore, the farmers’ market, every single cocktail party—people ask me, “What’s your favorite dessert?” I hate the...

(1 Votes)

Chocolate Chinchilla

Sally has made this desset in her cooking classes for more than thirty years, and she shared it with John when he helped teach at The App...

(1 Votes)

Chocolate Pecan Tart

This tart’s caramel-nut filling rests on a thin, light crust that’s been coated with a layer of dark chocolate. Try using this same techn...

(1 Votes)

Frozen Chocolate Mousse

This dessert has the airiness of a mousse and the smooth, cold richness of a gelato. We like to serve it in individual portions in the st...

(1 Votes)

Chocolate Biscotti

Biscotti, whose name means “twice baked:’ are easy to make. Sherry’s recipe calls for chocolate and cocoa powder, producing deep, dark, t...

(1 Votes)

PB & C Cookies

These soft cookies are so meltingly tender you’ll be tempted to eat them right away, but don’t attempt to remove them from the cooling ra...

(1 Votes)

Pull-Apart Kuchen

Also known as monkey bread, this version of kuchen lets you roll balls of dough in ground pecans and semisweet chocolate. When the kuchen...

(1 Votes)

Apricot Hazelnut Squares

Ground hazelnuts, cacao nibs, and apricot jam give these cookies a wonderful fruit-and-nut flavor and a texture reminiscent of a Linzerto...

(1 Votes)

Tempering Chocolate Instructions

To be sure chocolate solidifies properly—that is, with a glossy sheen and good “snap” when broken—it must be tempered. Chocolate is tempe...

(1 Votes)

Lace Cookies

These thin, crisp old-fashioned cookies really play up the flavor of the chocolate filling. Lovers of dark chocolate may want to try fill...

(1 Votes)

Pumpkin Seed Nib Brittle

CONTRIBUTED BY ARNON OREN At Café Cacao, the restaurant in our factory, we like to crumble this unusual brittle over a composed salad of ...

(1 Votes)

Almond Roca

This recipe can be doubled without any extra effort. Just make sure you use a large enough pot. Break this roca into big irregular pieces...

(1 Votes)
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