For as long as chef Lisa Vega has been with Dandelion Chocolate, “Maybe The Very Best Chocolate Chip Cookie” has been part of the company’s DNA.
But there’s no resting on laurels when it comes to being the best. And the chocolate company knew that there was always room for improvement.
So about three years ago it reached out to Remy Labesque, an industrial designer and good friend to help them create something better. Lebesque’s day job is at Tesla, but he also has a passion for chocolate — having met Dadelion’s CEO and Co-founder Todd Masonis years ago when the two took a Chocolate 101 class together.
And they knew there was room to improve this baking staple.
“The shape of a typical store-bought chocolate chip is an arbitrary result of the industrial manufacturing process used to make it,” Labesque explained. “As you might expect, a drop of molten chocolate is deposited onto a flat surface and left to cool. Chocolate chip taste varies widely by brand, but the shape of the chips does not.”
So they came up with a completely different shape, featuring pointed edges and smooth sides.
“The edges of a Dandelion Chocolate chip taper to thin-as-we-could-make-’em without compromising structure,” Labesque said. “This is because the thermal mass of a thin piece of chocolate melts more quickly on the palate. So when you put a Dandelion chip on your tongue, the thin, chiseled edges warm-to-melt nearly instantly.”
While the shape is simple, it’s also novel.
“And this is noteworthy because the world of industrial design is running out of simple forms that haven’t been claimed for something already,” Labesque said. “Beyond that, we’re proud to have optimized the chocolate chip eating experience as a result of rethinking the humble shape itself.”
The company says the mouthfeel of the chocolate chip is completely different from a traditional chocolate chip.
“We also needed something that could be enjoyed as a chocolate-eating experience completely by itself — that’s where our unique shape comes into play,” Labesque says.
In the end, they created a large 3.5-gram version and a small 0.8-gram version. The large-version is being released now, while the small version will be released at a later date.
The chips are being released by origin, and the first two are especially suited to baking and confections:
Costa Esmeraldas from Ecuador, 70 percent, 2018 Harvest, with notes of chocolate buttercream frosting and banana; and Hacienda Azul from Costa Rica, 70 percent, 2019 Harvest, with notes of chocolate almond biscotti and buttery caramel.