December 6, 2013

Hipster Hot Chocolate

{Review of Dandelion Chocolate & Hot Chocolate Recipes}

In San Francisco's Mission district, you'll find the brightest street murals, the coolest dive bars, the hottest ethnic restaurants and the most effortlessly stylish hipsters. In this 'hood, even the chocolate is de rigueur. Case in point: Dandelion Chocolate, an artisan chocolate factory in the "Valencia Corridor," a foodie hub in the Mission.

Dandelion Chocolate's hot chocolate is made from pure dark chocolate that is handcrafted at the onsite factory. There are three types, all equally delicious:
  • House Hot Chocolate: chocolatey, frothy and creamy
  • Mission Hot Chocolate: spicy and rich hot chocolate 
  • European Drinking Chocolate: very intense and not too sweet

Enjoying the irresistible hot chocolate!

In my humble opinion, Dandelion's hot chocolate must be among the best in the United States. In fact, Dandelion holds a candle to the revered Parisian establishment, La Maison Angelina, that is famed for its super-intense hot chocolate. However, you can't get a spicy "Mission" hot chocolate in Paris.

American Hot Chocolate

Dandelion Chocolate is a craft chocolate maker in the truest sense. Their small-batch "bean to bar" process includes sourcing directly from cocao producers all over the world. The owners, Todd Masonis and Cameron Ring, travel to places like Tanzania, Ecuador and Belize, where they work with producers to fine-tune the quality of their beans. This allows Dandelion Chocolate to create superior single-origin chocolate bars using only two ingredients: cocoa beans from a specific region and cane sugar. 

See how the different single-origin chocolates taste in each brownie bite!

When you visit the Dandelion Factory, be sure to stop by the "tasting area" to sample the different chocolates. Tasting notes describe the unique flavors such as "berry," "roasted" or "nutty". Feeling adventurous? Go for the "brownie bite flight" that highlights a different variety of single-origin chocolate in each mini brownie: Venezuela ("chocolatey"), Papua New Guinea ("smoky, molasses") and Madagascar ("dried cherries"). For die-hard chocolate enthusiasts or anyone interested in a behind-the-scenes peek of the factory, Dandelion Chocolate offers guided tours every Wednesday-Saturday from 6:10-6:50pm (reservations are recommended).

"Nutella"-filled Chocolate Chip Cookie

Photo-op showing the "Nutella" filling

Dandelion Chocolate also has a stellar pastry chef, Lisa Vega, who previously worked at Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery in Yountville and San Francisco's top-rated restaurant Gary Danko. Her desserts are tempting and charming, reminiscent of childhood treats. My favorites are the chocolate chip cookie filled with fresh "Nutella" and the s'more composed of a house-made graham cracker, melted dark chocolate and real marshmallow that's charred to order! 

Hipster spotting at Dandelion Chocolate
European Hot Chocolate Recipe:


  • 6 ounces of 70% dark chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole milk
  • 3 teaspoons of brown sugar

In a medium saucepan, combine the ingredients and place over medium-low heat. Whisk constantly for 5 minutes until hot but not boiling. Serves two.

"Mission Hot Chocolate" Recipe: 

{Adapted from Rachael Ray's recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate}

  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 4 ounces of 70% dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond flour
In a medium saucepan, combine the ingredients and place over medium-low heat. Whisk constantly until hot but not boiling, for about 5 minutes. The mixture should smooth and frothy. Serves two. Enjoy!

Dandelion's rich and thick European Drinking Chocolate

Copyright © 2013, Lisa Alexander. All rights reserved. 


@the_bear_clan said...

Wow! Thanks for the tip, this place had me at free tastes of their delicious chocolate at their front door! This is a wonderful find and I am sure I will make many happy chocolate memories here. I highly recommend this place to any fellow chocolate lovers.

Miss Patisserie said...

Thanks for sharing your comments. Here's to happy chocolate memories! :)

Anonymous said...

Who's the guy?

Miss Patisserie said...

He's a local hipster and chocolate connoisseur!

pastry girl said...

This is the most amazing hot chocolate!! I made it for my Dad and he was so impressed!!