December 6, 2013

Hipster Hot Chocolate!

{Review of Dandelion Chocolate & Hot Chocolate Recipes}

In San Francisco's Mission district, you'll find the most colorful murals, the coolest dive bars, the hottest ethnic restaurants and the most effortlessly stylish hipsters. In this 'hood, even the chocolate is trendy. And the hot cocoa is really hip! Take the hot chocolate at Dandelion Chocolate, an artisan chocolate factory in the "Valencia Corridor," the foodie center of San Francisco. (Side note: If you're looking for an insider's food tour of this neighborhood, try Avital Tours' Mission District Food Tour!)

Dandelion Chocolate's hot chocolate is made from pure dark chocolate, handcrafted at the on-site factory. There are three types of hot chocolate, all equally delicious:
  • House Hot Chocolate: so chocolatey, frothy and creamy!
  • European Hot Chocolate: very intense and not too sweet
  • Mission Hot Chocolate: spicy hot chocolate (my personal favorite)

Enjoying the irresistible hot chocolate!

In my humble opinion, Dandelion's hot chocolate must be the best hot chocolate that you can find West of the Mississippi and may be the best hot chocolate in the United States! In fact, Dandelion even 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 one of the few small-batch bean-to-bar chocolate makers in America. They are exceptional artisan chocolatiers, embracing the process from start to finish—by sourcing directly from cocoa bean producers all over the world. The owners, Todd Masonis and Cameron Ring, go on missions to places like Venezuela, Madagascar and Papua New Guinea, where they work with producers to create the best-quality cocoa beans. This allows Dandelion Chocolate to craft superior single-origin chocolate bars made from only two ingredients: cocoa beans from a specific country and cane sugar. 

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

When you visit, be sure to try the different single-origin chocolate bars. There is a "tasting area" with small pieces of three different single-origin chocolates for you to sample, along with tasting notes that allow you to appreciate each one's unique "berry," "roasted" or "nutty" flavors. Feeling adventurous? Go for the "brownie bite flight" that includes three mini brownies, each made with a different variety of single-origin chocolate featuring unique tasting notes: Venezuela ("chocolatey"), Papau New Guinea ("smoky, molasses") and Madagascar ("dried cherries"). For die-hard chocolate enthusiasts, there's a free guided tasting and factory tour every Wednesday from 5pm-6pm that's open to drop-ins.

Nutella-filled Chocolate Chip Cookie

Photo-op showing the Nutella filling!

Dandelion Chocolate just hired a new pastry chef with a stellar resume! Lisa Vega studied at the Culinary Institute of America, worked at Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery in Yountville and most recently was the pastry chef at San Francisco's top-rated restaurant Gary Danko. Her desserts are charming and funny—they take you back to the childhood joy of enjoying favorite treats. For instance the chocolate chip cookie filled with handmade "nutella", the PB&J Sandwich that is really a brownie-cake, the S'more made with dark chocolate and real marshmallow that's charred to order! Also earning super-cute status: the mini caramel apples with cocoa nibs.

At the same time, I'm still waiting for Dandelion to offer some more refined desserts inspired by classic European p√Ętisserie, like an Opera Cake or a Sacher Torte!

Hipster spotting at Dandelion Hot 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: {based on 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 chile 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 European hot chocolate

Copyright © 2013-2014, Lisa Alexander. All rights reserved. 


Liz Gladstone 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!!