Tesla engineer upgrades chocolate chips

Even chocolate chips can be made smarter

Silicon Valley, long obsessed with computer chips, is now disrupting chocolate ones.

Remy Labesque, a Los-Angeles based industrial engineer working for Elon Musk’s Tesla, has re-engineered the chocolate chip for the optimization-obsessed set.

Remy Labesque, a Los-Angeles based industrial engineer working for Elon Musk’s Tesla, has re-engineered the chocolate chip for the optimization-obsessed set.

Remy Labesque, a Los-Angeles based industrial engineer working for Elon Musk’s Tesla, has re-engineered the chocolate chip for the optimization-obsessed set. (Dandelion Chocolate)

Thirty bucks gets you 17.6 ounces, or about 142, of the expertly forged chocolate geodes, which are molded to “melt at the right rate,” according to Todd Masonis, co-founder of San Francisco’s Dandelion Chocolate, which makes and sells the chips.

According to Masonis, typical mass-produced chips, chunks, squares and discs can’t compete with his chocolate chip 2.0.

“The standard way that everyone makes chocolate chips is that it’s deposited off the [factory] line, but that’s not the best way to taste it,” said the startup founder turned chocolate purveyor, who has a degree in symbolic systems with a specialty in computational linguistics.

His flattened pyramid-like structures feature thick middles and thinly tapered edges. A 15-degree slope, according to blueprints for the morsel, creates a glossy finish when baked.

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A 15-degree slope, according to blueprints for the morsel, creates a glossy finish when baked.

A 15-degree slope, according to blueprints for the morsel, creates a glossy finish when baked. (Dandelion Chocolate)

Masonis said it took years to realize Labesque’s original multifaceted mold. “We did 3-D renderings of different options for shapes, test prints of a few molds and, of course, baking tests,” he said. The goal? To emphasize the complex chips’ cacao bean essence, which is said to have notes of chocolate buttercream frosting and banana.

“We found that if you take a huge chunk of chocolate and put it in your mouth, that taste can be overwhelming,” said Masonis. “The flat shape helps slow down the experience.”

The single-origin chocolate is carefully tempered — a process where chocolate is heated then cooled to create a hard shell — and is designed to melt without ruining the structural integrity of its mold-cast hard edge. The perfect chip weight, according to the engineers, is 4.05 grams.

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Despite being paid mostly in chocolate — “eventually we threw in some stock options,” said Masonis — Labesque is no Oompa-Loompa. In addition to his industrial design work at Tesla, he has filed about 20 patents, including ones for a “modular solar inverter,” remixes of the blender and coffee maker, and a New Age “juice extractor.”

The pair first met after the Tesla tech-bro took a “Chocolate 101” course at Dandelion seven years ago. He later designed a chocolate-chip cookie “holster” that attaches to disposable coffee cups and a “custom-shaped hot chocolate vial,” before using his expertise on the chip for the Bay-area company.

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Dandelion uses the chips in its popular cookies, and Masonis controversially claims that his confections should be the standard-bearer for the classic treat.

“I think the Levain cookie is more like a muffin top than a cookie,” Masonis said, referring to NYC’s lauded baker. “It’s an awesome cookie, but it’s sort of category-defying. That’s just my theory.”

This content originally appeared on the New York Post.