If you thought all chocolate chips were created equal, think again. Once you've seen these new, improved chips designed by a Tesla engineer, you'll never think about the humble chocolate drop, or cookies for that matter, in the same way again.
Remy Labesque, a Los-Angeles based industrial engineer working for Elon Musk’s Tesla, and all-round chocolate fan, is responsible for re-inventing the 80-year-old chocolate chip, after he was tasked with the project by friend and executive pastry chef Lisa Vega from Dandelion Chocolate.
Vega and founder Todd Mason enlisted Labesque's help back in 2018 on their mission to create the perfect craft chocolate chip for their San Francisco pastry outfit, and one that could do justice to their 'Maybe The Very Best Chocolate Chip Cookie', of which they sell tens of thousands a year. Labesque was simply given the design brief to make “the best chip for the experience of tasting chocolate,” says chef Vega.
Several prototypes and bakes later they came up with the ultimate chocolate chip: a flattened pyramid-like structure with a thick middle and thinly tapered edges on 15 degree slopes, meeting the ideal of "thin, melt-in-your-mouth edges sturdy enough to hold their shape in baking, and not to break when the chip is unmoulded."
To make the drop, small batches of tempered, molten chocolate are poured into the mould designed by Labesque. The company say that the resulting chips have a snappy, smooth, shiny finish, and are shelf-stable, reminiscent of futuristic gemstones.
Needless to say, all this research comes at a cost: a 17.6 oz. bag of the chips goes for US$30.
As for the end result, Vega says: “I’m happy/thrilled/impressed with the elegance of the chip, they melt consistently in baking, and the form interacts with all five taste receptors in the mouth, showcasing the single-origin chocolate flavours beautifully.”
This isn't the first time food and high-end engineering have combined. Watch Spanish chef Andoni Aduriz as he explained last year how a now famous fake-egg dish that was inspired by a plant eventually went on to inspire MIT to produce a new technique for engineering domes, planes and cars.