For true chocolate fans, nothing satisfies a craving quite like the rich, earthy taste of cocoa. However the added sugar and calories found in most chocolate bars can take some of the fun out of the treat. San Francisco's Dandelion Chocolate offers chocolate fans a guilt-free fix with their roasted Madagascar cocoa beans. With no added sugar, dairy, soy or preservatives, the beans are a healthy and satisfying snack—right out of the bag.
We first got hooked on Dandelion Chocolate's 70% single-origin cocoa bars a while back, and recently got to visit to the bean-to-bar producers' factory and store in the Mission district. Through a careful roasting process, Dandelion focuses on bringing out the unique, individual flavors found in beans across the world. To make the Madagascar cocoa more palatable without adding sugar, the beans are roasted longer than usual to tame the flavor.
Simply peel the bean like a peanut, remove the small stem if necessary and you're on your way to dark chocolate paradise— without any of the added sugar. An initial coffee-like wave of acidity is quickly smoothed over by a bright fruit notes with notable nutty undertones. Unfortunately, eating just one of the beans proves to be a challenge. In addition to snacking, the beans make a great kitchen ingredient for the creative home chef. From cocoa barbecue rubs to banana bread, the beans add a rich depth without the sweetness of bar chocolate.
Dandelion Chocolate's roasted Madagascar beans are available in one pound bags online for $10.
Images by Hans Aschim