A Tesla engineer created what he calls the "perfect" chocolate chip.
The chip is shaped like a square with two thin corners and two thicker corners.
I tried using the chips in cookies and in pancakes and found that I needed to cut them up in order to achieve well-rounded treats.
Bakers have been using small chunks of chocolate - now commonly shaped like little dollops and called chips - for nearly a century.
Ruth Wakefield, who ran the Toll House restaurant in Whitman, Massachusetts, is credited with the invention of this iconic treat sometime around 1938. There are many different versions of the story of how she made her first batch, but the end result is still the same: Chocolate-chip cookies became an American classic.
Though cookie-dough brands like Pillsbury and Nestlé Toll House (the latter of which uses a recipe purchased from Wakefield) are considered classics and use the drop-shaped morsel, Tesla engineer Remy Labesque thought he could come up with something better. In 2020, he shared what he thought was a better shape that would ideally function perfectly in a cookie.
He worked with Dandelion chocolate to create what would become their signature chip for the brand's cookies. They're available for sale, so I wanted to try them out myself. (Dandelion is selling a 500-gram bag for $30 and a 2.5-kilogram bag for $100.)
The 1-inch-by-1-inch chips are square but come to a peak in the center, giving the illusion that they're diamond-shaped. Two of the edges are thin and taper off while the other two are slightly thicker. The special mold is optimized for mass-production, and Labesque says the shape is how the chips are able to melt evenly.
I was able to get an up-close look at the melting process when I used the chips to sweeten up my pancakes. After trying to incorporate the chocolate three different ways - placed point-side up into the already cooking batter, placed point-side down into the batter, and mixed into the batter before cooking - I saw the pieces melt from thin corners inward during my first placement test.
I usually place my drop-shaped chocolate chips intentionally throughout my pancake batter after it's on the pan. But with these square chips, I would recommend doing the opposite. If you're going to use these chips in your pancakes, I'd recommend a two-step process. First, chop some of the chips into smaller chunks and pieces. Then, stir those small bits into the batter along with full-sized squares. Finally, spoon your batter onto a hot griddle.
The same goes for cookies, in my opinion.
By just using the full-sized square, I was left with overwhelming chunks of chocolate in some places, and chocolate-free bites in others. There was no balance. I thought the edges would melt out and spread throughout the cookie or pancake, but that wasn't the case - they held their shape even though they melted into a silky texture.
When the chips were not completely incorporated into either batter, they melted unevenly and some overcooked, which meant that they took on a chalky texture instead, even when fresh out of the oven.
After giving this specially engineered morsel a shot, I think I'll stick to smaller chunks, chips, or cut-up chocolate bars.
Read the original article on Insider