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Choc Art

Nonconformist chocolate treats—amped up with everything from caramelized croissant shards to marshmallow fluff on steroids—are the new normal. Here, the pick of the litter for you or your sweetheart.

Le Dix-Sept Pâtisserie rose chocolate tarte

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b. Patisserie macaron “chocolate box”

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Fournée Bakery chocolate cone

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DeLise Dessert Café s’more bar

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Local Mission Market Mexican chocolate cookie

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Craftsman and Wolves chocolate, árbol chile, croissant bar

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Little Bee Baking chocolate sea salt cookie

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Dandelion Chocolate PB&J sandwich

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Pinkie’s Bakery whoopie pie

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Flour & Co chocolate peanut butter sandwich cookie

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Le Marais Bakery chocolate lemon entremets

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Le Dix-Sept Pâtisserie rose chocolate tarte
Husband-and-wife pastry chefs Cyril Bermond and Michelle Hernandez honed their skills in France. Bermond also worked here at Saison and Benu. The duo’s chocolate tarte, flavored with rose petals, gets its bling from pistachios, dots of rose gelée, and vanilla mascarpone. $32; Find Le Dix-Sept on Saturdays at the Noe Valley Farmers Market or order online at ledixsept.com

b. Patisserie macaron “chocolate box”
Pastry chef Belinda Leong takes traditional chocolate-box flavors and makes macaron magic. Fillings range from cherry to hibiscus to caramel mocha. $18 per box; 2821 California St. (at Divisadero St.), 415-440-1700

Fournée Bakery chocolate cone
Veteran pastry pro Frank Sally forms this two-bite cone-shaped dessert out of cognac-spiked, brownie-like cake with a crispy, cinnamon-laced hazelnut streusel crust. $2.50; 2912 Domingo Ave. (near Ashby Ave.), Berkeley, 510-549-9434

DeLise Dessert Café s’more bar
The pastry-inclined geniuses at this sweet, under-the- radar Fisherman’s Wharf café have successfully translated a fireside s’more into a combination of blowtorched, cinnamon-infused marshmallow, housemade graham crackers, and melty Guittard chocolate ganache. $2; 327 Bay St. (near Powell St.), 415-399-9694

Local Mission Market Mexican chocolate cookie
Head baker Sandy Guevara folds in ground cinnamon and dried chilies for a kind of chocolaty snickerdoodle with a mysterious lingering heat. $2.50; 2670 Harrison St. (near 23rd St.), 415-795-3355

Craftsman and Wolves chocolate, árbol chile, croissant bar
Inspired by a trip to Mexico City, pastry chef William Werner dusts chocolate molds with ground chile de árbol before filling them with Valrhona Satilia chocolate. But it’s the salted, caramelized croissant bits that make the bar memorable. $3; 746 Valencia St. (near 18th St.), 415-913-7713 

Little Bee Baking chocolate sea salt cookie
Chez Panisse vet Stacie Pierce uses top-notch Valrhona cocoa, bittersweet chips, and a tad of fleur de sel for an adult edge. $1.50; 521 Cortland Ave. (at Moultrie St.), 415-595-4744

Dandelion Chocolate PB&J sandwich
This loosely interpreted peanut butter and jelly sandwich subs a thin brownie for the bread and employs peanut butter–chocolate and raspberry ganaches for the spreads. The pieces are then dipped in caramelized peanuts. Warning: they are decadently rich. $4.50/half or $7/whole; 740 Valencia St. (near 18th St.), 415-349-0942

Pinkie’s Bakery whoopie pie
Pastry chef Cheryl Burr crafts a soft, cakey devil’s food exterior with extra-dark cocoa powder and sea salt to play off the supersweet marshmallow cream filling. Note: It’s also available with raspberry- or peppermint- flavored marshmallow cream. $3.50; 1196 Folsom St. (at 8th St.), 415-556-4900

Flour & Co chocolate peanut butter sandwich cookie
Semisweet chocolate–flecked dark chocolate wafer cookies enclose the one thing that can compete with their richness: creamy, not-too-sweet peanut butter frosting. $2.75; 1030 Hyde St. (near Pine St.), 415-992-7620

Le Marais Bakery chocolate lemon entremets
A layer of lemon curd lightens this fluffy, 70 percent Tcho chocolate mousse cake. Crunchy candied cacao nibs are the only reminder that you’re not eating a cloud. $5.75; 2066 Chestnut St. (near Mallorca Way), 415-359-9801

 

Originally published in the February 2014 issue of San Francisco.

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