FATHER'S DAY - LIMITED EDITION

A celebration of LIQUOR and craft

Our first collection with Michael’s Chocolates, featuring
Grand Marnier, cognac, rye whiskey, and bourbon

Sale price Price $50 Regular price

Spirit Bonbons

Dandelion Chocolate

MICHAEL’S CHOCOLATES IN OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA

Crafted in collaboration with master confectioner — and former Certified Sommelier — Michael Benner of Oakland’s Michael’s Chocolates, our first-ever limited-edition Spirit Bonbon collection celebrates the pairing of barrel-aged spirits and dark chocolate, with four distinctive bonbon flavors.

While working in fine-dining restaurants, Michael's passion lay in harmonizing foods with his favorite wines, layering intriguing flavors and textures in each bite — a talent that has carried over to his award-winning confections. On his approach to pairing classic spirits with our dynamic chocolate, Michael shares that he relishes balance: “When the flavor is so amazingly silky-smooth, I don’t want texture to distract from the silkiness; while with other components, I want to highlight some texture. Like the Bourbon Caramel Pecan Bonbon — it’s all those things I just love: toasty pecans, toasty (aroma) after the caramel, and a salt finish. It’s sweet, smoky, and buttery … like a roller coaster.” The carefully selected liquors featured in this collection are combined with locally sourced ingredients, and showcased in bright marmalade, flavorful caramel, and smooth ganaches. Each complex pairing is anchored by the bold, deeply chocolatey flavor notes of our 70% Camino Verde, Ecuador chocolate.

This spirits flight includes four confection varieties:
3 Bourbon Caramel Pecan Bonbons
3 Old Potrero Rye Whiskey Truffles
3 Grand Marnier Bonbons
3 Cognac Truffles

Ingredients & Allergens
Ingredients: Dandelion 70% chocolate (cocoa beans from Camino Verde, Ecuador, organic cane sugar), organic butter, blonde chocolate (cocoa butter, sugar, whole-milk powder, dried skim milk, whey, butter, sunflower lecithin, vanilla), organic cane sugar, organic cream, pecans, Maker’s Mark bourbon, Old Potrero single-malt rye whiskey, Remy Martin cognac, Grand Marnier, vanilla bean, orange marmalade (sugar, oranges, water, lemons, Grand Marnier), organic orange peel, cocoa butter, glucose, dextrose, sea salt, FD&C and Lake colors: Blue 1, Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and titanium dioxide, mica

Contains: milk, tree nuts (pecans), and less than 5% alcohol

Made in a facility that processes dairy, tree nuts (pecans, almonds, coconuts), soy, and eggs, wheat, peanuts.
Weight
4 oz (113 g)
Learn More
Learn more about our cocoa beans and sugar — the region, the farms, and the producers.

Soy Free

Gluten
Free

Peanut
Free

+

 

Delivered with a Bow

just in time for Father’s Day


We will hand-wrap, bow-tie, and include your personalized gift note, for Father’s Day. Collections will be wrapped as requested, so please allow an extra day or two for your bonbon collection to be giftwrapped and sent on its way.

Bourbon, Rye Whiskey, Grand Marnier, and Cognac

paired with caramel, pecans, ganache, and house-made marmalade
 

Bourbon Caramel Pecan Bonbon

Inspired by old-fashioned chocolate “turtles,” Michael layers buttery, bourbon-infused caramel with creamy pecan gianduja, and enrobes the whole in our fudgy 70% Camino Verde, Ecuador chocolate. Maker’s Mark’s smoky vanilla notes beautifully complement the toasty gianduja (made of slow-roasted Georgia pecans, blonde chocolate, and Maldon sea salt), for a perfectly sweet-salty bonbon.

Old Potrero Rye Whiskey Truffle
with Old Potrero from San Francisco, California

After a blind tasting, Michael selected Old Potrero’s San Francisco-crafted single-malt rye whiskey, lush with vanilla notes and hints of spice, for this French-style truffle. Simple, smooth ganache highlights rye’s subtle aromas of smoked clove, cinnamon, and cardamom, enhanced by our Camino Verde, Ecuador chocolate’s classically chocolatey flavors.

Grand Marnier

Grand Marnier is a favorite liquor of Michael’s mother, and he loves pairing it with chocolate. To craft his Grand Marnier Bonbon, Michael fills a hand-painted Camino Verde, Ecuador chocolate shell with velvety Grand Marnier ganache and tangy, house-made Grand Marnier marmalade. Each bite yields a bright, tart, orange-marmalade burst, followed by mellow, Grand Marnier ganache richness.

Cognac

Michael melds delicately fruity Remy Martin cognac into silky chocolate ganache, made in the French tradition. The Camino Verde, Ecuador ganache offers warm, chocolatey notes that harmonize with the cognac’s fruit aromas, and its whispers of smoke from barrel char. This chocolate pairing is beloved for a reason.

Michael Benner

Oakland, CA

Michael didn't always work with chocolate. He had been a chef and sommelier for over 30 years when one afternoon while walking down the street, he told his husband Curtis Wallis, "I think in my next life I want to work with chocolate." That same year on Christmas, Curtis gifted Michael with three excellent books on confections, and he began learning and experimenting with chocolate. With his long experience in fine dining and as a Certified Sommelier, he began testing his confections at food fairs and events. The informal experiments didn't last long, as he couldn't keep up with demand. It was through a farmers market and his Good Food Awards that we met Michael and began working together on a confection for Dandelion’s Advent Calendar, one of our most cherished annual projects.

Over the years Michael has continued to win awards, including a 2018 Good Food award for his Lemon Burst Bonbon, and a 2021–2022 Americas International Chocolate Awards bronze medal for his Bourbon Caramel Pecan Bonbon. In 2020, after tirelessly seeking just the right location, Michael’s Chocolates opened their first brick-and-mortar shop on Grand Avenue in Oakland, in a space previously owned by a retiring chocolatier. Here, amidst the bustle of Oakland’s historic Grand Lake neighborhood, Michael, Curtis, and team make all of their bonbons and truffles by hand.

Chocolate Makers & Chocolatiers

What’s the difference and how do we partner together?


While chocolate makers make chocolate from the bean, chocolatiers use finished chocolate to create truffles, bonbons, and confections.

Many of our chocolatier partners have collaborated with us since our earliest days, back when we were at the Noe Valley and Mission farmer’s markets. When we first started, we turned to this food community for advice. We’ve shared works paces, taste-tested recipes, traded equipment tips, and commiserated over the City’s crazy permitting process.

It’s an exciting time for the craft chocolate community, and it wouldn’t be nearly as special without chocolate-maker-and-chocolatier collaboration and special relationships.

Since we don’t add emulsifiers or additional cocoa butter, our chocolate is tricky to work with. As a result, making truffles or chocolate-covered confections can be especially challenging. Still, our collaborators remain undaunted, inventing new recipes and chocolate collections each year. We celebrate their talents and are thrilled to share Michael’s treats with you.