With Taste Test in full swing, I couldn't resist taking a dream concept and challenging a chocolatier. The end result, my friends, is the best tasting Apple product ever. (Trust me on that claim, I ate the whole thing.)
Many, many thanks to Michelle Palisi of Chocolates by Michelle in Port Richey, Florida for making this project possible and for being my personal Willy Wonka.
There's no hiding the fact that our own Jesus Diaz is a bit of a daydreamer. A little while ago he went as far as to share one of his favorite dreams with us in all its high-definition glory: The Apple Tablet (also known as the iTablet), shown here meticulously rendered next to Jesus' iMac and iPhone.
I'll be honest: I drooled when I saw the concept. Not because I'm an Apple fangirl (the only Apple products I own are iPhones and iPods), not because I spotted a Dorothy Parker book in the background, but because I had chocolate on my mind. To me, the iTablet looked like it was one great big chocolate bar straight out of a wacky Willy Wonka fantasy.
And despite all the perks of working for Gizmodo (such as [REDACTED] and [REDACTED]), I didn't have a Golden Ticket that would let me find out if good ol' Willy really did make something like this iTablet. But I had something better.
I had Michelle Palisi, chocolatier extraordinaire, the bane of my waistline, and the person who turned my daydream into reality.
Michelle didn't even bat an eyelash when I came to her with my request. Instead she looked at the pictures I gave her, studied my iPhone, and handed me a brownie pan. Not one of those odd all-edges brownie pans, but just a simple, basic, plain ol' brownie pan. For a moment I thought that she had been inhaling too many sprinkles, but then she explained that making a precise mold would cut it too close time-wise, so she would improvise a bit.
In my mind, the biggest challenge with the chocolate Apple Tablet was the screen. I've seen some cool things done with fondant and frosting, but the screen I wanted had far too much detail for that.
Michelle on the other hand, already had a solution in mind before I even mentioned my concerns: The screen would be printed (with edible ink) on edible paper.
Through some crazy combination of improvised brownie pans, my iPhone and Jesus' concept as models, edible paper, piping gel, edible paint, frosting and who knows what else—is that a melon baller Michelle is holding?—the dream chocolate iTablet looked like it was moving closer to reality.
When Michelle called me to come see the final products, I was on edge. What if my dream melted into a nightmare? Would the silver bezel drip right off? Would there be dead pixels on the screen?
My fears were for naught. Michelle, who had never even heard of the rumored iTablet before I approached her, did a rather good job creating a chocolate model. The bezel did turn out to be the main issue as the paint smeared with even the lightest touch, leaving my hands looking as if I'd been groping the Silver Surfer.
For a moment I'd let myself imagine that maybe I would be able to switch that damned song with a flick of my finger, but sadly my chocolate gadget is stuck on an infinite replay.
So, how edible is this tablet? The entire thing can be eaten. From the painted bezel to the screen. (Though I must admit that while it melted in my mouth, I wasn't a fan of the screen taste.)
Yummy screen or not, for the sake of proper taste testing I gradually nibbled my way through the entire tablet. Yes, that's a lot of chocolate and thank goodness that rumor about an XL version didn't come out yet, because I don't think I would've made it through a tablet that size.
It would be a travesty to not truly live up to our theme and conduct a proper comparison test. So I made sure to try out the edibility of another Apple product, my iPhone. Let's just assume that it doesn't taste all that great because I gave up on taking a bite after nearly chipping a tooth.
Messy hands, slight tummy ache and a broken chocolate addiction later, I'm satisfied with how this journey from dream to chocolate reality ended. But I definitely hope that the next dream concept isn't a 30 incher. There is such a thing as too much chocolate.