No, you aren’t dreaming. You’ve read right, and there’s actually a whole section of my website dedicated to nothing but vegan chocolates.
I am a dark chocolate fanatic myself, so many of my bars and gift chocolates are in fact naturally dairy free and suitable for vegans. The only ingredients in my dark chocolate are cacao, raw cane sugar and little natural cacao butter.
What makes my dark chocolate naturally vegan?
The name may be deceiving but cocoa butter is naturally free of dairy, eggs, honey and other animal-derived ingredients. Cocoa butter is a type of fat that comes from cocoa beans.
Approximately 50% of each cacao nib is cocoa butter. To make cocoa powder you need to remove some of this butter and I do this on a pair of antique cocoa butter presses. I make the chocolate exactly as I do for the bars then physically press the butter out of the conched 100% cacao.
This is very different to the industrial process that is called Dutching in which the cacao is washed in an alkaline solution to neutralise their acidity.
What about my Vegan White Chocolate?
Discover my favourite Vegan Recipes:
Some of my all time favourite recipes are naturally vegan. Taking flavour inspiration directly from the natural notes of the cacao. From my dark chocolate sorbet to my fiery cacao harissa, these 100% vegan recipes range from sweet desserts to savoury dinners.
Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 minutes
Serves: 230 g
A chocolate spread for everyone, vegan and nut free!
Prep Time:1 hour 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4 – 6.
The addition of cacao at the end thickens and enriches the gravy.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 0
One day my mum mentioned in passing how she had been making some great chocolate fruits and nuts bites using the 100% cacao and no added sugar.
I didn’t think much more about it until I tasted them.
They’re the best energy snack going – delicious, healthy and full of zing.
How to use my 100% cacao cylinders to Make Luxury Vegan Hot Chocolate :
My 100% cylinders are my personal choice, I use them to make my Aztec hot chocolate. They’re also naturally vegan.
Choose your single estate cacao bean. Which of my prized beans will you enjoy the most? Why not try a few and experiment? My personal favourite is Peruvian black, Chulucanas, it’s fruity with notes of raisins and plums. Your personal favourite, however, may well be different. You won’t know unless you try… Check the descriptions in each of my 100% cylinders and pick those that resonate the most with you. Are you into toffee caramel notes, smooth and nutty, fruity? Discover my 100% cylinders.
Simmer to thicken it. Don’t miss this stage, once it’s boiling with the water, lower the heat and simmer for around 3 minutes or until it thickens. It makes all the difference!
Froth It! The Aztecs knew it, and you do too… with Aztec-style hot chocolate when you use just water and perhaps a little sugar, you’ll get a lighter froth than with milk, frothing is wonderful and necessary.
Milk or Water? It’s entirely up to you, I use water, so did the Aztecs. There’s already enough smooth and creamy cocoa butter to make a really wonderful hot chocolate but you can try it with a plant-based dairy alternative, and decide your own favourite.
Experiment with flavours. My Aztec Hot Chocolate Recipe uses Ancho chilli, it’s mild, but the Aztecs would have used many types of chilli with varying heats. Over the years in different countries many other flavours have been added to hot chocolate. For example, when hot chocolate arrived in the east they added spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, crushed rose petals and jasmine leaves. Can you think of anything else you’d like to try?