Chocolate is made from cacao beans that grow on cacao trees, which make the chocolate a plant-based food. However, there has been much debate about vegan chocolate, and there seems to be no end to the debate.
What is Vegan Chocolate?
Vegan chocolate is one that is made without the use of animal-based products. When shopping around for vegan chocolate, the first step ought to look at the ingredients section on the packaging.
Vegan chocolate ought to include sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, and vanilla. The fewer the ingredients, the better the chocolate will taste. Low-quality chocolate often comes with a long list of ingredients, which includes the use of cheap fillers such as artificial flavorings and food starch.
As a vegan, you should go for high-quality dark chocolatethat has 50% cacao content or more. If you are not a fan of dark chocolate, then you can opt for chocolate that has almonds, mint, or dried fruits, since they are vegan-friendly.
On the other hand, you should avoid all chocolate with caramel, truffles, peanut butter, or toffees, since they contain dairy. With that said, not all dark chocolates are produced the same, and for this reason, you should always check the ingredients before adding it to your shopping cart.
Vegan Chocolate Recipes
You can use vegan chocolate to make dairy-free treats that are delicious and fun to prepare. Here are a couple of recipes that you will love:
1. Beet Vegan Chocolate Cake
- 100 g coconut oil (sunflower oil or olive oil)
- 125 ml honey or maple syrup
- 50 g 70% dark chocolate
- 2 cups of grated raw beetroots
- 1 cup of applesauce
- 375 ml flour
- 5 tbsp cacao powder
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp unsweetened and shredded coconut
- A pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Warm the oil in a medium-sized saucepan on low heat.
- Add in the maple syrup and chocolate until it is melted and remove from heat.
- Add the grated beets and the applesauce.
- Sift the baking powder, flour, cacao powder, and the salt.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the beet mixture.
- Grease a cake tin with oil and line it with the shredded coconut to prevent the batter from sticking.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the cake cracks at the top but sticky on the inside.
2. Chai Spiced Coconut Cream Ice Cream
The ice cream you will make from this recipe is both vegan and gluten-free, which means that everyone can enjoy it.
- 42 oz of chilled full fat coconut milk
- 2/3 cups of maple syrup
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp cardamom
- ¼ tsp ginger
- A pinch of nutmeg
- A pinch of cloves
- 1 tbsp bourbon (optional)
- Whisk or blend all the ingredients except for the bourbon.
- Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker.
- Freeze for 30 minutes or according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
- Add the bourbon in the last 2-3 minutes.
- Freeze the ice cream until you are ready to serve.
3. Mini No-Bake Chocolate Mocha Fudge and Coconut Fudge
This recipe makes delightful vegan and gluten-free since it does not use any added sugar, flour or butter.
For the coconut crust, you will need:
- ¾ cup roasted cashew nuts
- Half cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 cup pitted soft Medjool dates
- ¼ cup cacao nibs
- 1 seeded vanilla bean
- 1 tbsp instant coffee (optional)
For the filling, you will need:
- 1 cup of canned coconut milk (regular or lite)
- A cup salted roasted cashew nuts
- Half cup coconut oil
- 8 whole pitted Medjool dates
- Half cup of unsweetened cacao powder
- 3 tbsp instant coffee powder
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- Line the muffin tins with wax paper.
- Add all the ingredients for the crust in blender and pulse until finely chopped and mixed. The dough should stick together when rolled into a ball.
- Press 2 tablespoons of the dough into each muffin tin and use your finger to press the dough to the sides of the tin.
- Freeze for 15 minutes.
- Add all the ingredients of the filling into the food processor and blend until smooth or for approximately 10 minutes while scraping the side of the bowl during the process.
- Remove the muffin tins with the tart shells from the freezer and fill in the fudge.
- Sprinkle the tarts with the cacao nibs if desired.
- Freeze for 20 minutes or place them in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
Vegan chocolate is not as boring as most people would like to make you believe. These recipes will help you make decadent desserts that everyone will love. With that said, you need to look out for chocolates that have minimal ingredients, which is an indicator that it is of high quality.