I've been lurking for a year or so, I'm so excited to finally say hello. I have a tiny little chocolate shop in New Paltz, about 80 miles from NYC. Everything we do is organic, fair-trade, and vegan. We primarily use TCHO couverture, their organic and f/t lines.
Yeah, that seems about right, thanks for the info. I have been looking into Charm School Chocolates vegan white chocolate, but the flavor doesn't exactly thrill me, and it's cost prohibitive. Here's to hoping someone fills this hole in the market sometime soon!
Yeah...really not a fan of theirs, which is sad because it's also made near me, in Upstate NY, and their cashew ice creams are nice. Their white chocolate isn't temperable, I don't think, but Charm School says theirs are. I'm wary of theirs because the second ingredient is....TOFU!! Which weirds me out.
Yes, will definitely let you know if I find anything!
Aww, thanks! Vegan ganache is not tough at all! Ours is a classical ganache recipe, but with full-fat coconut milk and coconut oil--if you use the deodorized kind, I promise you you won't be able to taste the coconut flavor—particularly if you flavor the ganache, but even with our plain flavor no one could detect coconut. Now, what was tricky for us was caramel and toffee recipes! The tough thing with coconut oil is using less of it than you would butter—since it's all fat and butter is only about 80% fat (I think?), you need to use less otherwise your stuff will get oily. It's a process of trial and error, like everything, I suppose.
I am still marveling about the tofu in that formulation. It really didn't have such a bad snap, is the weird thing. We try so hard to live down the 1970's lentil loaf-esque perception of veganism that we use almost no soy and I'd sort of cringe having "tofu" on our labels. Sigh.
Do you have a shop? I'd love to see your stuff!
Wow, sounds like you've got a good thing going on!
For our white chocolate, we blend cocoa butter, scalded coconut milk, powdered sugar, lots of vanilla ex and vanilla bean, and a little salt—it's not temperable, but we use it as a filling, so that's OK. It's pretty nice, but "real" vegan white chocolate would be nicer, that's for sure.
I'm wondering how many of you vegan "purists" know that most granulated sugar used in chocolate is FAR from vegan? Take Lantic Corporation (Roger's Sugar) for example. In Canada, they have three factories. TWO of them use Bone Char (charred, carbonated, bones from the livestock industry) to help whiten the sugar. Both factories process sugar from cane. The third factory, here in Alberta processes sugar from sugar beets, and doesn't need whitening, so bone char isn't used. There is nothing on the packaging that tells the consumer that bone char is used, other than to know which code comes from which factory.
If you're so in love with TCHO, where does their "vegan" sugar come from, and is it processed with bone char? A good question I would ask given that 1/3 of chocolate is sugar....
Ha! Thanks for the gotcha question. Of course we know that! I've had long talks with TCHO, and their sugar is most definitely vegan. In our shop we use Wholesome Sweeteners sugar, which has a lot on their site about how it's vegan. It's always so funny to me when nonvegans try to trick vegans. We're all trying to do our best, remember. : )
I'm not trying to trick people at all. You wouldn't believe how often "raw" and "organic" and "vegan" are thrown around by clueless morons who don't take the time to research their ingredients, (or in some cases out right liars who just want to use the words to sell more product).
kudos to you for doing your research. It's people like you who make a big difference in an industry so full of deceptive practices.
Well that definitely happens—particularly with "raw" and "organic." As someone who truly does use organic chocolate (it's my understanding that most cacao plantations don't really use pesticides anyway, so I'm not sure how helpful the designation is, but it's important to our market, so we do buy organic), and pays through the nose for it, it's awful for me when other companies use it recklessly. Ugh.
"Raw" though--that designation can just go away, as far as I'm concerned. Who decided raw chocolate is a good thing? God, it's awful. We're always trying to educate people about it, since we get a bunch of health-foodie types in our shop who equate raw with less sugar and healthfulness and somehow think our chocolate is evil because it's not raw. Ah, fads!