The Chocolate Life

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Hello chocophiles! 

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.

We use all dark chocolate, obviously, because I can't find a decent vegan milk chocolate or white chocolate. I know there was a thread about this a while ago with people looking for readymade dairy-free vegan chocolate, but I have tried every single one on the market and they are such low-quality and don't have a good mouthfeel. There are some rice milk milk and white chocolates on the market, but they are truly vile. I'm looking for some artisan quality, delicious white and/or milk chocolate. I feel like coconut milk powder would work instead of the milk powder typically used in white chocolate, but not being a chocolate-maker, I really have no idea. Whenever possible we use coconut milk as our primary milk because it's tastier and fattier than soy milk or any of the other vegan milks out there, so I feel like it would make a good white or milk chocolate... ? Who knows! I know that Will Powder sells a powdered coconut milk that might be a starting point. (http://www.willpowder.net/coconut.html).
I'm been lobbying TCHO for years to get into the vegan white chocolate market, but while they are lovely people and I adore them, surprisingly, they are not reorganizing their entire company to suit the needs of their smallest wholesale customer! Shocking. So I'm looking for a chocolate-maker (being, as I am, a mere chocolatier without interest in the bean-to-bar world) to custom make us (and the world—I'm telling you, this could be a great market!) some super high quality milk and white chocolate couverture. 
If you have any leads, I'd love to know them. My email is lagusta@lagustasluscious.com, or you can just post here. 
Thanks a million. 

Tags: chocolate, introduction, milk, vegan, white

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You want a good laugh?

 

Check out this thread on another forum.  Only after I got nasty with "littleblue" did she go do her homework to prove me wrong, and find out that SHE was being misled.  We've now kissed and made up!  LOL

 

http://chocolatetalk.proboards.com/thread/1267/raw-chocolate

 

Cheers and happy reading!

Brad

I just did a quick read through of that thread. I am no expert of "raw" by any means but from what I have seen it is such an ill-defined distinction it's no wonder there is so much confusion.

I only know the basics of bean-to-bar but have always wondered what the temperatures are when the raw beans are being fermented right after being removed from the pod and are piled up. Thinking with my science brain I would think that the pile of fermenting beans would produce a fair amount of heat possibly already making them no longer "raw". Beyond that there is the roasting and the heat of friction from grinding and conching/refining, etc. as you well know. The idea that chocolate is raw seems absurd to me.

I think some people feel if they take the chocolate they use for their finished product and don't heat it above their definition of raw (110 degrees, 118 degrees - just a few of the numbers I have seen) then it is raw in its finished state. This means they are completely ignoring what came before and where their chocolate came from. Clearly, it came directly off the tree in the form they are using it and is obviously raw - haha.
Haha, I 2nd lagusta!! Remember as well, your comment is for vegan purists. Interestingly, white table sugar has been able to be given the distinction of kosher pareve which according to Jewish dietary laws means it contains no meat or milk in any form. This is because they feel the bone char is so far removed from the animal source it is not considered an animal product any longer. I guess the choice to use table sugar depends on where you fall on the vegan spectrum. I personally use evaporated cane juice (organic)..

BTW, I got my info off of the Grassroots Veganism website when I was researching this topic some time ago. There are lots of different types of vegans so it is a choice to make...:)

Yeah, the baker in our shop did a bunch of research on sugar a while ago, and she says all organic sugar is vegan, so that's nice! 

We were in the same boat a couple of years ago and spent a LOT of time working on a recipe for what we felt would qualify as an artisan class vegan white chocolate and vegan milk chocolate.  I think what we came up with is an order of magnitude better than anything else on the market (we've tried all the same ones you have, I sustpect). We're in the midst of a move this week and next, and we're right in the midst of launching our business (taking it from a 'hobby' to a legit business), but if you're interested, contact me privately and we can send some samples your way once we get settled back in...

I'm not Vegan, so please accept my apologies for anything stupid I may say.  All alternatives to cow milk are going to taste different.  So is there a particular reason that you are not looking at soy milk.  And if soy milk is acceptable then have you looked at Zotter.  He produces a soy milk and a soy white chocolate. Both are actually quite tasty, though clearly different from non soy chocolates.

Thanks, I'll look into them. To my palate, soy is not my favorite milk...and many of my customers are looking for soy-free chocolates. But if they taste good, that's what matters! 

Lovely! Will do right now. 

Hi!,

My mother and I have a small chocolate business in Victoria, BC Canada. We are also fully organic, fair trade and vegan. We are also soy and gluten free. We use Cocoa Barry organic, fair trade 71.7% dark chocolate for all of our products. This has been a great product for us, and it is made without soy lecithin, meaning we can keep our products soy free, which seems to be an increasing issue for people, and especially children. We have a lot of parents very excited about our products because their child is allergic to soy!

We have also been on the lookout for vegan milk and white chocolates. We have only tried one, and that was the Callebaut "Nolac" milk chocolate. The only reason we got our hands on this was because I have managed to form a relationship with the Callebaut rep for Western Canada.  When I explained to him what our company was about, he sent us a roughly 5kg sample of it!  It came to us in a bubble mailer envelope with no labels or packaging. Its 'milk' ingredient was rice powder, and it did contain soy lecithin, but we were still keen to try it out. At first taste, I wasn't that impressed, it almost had that 'chalky' taste of a low quality chocolates.  I tried to make a ganache with it, as our main focus is truffles, but it did not work well at all.. It melted well, but as soon as we added the hot coconut milk, it turned very dark and grainy. Even after it set, it was almost as dark as our normal ganache, it seemed as it had lost all of its milkiness!  I then melted some and mixed it with hazelnuts and gluten-free rice crisps to make a veganized version of a  'Ferrero Rocher', this worked very well, and the additions seemed to completely get rid of the 'chalky' taste I first noticed. I tempered some to coat the 'Rochers' with my Rev 2, and though it did temper well, it was very thick.  We sold these at our annual Vegan Fest, and were a huge hit! We continued to make them until we ran out of the chocolate.

We were not sure if we wanted to keep this as a regular item, as it did compromise our no-soy policy, but I reached out again to our rep to get the pricing info just in case. He informed us that there are temporarily pulling the Nolac line. He said because they are currently producing the chocolate on machinery previously used to produced dairy milk chocolate, and because they are calling it Nolac (for no lactose) they are concerned that they may run into legal issues because it may actually contain trace amounts of lactose. But he did tell us that they are going to switch over to using dedicated equipment and relaunch it in a few months, and (bonus for us!) they are going to start producing it without soy lecithin as well! We will definitely try it again when it comes on the market. In the meantime though, we will probably try out some other products and would love any recommendations! 

Hello! How nice to meet another vegan organic chocolate company! 

And what a bizarre experience with the Callebaut rice milk chocolate, wow. I'll look out for it, even though it sounds rather odd. I'm now working with Cacao Prieto, in Brooklyn, to make us some white chocolate--exciting! I'll follow up when I've tried it. 

I am a chocolatier in London. I make Raw chocolate (shoot me down in flames)!

 Without dwelling on the 'raw thing' to much...I make a 'white chocolate" with Lucuma, cacao butter, coconut oil and coconut sugar.

For me, using cane sugar alternatives is as important (if not more) than using raw beans.

 The best 'white' chocolate i ever tried was sacred heart. PLEASE try it as your mind will be blown. I promise :)

I only wish I could make a product that good! http://www.sacredchocolate.com/white-passion-raw-chocolate-heart-bar/

They use cashews for the creamy texture.

Using Lucuma and coconut, or cashews, might make an interesting bar... but it is not really chocolate anymore.  However I am curious how is the cacao butter produced for such raw products, I could find nothing relevant on SacredChocolate, and they don't sell cacao butter, but do sell cashew butter etc.

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