A creamy vegan chocolate- on cocoa and nut butters
Not all vegans are happy with the fallback to dark chocolate when looking for a vegan chocolate indulgence. Many long for the sweeter, less bitter and softer chocolate of their childhood, aka milk chocolate.
There are a few ways to formulate a creamy vegan chocolate. My approach is to learn from the Italians who added lots of hazelnut butter to their chocolate and created the wondrous gianduja, a nut-chocolate spread (most of us are familiar with the commercial version of it under the Nutella brand).
I love the taste of hazelnut butter with chocolate, but other nuts could work just as well and provide a diversity of taste profiles. For example, Almond butter gives a marzipan twist to the chocolate, cashew butter softens the cocoa without adding a strong nutty flavour, and coconut butter in chocolate is just perfect.
All this talking of chocolate and nut butters makes my mouth water, so we better make some chocolate soon. I like to make a dairy-free gianduja with some hazelnut butter, to get a solid yet soft chocolate, with a texture similar to milk chocolate. It can be eaten like any chocolate, but according to my kids it is eaten faster than most chocolates.
Vegan all-natural ingredients gianduja:
It’s very easy and could be done at home with the use of a Bain Marie or even a microwave oven. Stock yourself with the ingredients that are available in most natural foods stores and you’re good to go.
· 2/3 cup cocoa liquor
· 1/3 cup cocoa butter
· 1/3 cup maple or agave syrup
· 1/3 cup hazelnut paste
Preparation: Melt the solids, mix all the ingredients, temper your chocolate, and pour to the mould.
Tempering chocolate can be a hassle. If you have the energy, go for it. If not, use a silicon mould and keep your chocolate in the fridge.
Let me know what you think of the results