vegan milk and white chocolate

lagusta yearwood
@lagusta-yearwood
07/04/13 04:44:09PM
13 posts

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 worldI'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.

updated by @lagusta-yearwood: 04/11/15 12:10:08PM
Andrea B
@andrea-bauer
07/05/13 05:36:49PM
92 posts
I too have been keeping an eye out for a decent vegan white and/or milk chocolate. To date, I haven't found anything worthwhile. I'm sure I have tasted all of the same vegan options that you have. I had high hopes for one white chocolate but the cost would be astronomical to use in a business setting. I read about a vegan milk chocolate by Callebaut that was only available in Europe. I've been trying to track it down but so far no luck. I just don't I think that any manufacturers (large or small) have discovered a decent formulation for vegan options. Add to that the cost of the ingredients and I think that is why you haven't had any luck.Andrea
lagusta yearwood
@lagusta-yearwood
07/05/13 06:35:26PM
13 posts

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!

Andrea B
@andrea-bauer
07/05/13 07:02:30PM
92 posts
I was holding out hope for the Organic Nectars white chocolate. I may be more sensitive to very sweet things now being vegan, but I thought the white chocolate was very sweet. I only tried one bite - maybe I should try it again :). Their milk isn't what I was looking for at all. Their price is too high as well to use in any bulk capacity.The other thing to bear in mind is that these vegan white and milk chocolates won't be "real" chocolate so they may not temper like you expect if they temper at all.If you ever find something worthwhile let me know ans I will do likewise.Andrea
lagusta yearwood
@lagusta-yearwood
07/05/13 07:11:39PM
13 posts

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!

Andrea B
@andrea-bauer
07/07/13 05:50:41PM
92 posts
Hmmmm, tofu? I would think the water content of tofu alone would knock it out of the realm of possibilities... I actually haven't tried Charm School. I am not quite as worried about it being able to be tempered since I want it primarily for fillings.I took a look at your website. It looks really great. You have great creativity in your flavors, especially since they are vegan. You are further along than I am in the recipe development phase of vegan chocolates. Of course you probably spend far more time on it! I still haven't found a "ganache" formulation that I am entirely happy with as I like it really creamy but don't want to use vegan butter. I don't mind using coconut oil or coconut milk but sometimes get too much coconut flavor coming through. I just need to play with it more.Andrea
lagusta yearwood
@lagusta-yearwood
07/07/13 07:44:34PM
13 posts

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 flavorparticularly 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 buttersince 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!

Andrea B
@andrea-bauer
07/07/13 08:11:35PM
92 posts
I will have to order some deodorized coconut oil and play with it some more. I've been using undeodorized to date. Thanks for the tips. There really is a lot of trial and error when veganizing some recipes.I am amazed about the tofu as well. I wouldn't worry about the old perceptions about tofu. Anybody who is vegan now and is seeking out high quality products including chocolates probably won't give it a 2nd thought. The only issue I see would be the people who think that they will have an increase in estrogen from too much soy. I've read a fair amount about it this and do not see any scientific studies to back up the idea of an "estrogen reaction" to tofu. That said, you seem to have plenty of options for the person concerned with their soy consumption.I actually don't have a shop. I basically make enough to be in business but we give most of it away.I have a good caramel recipe but have never gotten into making toffee. I am looking for a good soft caramel filling to replace the one in Andrew Schott's book that calls for white chocolate. It is so soft and creamy I just don't know how to recreate it in a vegan way.
lagusta yearwood
@lagusta-yearwood
07/08/13 09:45:29AM
13 posts

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 saltit'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.

Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
07/08/13 06:11:10PM
527 posts

I'm wondering how many of you vegan "purists" know that most granulated sugar used in chocolate is FAR from vegan? Take LanticCorporation (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....

Cheers.

Brad

lagusta yearwood
@lagusta-yearwood
07/08/13 06:13:47PM
13 posts

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. : )

Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
07/08/13 06:32:58PM
527 posts

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.

Cheers

Brad

Andrea B
@andrea-bauer
07/08/13 06:33:36PM
92 posts
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...:)
lagusta yearwood
@lagusta-yearwood
07/08/13 06:39:35PM
13 posts

Well that definitely happensparticularly 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!

lagusta yearwood
@lagusta-yearwood
07/08/13 06:40:23PM
13 posts

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!

Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
07/08/13 06:53:53PM
527 posts

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

Andrea B
@andrea-bauer
07/08/13 07:17:31PM
92 posts
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.
David Senk
@david-senk
08/18/13 12:00:49AM
17 posts

We were in the same boat a couple of years ago and spent a LOT of time working on a recipe for what wefelt would qualifyas anartisan 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...

Julie Fisher
@julie-fisher
08/22/13 09:43:42AM
33 posts

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.

lagusta yearwood
@lagusta-yearwood
08/22/13 10:25:52AM
13 posts

Lovely! Will do right now.

lagusta yearwood
@lagusta-yearwood
08/22/13 10:26:58AM
13 posts

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!


updated by @lagusta-yearwood: 09/09/15 07:41:47AM
Pure Lovin Chocolate
@pure-lovin-chocolate
08/23/13 01:23:19AM
2 posts

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!

Launette
@launette
08/23/13 04:51:48AM
4 posts

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.

Julie Fisher
@julie-fisher
08/23/13 06:38:44AM
33 posts

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.

Launette
@launette
08/23/13 07:00:14AM
4 posts
Interested to know why anyone thinks milk or milk substitutes has more to do with 'chocolate' than say lucuma or cashews?! *Chocolate is CACAO! *Dark chocolate doesn't contain milk- so why should white chocolate? You can get raw cacao butter from a few farms, including Big tree farm in Bali (though I buy from a whole saler in UK who imports from Peru)
Julie Fisher
@julie-fisher
08/23/13 08:15:12AM
33 posts

Sorry, my mistake, but then the lucama or cashews are used instead of the milk? I see your point then, but then it is not a milk chocolate but a Lucama chocolate. That is going to taste very different, isn't it? Where can I buy your chocolate, I would really like to try that.

Launette
@launette
08/23/13 09:02:51AM
4 posts
Sorry. I wasn't clear. I was referring to a white chocolate, not a milk chocolate.So for WHITE CHOCOLATE; instead of milk I use the lucuma- WITH cacao butter.For a 'milk' chocolate I'd use less cacao solids and would add coconut cream.My Choc is only available in UK but would happy post some to USA! <3
Julie Fisher
@julie-fisher
08/23/13 10:16:29AM
33 posts

Have you got a website/shop. I am only across the water in the Netherlands...

lagusta yearwood
@lagusta-yearwood
08/23/13 11:18:06AM
13 posts

Fascinating discussion! I like the idea of lucuma white chocolate...

lagusta yearwood
@lagusta-yearwood
08/23/13 11:25:19AM
13 posts

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.

Launette
@launette
08/23/13 01:01:37PM
4 posts

Hi. Contact info@coxetersfayre.co.uk

X

eileen smith
@eileen-smith
11/14/13 01:44:11PM
5 posts

Yesterday I tried to make the vegan white chocolate using a recipe I found on the internet and which called for coconut oil, coconut butter and coconut sugar. I first of all melted the cocobutter and then added the oil to it and mixed them thoroughly together. I then added the coconut sugar and that's when it all went down the drain! The coconut sugar would not melt into the mixture, and an hour or so later it still hadn't melded. It just lay there in the bottom of the bowl, and six hours later it still had not changed. I then tried the recipe again using icing sugar this time and I had no problem at all, it came out in a hard block. The problem came when I thought I would use it as a ganache and added some liqueur to some of it, mixed it all together very well, and then put it into the fridge to set. I took it out this morning and tried to scoop some to make a truffle but I found that the mixture had separated, the liqueur was underneath a hard layer of the 'white chocolate' mixture. If I add gelatin to the mixture do you think that would help keep it all together? I also tasted the stuff and it retained no taste at all of anything.

eileen smith
@eileen-smith
11/14/13 01:47:55PM
5 posts

Thanks, I will.

eileen smith
@eileen-smith
11/14/13 02:05:48PM
5 posts

Me again. I tried that email address and was told it was incorrect so it didn't go through. What did I leave out? By the way, thanks for your help.

eileen

eileen smith
@eileen-smith
11/14/13 03:01:43PM
5 posts

Hi: I did a search on that company on the internet and you were right about contacting them. But the computer wanted me to open an Outlook account for emails and when I wouldn't the notice appeared saying the address was incorrect! Anyway, regardless, I got around it and sent the email off.

Thanks again for your help.

eileen smith

lagusta yearwood
@lagusta-yearwood
11/14/13 03:10:09PM
13 posts

Hello Eileen!

We make a version of what you're making that we use for fillings and things. You can't really use it as a "ganache" without adding so much cocoa butter that it tastes terrible, or so much sugar that it's way too sweet, but it works as a thin piped filling. Instead of coconut sugar we use a vegan powdered sugar and whip it all up in the food processor with lots of vanilla. It's nice. I definitely wouldn't use gelatin to the mixture, because that would make it not vegan, but you could experiment with agar-agar, which is a vegan gelatin derived from sea vegetables.

eileen smith
@eileen-smith
11/14/13 04:22:58PM
5 posts

Thank you, Lagusta, for your response. It's certainly not as easy as I thought it was going to be. The recipe given on the internet was said, on the same website, to be easy and delicious. I suppose that coconut sugar didn't melt because each granule was surrounded with oil and fat although that didn't affect the regular sugar. I wonder why the person compiling the recipe didn't get the same result. And thanks for reminding me about the gelatin, I'd forgotten that. Maybe if I continue with this experiment I will try the agar-agar but right now I am disillusioned. From what I have read on this website it will be a very hard slog to get a good vegan white chocolate. Thanks again.

eileen

Julie Ehrentraut
@julie-ehrentraut
11/05/14 03:32:18PM
8 posts

I am also in Upstate NY and am looking for a company that makes white chocolate that can be tempered. I am in the process of formulating a vegan full fat milk powder that I am hoping can be used to make a vegan white chocolate that has a comparable taste and texture to traditional white chocolate. Do you know any small batch processors that may be interested in giving it a try?

Adriennne Henson
@adriennne-henson
11/07/14 09:23:05PM
32 posts

Look at Charm School chocolate

I tried both their vegan white and milk made with coconut and they were good.

martin0642
@martin0642
12/01/16 10:36:54AM
3 posts

Hi all - I was going to make a new thread on this but decided to revive this one instead...seems to make more sense.

I am a relatively new chocolatier in the UK - I make my own chocolate (for bars and some of the molded chocs) and I've just started doing a vegan filled chocolate line. I have to say I'm apalled at the quality (or lack thereof) of vegan chocolates....just wow. I found an acceptable vegan milk chocolate made by Plamil foods in the UK; but the white chocolate was awful. They make it with rice powder and rice syrup in place of teh dairy. It is a nightmare to work with...it forms a crust in the bowl when melting (on the bottom of the bowl and no matter how careful I am with temperature) and sets up slightly sticky. Nice...not.

So I made my own using cocoa butter, sugar (from beets) and coconut milk powder. It does have a coconut flavour but it's not overpowering at all and the chocolate tempers beautifully...had great success moulding shells with it.

The key thing i've found is that most recipes for vegan chocolate do not include a proper grinder like the santha or (in my case) premier tabletop grinder. It is absolutely essential to grind it o get the proper consistency and avoid the graininess. I grind it for about 20 hours - works like a charm.

Anyway....figured I'd share in case anyone else read this and wanted to have a go :)

Clay Gordon
@clay
12/01/16 05:22:02PM
1,680 posts

martin0642:

Hi all - I was going to make a new thread on this but decided to revive this one instead...seems to make more sense.

I am a relatively new chocolatier in the UK - I make my own chocolate (for bars and some of the molded chocs) and I've just started doing a vegan filled chocolate line. I have to say I'm apalled at the quality (or lack thereof) of vegan chocolates....just wow. I found an acceptable vegan milk chocolate made by Plamil foods in the UK; but the white chocolate was awful. They make it with rice powder and rice syrup in place of teh dairy. It is a nightmare to work with...it forms a crust in the bowl when melting (on the bottom of the bowl and no matter how careful I am with temperature) and sets up slightly sticky. Nice...not.

So I made my own using cocoa butter, sugar (from beets) and coconut milk powder. It does have a coconut flavour but it's not overpowering at all and the chocolate tempers beautifully...had great success moulding shells with it.

The key thing i've found is that most recipes for vegan chocolate do not include a proper grinder like the santha or (in my case) premier tabletop grinder. It is absolutely essential to grind it o get the proper consistency and avoid the graininess. I grind it for about 20 hours - works like a charm.

Anyway....figured I'd share in case anyone else read this and wanted to have a go :)

Martin - Thanks for sharing!




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
martin0642
@martin0642
12/06/16 05:51:34PM
3 posts

Clay Gordon:

Martin - Thanks for sharing!

My pleasure :) The commercial product I found was vile....my Vegan customers seem very happy with this one and so do I! Tastes pretty good actually :)

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