Chocolate tasting and my own favourites

Bolton Vegetarian and vegan group founder and friend, Rachel recently organised a chocolate tasting for group members to taste from baby cow milk free confectionery. It was slap bang in the middle of lent and passover but luckily nobody was religious (or they were but gave up something harder or had my opinion that its silly to give something up and you should try something new!) also all the chocolate was milk free so I think that makes it super kosher? 😉 We congregated for greek food then the tasting began!

I didn’t like many of the chocolates enough to buy them myself in the future (apart from cheap aldi choc which is perfect! for cooking with but I couldn’t eat on its own) but I did quite like the rocky road and my second favorite the raw chocolate, however the flavour ‘vanoffee’ was not really what I would look for in a raw chocolate, so I prefer Mulu dark with cacao nibs. The stand out winner for me was the Hotel Chocolate dark chocolate with ginger puddles, not too gingery or too bitter, lovely and fruity cocoa taste that lingered in the mouth until it was rinsed with water- the best hands down. (Although I did find their new milk free range with almond milk a little plain in comparison due to its weaker milky flavour). Sadly I wasn’t a big fan of the No muu minty choc despite being super exited to try the brand and telling Rachel about them on facebook – I like white choc and their white chocolate was very nice to be fair but too thick which made it sickly- I also think more raspberries studding the bar would have made it less sickly due to their sharp tang. (I know, I know- everyone is a critic) The Vego bar, I know people love but It just seemed like eating praline filling rather than chocolate- to soft and nutty. (Its gianduja).

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I have added to group round up written by Rachel;

‘The first I featured was to break the myth that vegan chocolate is expensive . Aldi do a chocolate range called Dairyfine, yet one of their products is a dark chocolate suitable for vegans. Likened to Bourneville, this is amazing value , had very positive responses all round, “nice flavour” “smooth”, and was suggested as perhaps being one children may like.

The second cheapest product was Lazy Day Rocky Road. This is gluten free. Was very popular and was suggested to be ideal for children. Available to buy in sainsburys. Lazy Day do a large range of products all gluten free, all vegan.

The Vego bar was a resounding success ! Chunky hazelnuts in a soft milk-like chocolate reminded the group of nutella. However some felt perhaps this rich nutty chocolate would be more suited to being inside a praline truffle than in the form of a bar. Nevertheless, was one of the most popular of the evening. This bar is gluten free.

The next to be sampled was rice chocolate, vivani .
The bar tasted was dark chocolate and cherries, which many weren’t too keen on.
However, vivani make a wide range of other flavours and I recommend the white chocolate and nougat, and orange flavour .

The newest company sampled was No Muu. We tried a few types from their range of organic gluten free chocolates.
Mixed reviews for the mint choc, but some very positive comments about the white chocolate topped with dried raspberries. Reminded us of milky bar .
Available online from alternative stores.

We then tried a product from The Raw Chocolate co.
Vanoffee: raw cacao, and no cane sugar – the sweetness comes from coconut flower!
Well liked , a soft chocolate , nice vanilla taste
“Toffee aftertaste lingering lusciously ”
This bar is sold for the amazing value price of 99p

The last and most expensive chocolate we tried was Hotel Chocolat, Ginger Puddles.
The Ginger tasted fresh rather than synthetic and the chocolate was high quality and luxurious. Many commented they could only eat a few of these at a time as the flavour is intense.
Hotel Chocolat has brought out a new vegan range of products.

Two others worth mentioning are moo free chocolates, great for children, and the rich strong booja booja truffles’

I would also like to mention just a few of my own favorite chocolate brands, alongside Booja Booja mentioned above, I also really like Divine Chocolates dark chocolate bars – the small dark bars are available in Oxfam and the larger ones with flavours such as yummy rasberry are even better. Plamil also sell lovely chocolate which I buy in Holland and Barrat quite a bit – the cappuchino one is my favourite. For raw chocolate I like Mulu dark and OMBAR cocomylk. And for milky chocolate I find Moo Free is the one that replicates milk chocolate the best whereas Choices or Vivani are good for white chocolate.

For supermarket and quick chocolate fixes most supermarkets sell Lidnt 90% which is stunning, and Green and Blacks 70% chocolates with flavorings, Cadbury Bournville, Rasberry ruffles, Frys chocolate cream bars, as well as the own brand dark choc and own brand free from choc (Morrison’s orange free from choc is similar to something made by terry’s 😉 are all readily available.

Thanks for reading



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