Six vegan chocolate brands that taste better than dairy ones

Coco Caravan date bar

If you can’t consume dairy products, it’s hard to get a chocolate fix when you need it. Thank goodness for these six artisans of vegan chocolate! Each different in their own way and easy to find, they are supplying the demand for quality, delicious vegan chocolate one bar of rich cocoa at a time. Read on to discover your next best friend.

Divine

Divine Dark Selection

This fair-trade company is owned by chocolate farmers all over the globe, so both you and the farmers get a good deal with every bite. Divine chocolate, available in bars, eggs and cute novelty shapes, is divine by name and divine by nature. A personal favourite is the 70% dark chocolate with raspberries; the cocoa flavour is robust and creamy, while the tartness of the fruit pieces pokes through.

Booja-Booja

Booja Booja Hazelnut crunch truffle

As a vegan, you tend to lose hope of receiving a scrumptious box of choccies on a special occasion. If this sounds familiar, point your friends and family in the direction of Booja-Booja, makers of rich, indulgent vegan truffles. They literally melt in your mouth (I thought this was merely a turn of phrase until I tried these), plus they’re dairy, gluten and soya free with a leaning towards organic ingredients.

Hotel Chocolat

Hotel Chocolat Fruit and Nut frenzy slab

Unlike a lot of chain chocolatiers, Hotel Chocolat have gone to really good lengths to accommodate vegans. The vegan chocolates have much more cocoa and less sugar than their milky counterparts and have won awards for their quality. The fruit and nut frenzy (pictured above) is a heavenly slab of crunchiness, chewiness and sumptuous meltiness.  Yes, it’s so good I made up descriptive words.

Moo Free

Moo Free mini moos

One of the most commonly available vegan chocolate brands (try Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Holland and Barrett), Moo Free makes fun everyday treats that are affordable and satisfy a chocolate craving. They make mini bars, big bars, buttons, advent calendars and eggs. In other words, with their rice milk based goods, they make sure vegans can join in with occasions like everybody else.

Coco Caravan

Coco Caravan

This start-up’s chocolate is so pure it’s almost unbelievable: no additives, no preservatives, no dairy, no gluten, no soy and no refined sweeteners. With just two key ingredients – ethically sourced raw cacao and unrefined raw Coconut Blossom Nectar – Coco Caravan makes and package everything by hand in Cardiff. The bars and sweet treats come in exciting flavours and varieties, making vegan chocolate fun.

Montezuma’s

Montezuma truffle grand collection

Family owned British company Montezuma’s pushes the mould when it comes to vegan chocolate. They specialise in making perfect matches between different spices, herbs, essential oils and cocoa strengths. It’s not just bars here – they have moreish truffles, chocolate engulfed fruits and luxury drinking chocolate, all of which are an absolute joy worth savouring.

Know any other vegan chocolate companies? Share your favourites below or tweet us @Creative_Hacks and we’ll spread the word (and have a nibble).

Amy sig

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How to make the best chocolate brownies in the universe

The Great British Bake Off continues to captivate us along with the rest of the nation. Those ambitious cakes, buns and breads have got us craving our own slice of kitchen creativity.

Some of the showstoppers from this series have been truly inspired (Luis’ epic dragon battle scene made from biscuits, anyone?), but occasionally it’s fun to take a leaf out of Norman’s cookbook by making something simple that tastes out of this world.

These brownies are a great example of that – my mum makes them whenever I visit home, and they’re so unbelievably scrummy that I had to share the recipe with you. For chocolatey, fudgy, melt-in-your mouth goodness that even Paul Hollywood couldn’t find fault with, follow the simple recipe below.

Ingredients

(makes 8 big brownies or 16 bitesize brownies)
200g butter
200g dark chocolate
3 medium eggs
250g caster sugar
112g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Before you start, preheat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade and line a deep baking tin with greaseproof paper.

Method

browniechoc1. Melt the butter and chocolate together by microwaving on a high setting for one minute.

2. Using an electric whisk, beat together the eggs and sugar for two to three minutes, until pale. Add the melted chocolate (oh boy…) and continue mixing until it’s blended in.

3. Sieve the flour and then add it to the mix with the salt and vanilla essence, stirring well to ensure that there are no lumps. It will look seriously irresistible at this point, so we don’t blame you if a couple of spoonfuls go missing…

4. Resisting the urge to eat the entire mix, pour it into the tin you prepared earlier and bake for 35 minutes. Once baked, the top will be cracked and flaky, looking just as yummy as it tastes.

icecreamwithbrownie5. Turn out from the tin and leave to cool, before cutting into squares (bigger is better in our opinion, although miniature brownie bites are fun too). Alternatively, serve when they’re still warm from the oven with a generous dollop of our homemade ice cream (find the recipe for that here).

We really do believe that these are the best brownies in the universe, but if you think you can top them, share your best bakes with us on Twitter or in the comments below.

Matt