For some time I’ve wanted to introduce my readers to the growing number of remarkable women with much to tell us about about food, fitness, and beyond. Today it’s my pleasure to welcome my first guest Food Writer-Feminist-Chocolate Eater Megan Giller, whose blog ChocolateNoise.com is on my short list of must reads. Today, Megan writes about the bean to bar process and the best coconut milk chocolates. After you read (and drool), don’t forget to enter the contest. You could win a very special box of vegan Chocolate Truffles from our friends at the award winning French Broad Chocolates in Asheville, NC.
I love milk chocolate. There, I said it. As a chocolate expert, sometimes I want to savor a piece of the darkest chocolate, and sometimes I want to relax into the luscious creaminess of milk chocolate. Why am I waxing chocorific about milk on a vegan blog? Well, because some of the best milk chocolates I’ve tasted are actually vegan: They’re made with coconut milk!
Now, this isn’t any old chocolate with coconut milk added. The small companies releasing these kinds of bars and bonbons make their chocolate from scratch: They buy whole beans and roast, grind, and refine them into chocolate themselves. It’s called “bean-to-bar chocolate,” and the movement is exploding the way craft beer and specialty coffee did a few decades ago. There’s so many great makers these days that I’m writing an entire book about American bean-to-bar chocolate, with profiles of makers, background on bean to bar, and recipes from pastry chefs and chocolatiers like Alice Medrich and Michael Recchiuti (it’s coming out from Storey Publishing in 2017!).
Here are 5 of my favorite coconut milk chocolates from some of the best makers around!
Coconut Milk From Charm School Chocolate
This vegan maker has created a truly scrumptious bar with single-origin cocoa beans from Belize, coconut milk, whole vanilla beans, and sea salt. No wonder it won awards at both the 2016 International Chocolate Awards and the 2015 Good Food Awards!
Coconut Milk From Raaka Chocolate
Dark chocolate meets coconut in this 60 percent bar from the hip Brooklyn company for a bar that tastes as good as it looks. Find notes of caramel and strawberry in this melt-in-your-mouth goodie.
Coconut and Caramelized Ginger From Madre Chocolate
Caramelized ginger ups the ante in this coconut milk bar from Hawaii. There’s a reason it won a gold medal at the 2014 Northwest Chocolate Festival and is the company’s most popular seller.
Buddha Collection Truffles From French Broad Chocolates
French Broad Chocolates makes much more than bars with their bean-to-bar chocolate: At their café in Asheville, North Carolina, you’ll find cakes, cookies, drinking chocolate, and bonbons. Of course, you can also order some of those sweets online, including this coconut cream collection of vegan truffles: Think classics like chocolate caramel as well as unusual flavors like olive oil, orange, and fennel.
Coconut Couverture from Zotter Chocolate
White chocolate meets its vegan maker in this rich couverture chocolate perfect for baking or making bonbons. Zotter adds a chaser of bourbon vanilla to the mix for an added bonus.
Food writer, feminist, and chocolate eater Megan Giller explores the world of American craft chocolate on her site Chocolate Noise. Read about the best bean-to-bar makers in America, with mouthwatering photos and videos to match. She’s also working on a book about the American craft chocolate movement, to be published by Storey Publishing in 2017. Join the journey at chocolatenoise.com and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter to get mouthwatering stories delivered to your inbox!
We have a 12-piece box of Buddha Collection Truffles from French Broad Chocolates for one lucky winner! The Buddha Collection truffle box contains:
Buddha – our original vegan truffle made with bittersweet chocolate & coconut cream.
Lemongrass Ginger – lemongrass, ginger, and lime in dark chocolate coconut cream ganache. topped with a slice of toasted coconut.
Strawberry Balsamic – purée of local strawberries and organic balsamic vinegar in a dark chocolate + coconut cream ganache. sprinkled with cacao nibs.
Chocolate Caramel – a rich, creamy chocolate caramel made with coconut milk, in a dark chocolate shell.
Bananas Foster Caramel – organic bananas and rum in a creamy coconut caramel, with cacao nibs for crunch. In a dark chocolate shell.
Orange & Olive Oil – locally-bottled olive oil & essential oil of orange in dark chocolate, topped with candied fennel.
To enter for a chance to win, follow the instructions below. U.S. residents only, please. Contest ends at midnight on July 19th. Good luck!