Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Making Dairy-Free Chocolate
As we continue to create a variety of delicious vegan, gluten-free and nut-free treats, a lot of people ask us about how our dairy-free chocolate is made. What is surprising to most people is that our process is basically the same as the traditional way chocolate is made. The core difference between dairy-free chocolate and traditional milk chocolate is the choice of ingredients, like using soymilk instead of cow’s milk.
Here is a look at how we make the chocolate for our signature Milkless Bars, chocolate-covered pretzels and more.
It’s all about the ingredients:
Our chocolate is made using about four fundamental ingredients including cocoa liquor (a.k.a liquid chocolate, which is finely ground cocoa beans), cocoa butter, sugar, and soy milk powder. Although we skip the dairy options, our chocolate still looks and tastes very similar to that signature smooth, creamy, rich chocolate so many people love.
We first put our ingredients in a machineiin called a conch, with rollers made out of stone. The conching process, which develops the flavor and make the chocolate velvety smooth, blends the ingredients for 12 to 15 hours until it grinds the mixture down to extremely small particles that are invisible to the taste buds, except in flavor! Eventually, these particles blend into one smooth, creamy result.
Next, the smooth chocolate goes into the tempering phase. Tempering is the step that makes the chocolate glossy by heating and manipulating the mixture. By repeatedly raising and lowering the temperature of the chocolate, the mixture becomes shiny and ready to be molded. Once it’s poured into the desired mold, we let the chocolate cool and prepare it for one of our various tasty forms.
What do you find most interesting about how dairy-free chocolate is made?