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.

Crafting chocolate:

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?

Friday, May 17, 2013

The cups are finally here

 We've said they were coming. They have finally arrived. This is one giant step in our quest for a full candy line for those on special diets. This follows the Milkless bars and chocolate pretzels and is just a glimpse of what is coming. We are listening to you feedback. See them here

Friday, May 10, 2013

Dairy-Free Chocolate is the Original Chocolate

Those with food allergies might think that dairy-free chocolate is a modern development, created for those who cannot tolerate dairy products or choose not to eat it for personal beliefs.  But, did you know that the original chocolate products, created by the Aztecs, did not contain milk or sugar at all?

The Original Dairy Free Chocolate
In the book The True History of Chocolate, authors Sophie and Michael Coe say the earliest linguistic evidence of chocolate consumption goes back up to four millennia, to pre-Columbian cultures of Mesoamerica, including the Aztecs.

Etymologists trace the origin of the word "chocolate" to the Aztec "xocoatl," a Nahuatl word meaning “bitter water”.  The Latin name for the cacao tree, Theobroma cacao, means "food of the gods." For several centuries in ancient Latin America, cacao beans were so valuable they were uses as currency. According to a historical 16th Century Aztec document, one cacao bean could be traded for a tamale or 100 beans for a turkey hen.

Cows did not exist in pre-Columbian Mexico, which means the Aztecs did not even have milk or dairy products. Cows came over with the Spanish conquistadors, with whom the Aztecs shared their bitter chocolate drink.  It was too bitter for the European palettes, so milk and sugar were added when the Spanish took the cacao bean and its products back to Europe.

 Adding milk and sugar certainly lessens the health benefits of chocolate, which is why traditional dark chocolate is considered a healthier choice in the modern diet.  Of course, we think that dairy free chocolate is the best. After all, it was really the “original” chocolate!

Friday, May 3, 2013

The History of Mothers Day

For Mothers Day, we always think of bouquets of flowers, sentimental jewelry and, of course, delicious chocolate. But do you know why we celebrate our mothers on a special day each year?  Many societies have had similar celebrations for centuries, such as the Roman Festival of Hilaria or the Christian Mothering Sunday. Mothers Day as we know it today, however, is a purely American invention.
In the 1870s, an activist named Julia Ward Howe suggested a Mothers Day for Peace and even wrote the Mothers Day Proclamation urging women to unite for peace around the world.  Howes Mothers Day was held on June 2nd in Boston for a number of years but was ultimately unsuccessful.
A few years later, Anna Jarvis established the modern Mothers Day. Anna never had children of her own, but wanted to honor her late mothers memory. So she handed out carnations to her churchs congregation, as they were her mothers favorite flower, and she felt they symbolized a mothers pure love.
In 1912, Anna created the Mother’s Day International Association. She stated that mothers should “be a singular possessive, for each family to honor their mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world.” This same definition was used in the Joint Resolution President Woodrow Wilson signed in 1914 making Mother’s Day an official holiday that would fall on the second Sunday of May. Many other countries have adopted this version of Mother’s Day, though most modified the date to fall on existing celebratory days of motherhood.  
How do you celebrate Mother’s Day?  If your mother is a chocolate lover (and who isn’t?) order by Tuesday, May 7th and receive your gift in time for Mother’s Day! 
Happy Mother’s Day to our moms and all of the wonderful mothers in the world!