When I say to people that I am vegan, their faces often contort into their most concerned oh-you-poor-thing expression as they gasp ‘so can you not eat chocolate?’ This always makes me laugh, because anyone who knows me will know that I eat some form of chocolate on the daily. The answer is always the same ‘yes, unless it has dairy in it.’
There are many readily available cruelty free options when it comes to chocolate. After the gruelling process of trialling every vegan chocolate I could get my hands on, I have compiled the evidence and have here for your perusal a list of my chocolatey favourites. Whether you prefer your chocolate in the form of ice cream, truffles, liquid or just a plain old bar, there is something for you. This is not a comprehensive list, as I have tried to keep it to things that are readily available and there are still many more I am yet to try.
*note* I have not included any dark chocolate in this list (apart from the truffles) because everyone knows dark chocolate is usually vegan, but everyone also knows that most people think that it is rubbish. I appreciate dark chocolate, especially orange flavoured, but when I was transitioning, dark didn’t stave off the dairy milk cravings.
Without further ado, here is the list:
Vegans, I know you saw this coming. How could I write a list of vegan chocolates without including the not so humble vego bar. This bar is rich, creamy and has a kind of frothy texture. It is a hazelnut bar and has plenty of whole hazelnuts throughout it. This may be a problem for some, and personally I would like to see different flavours from vego as it does get a bit tedious crunching into a full hazelnut every time I just want a bite of chocolate, although in the scheme of things it isn’t that much of a big deal. Vego have recently, much to my delight, brought out some praline chocolates which do not include the semi-offending hazelnuts. I am definitely on the look out for these. Vego also gets bonus points for being Fairtrade, improving the lives of the people who grow the raw ingredients. It does not taste or have the exact texture of its non vegan counterpart, but it does not need to, it is just an incredibly tasty thing in its own right.
Pernigotti Gianduia Truffle
This one is slightly more obscure, but I have received wisdom that it can be found in Marks and Spencers, so I would recommend having a look. I personally had one of these delivered in a Vegan Tuck Box and I was seriously scared that they had made a mistake because it tasted exactly like milk chocolate. This is without a doubt the best vegan chocolate I have tasted, with no hazelnuts interrupting my pleasure. Just solid, pure chocolate bliss. They are available in rectangular bars and individual chocolates but the one I had was a toblerone-esque prism of deliciousness. This is one of the only ones to beat vego so far. I will never know how they make six ingredients taste so good.
Booja-Booja truffles are great if you are feeling fancy. All dairy free and all delicious. I bought my non vegan father the almond and salt caramel ones for fathers day and he and my mother loved them. Their other varieties include Hazelnut Crunch, Raspberry, Rhubarb and Vanilla Fool, and Fine de Champagne. They are chewy and gooey, yet silky smooth and even better, they are organic! Booja-Booja is a fantastic company which donates 5% of their profit to charity, helping in important conservation work. Find out more here.
A treat for those allergic to peanuts and injustice! These funnily named ‘pea-not’ cups are a vegan and amazingly, peanut free peanut butter cup! I was pleasantly surprised when I tried one of these as peanut and chocolate is one of my favourite flavour combinations and I used to be something of a Reese’s fiend. These cups definitely fill the peanut butter cup shaped hole in my heart, and they contain no artificial colours or flavours. They also come in an incredibly sweet mini version.
Hotel Chocolat Giandjua Bombe Truffle
These are the only dark chocolates to feature on this list, but I have to include them because they are very good, indulgent and widely available in the UK. I had the pleasure of receiving a packet of these from one of my oldest and dearest friends, she knows me so well. They are silky, smooth and incredibly rich. You will feel sick after eating a pack of these, but in the best possible way.
Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake mix.
Now, I haven’t yet found an out-of-the-box vegan cake at a supermarket. However, this cheap, cheerful and oh so simple cake is easy to make and is far tastier and fresher than a ready bought one. All you need to do is add most of a can of coke to the cake mix powder and stick it in the oven! Yes, that really is it, and trust me, it works. I have heard of other people using things like soda water, orange soda, and even prosecco! (Although that sounds like rather a waste to me.) The Betty Crocker chocolate icing is also vegan to make your cake even more indulgent, you’re welcome.
At only fourteen calories per teaspoon, this chocolate treat is doubly guilt- free! Choc shot comes in three varieties- original, chocolate spice and and coconut. (They also do a few non-chocolate varieties, but we don’t care about those.) You can enjoy these drizzled onto vegan ice cream or fruit, in milkshakes, as hot chocolate or, if you’re like me, squeezed straight into your mouth for a quick, low cal chocolate fix. The orange spice tastes just like a jaffa cake. The coconut is more of an acquired taste as, to my surprise, I found that it tastes alcoholic. I for one, love it.
Dark Chocolate Almond Milk
This milk is constantly in my fridge, it is just so good! It is chocolatey, but not too sickly that you can’t easily glug it down straight from the carton. For a semi naughty breakfast I like to have this with banana weetabix, warmed in the microwave until it is super gooey, with a chopped up banana on top- heavenly. It also makes an amazing base for a hot chocolate, just add cocoa powder, soya whipped cream and vegan marshmallows.
Booja-Booja Hunky Punky Chocolate
Booja-Booja again, but I refuse to apologise because they really are the best. There are many vegan ice creams available, but not so many really great chocolate ones (hurry up and come to the UK, Ben and Jerry’s!) One that really stood out to me is Booja Booja. It is rich, creamy and really feels like a treat. The texture is spot on, as one would expect, and it does feel like a luxury product. The price tag is slightly high, although at only slightly higher than a tub of Ben and Jerry’s, it is definitely worth it when you consider that the company is all vegan and so much more ethical.
That’s all, folk’s. Let me know in the comments what your favourite vegan chocolate is, or which on the list you plan on trying!