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Vegan Chocolate…How and Why?

Posted by Jake Flores on

What do we mean by “vegan chocolate”? Chocolate, the elixir of the gods, made purely from delights of nature’s flora! In its highest form, vegan chocolate is so much more than a better-for-you chocolate. It’s truly an intoxicating experience.

Many chocolate lovers know that quality dark chocolate is made without dairy, and is automatically at home in the vegan chocolate category. If it’s dark, and high quality, it’s vegan dark chocolate!

With Schmilk Chocolate, we’ve taken on milk chocolate, the world’s favorite confection, and have intentionally created a plant-based delicacy that truly belongs in this important taste subcategory. At last, a true vegan milk chocolate. We have settled on the best formula yet! It centers on the lovely cashew!

Fans of milkless milk chocolate delight, 
Our old faves we set out to rewrite!

On account of the lovely cashew,
We may now bid chapped udders adieu!

People think of Schmilk Chocolate as the Original vegan milk chocolate brand- for good reason! We were the first company to create a true-tasting vegan milk chocolate.The first batch was made in Burlington, Vermont in 2012.

What is Vegan Chocolate Made of?

What is Vegan Chocolate?

To explain vegan chocolate is mostly just to explain chocolate, but to add in some principles that steer our ingredient choice, and influence our business practices. Check out the Food Empowerment Project to discover other vegan friendly, fair food brands in the movement.

Being vegan is more than just eating plant-based for health. Veganism as a cultural ideal is about making food choices that promote peace and love on Earth. This principle inspires us to not only avoid exploiting animals, but also to avoid exploitation of our fellow humans. 

The ingredient that makes anything that counts as “chocolate” chocolate is the cacao. Of course we avoid animal products, but  we’re also serious about fair trade, and pay above market prices for cocoa, cashews, and sugar because we believe that supporting a fair economy is something we should all require from each other.

All of our chocolates are made with plant based and fairly sourced ingredients whose natural properties work together to create an indulgent experience that takes you to the chocolate destination of your dreams.

What is Vegan Chocolate made of?

We use fine quality cacao paste and butter fairly traded from Peru. We melt it gently, and grind it thoroughly with full flavored cane sugar, along with vanilla and soft sunflower lecithin. Our special Schmilk Chocolate is a milky-tasting vegan chocolate, and is made in a manner very similar to milk chocolate. 

All we are doing is replacing the dairy milk with our very special, purely delectable cashew blend. So what sort of new delightful ingredient would do the trick? Believe us when we tell you that we have tried so many different combinations of ingredients over the years as the ideas occurred to us. Wholesome soy-milk powder? Rice starch, coconut powder, hazelnut paste? Hemp flour, almond milk? Oats?

We had tried cashew butter near the beginning, since cashew cream is the perfect cream for many vegan delicacies- but at first it didn’t work for us. Our first batch of cashew butter chocolate was tasty but way, way too soft. It turns out that cashews were a good direction to go in, but we just needed to find the right way to prepare them. Ultimately, we came upon the perfect process to get cashew cream to work for us. 

How do you Make Vegan Chocolate?

Each small batch is stone ground for ten days to reach a state of being absolutely deliciously creamy and smooth. With Schmilk Chocolate, our goal is to provide you with the finest, creamiest, most scrumptious milk-style vegan chocolate.

What we’re doing is replacing the milk, which in the case of milk chocolate, is dehydrated milk. Our chosen alternative is a house formula that’s been our gold standard for the past several years. We take our cashew cream pre-chocolate formula and combine it with warmed cocoa butter and paste, sugar, and vanilla. Once ground, we’ll have delicious melted chocolate.

Inside the grinder, a merging process ensues as the stone wheels begin to turn. Each particle of each ingredient is smoothed down and rubs against particles of all the other ingredients. At the end of the grind, the flavor is not of any one ingredient, but of pure, melted Schmilk Chocolate. 

Did you know that chocolate can be considered a crystal? It’s true! Different molecular formations are possible, and differ greatly in the chocolate experience they offer. We guide the chocolate into being “tempered,” as it cools, settling into the correct crystal structure. Most vegan chocolate lovers are looking for a smooth feeling as the chocolate melts on their tongue. When a chocolate bar appears shiny, breaks with a snap, and melts on your tongue, that means it’s tempered.

Is Vegan Chocolate Gluten-free? 

Since gluten is wheat protein, and wheat is a plant, being gluten-free is not required for a food to be considered vegan friendly. However, all of our chocolates are gluten free!  Partly, this is automatic, much in the way that an apple is gluten free. There is no place for wheat in high quality chocolate.

The  ingredients for our base vegan milk chocolate are pure and simple: cocoa, sugar, vanilla, cashew cream, and lecithin. When it comes to inclusions, some chocolatiers might use wheat-based cookies or crunchy bits to add into a chocolate base, but all of our inclusions are intentionally gluten free as well. 

Milk, Dark, and White! Vegan Chocolate Varieties Offered:

Our delicious vegan chocolates are made with some combination of our original milky vegan chocolate, deep bittersweet dark chocolate, and our silky, subtly rich white chocolate.


We offer eight delicious bars, as well as special chocolate confections for your indulgent chocolate pleasure. Sometimes you can find new vegan options we’re trying out as part of our Seasonal Selections.

Classic Schmilk Chocolate

Toffee Crunch Bar

Toasted Almond with Sea Salt Bar

Cruncher Bar 

Hazelnut Crunch Bar

The White Bar (golden and creamy, with subtle warm nutty flavor)

The Dark Bar (72% Peruvian cacao)

The Raspberry Bar

Words from the founders: 

Chocolate is all about delighting the senses. Our goal is to provide pure and delicious chocolate that lightens your heart!

Many people say they’re chocolate addicts, but we don’t want chocolate to be just a guilty pleasure, when it can be pure love! Treat yourself, or shop for loved ones.

 

 

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