In this article, we'll be talking about one of the biggest weaknesses for those of us with a sweet tooth: chocolate. We'll discuss taste, texture, vegan options and recipe tips for homemade treats.
Let's dive right into it...
What Does Chocolate Taste Like?
Chocolate comes in many forms. Before it's processed, it's a little bean called the cacao bean, which is dried and roasted. The shelled beans are called cacao nibs, and from these, the kinds of chocolate bars and powders we commonly find in stores the world over are made.
Both cacao nibs and cocoa powder are bitter and a touch acidic. The nibs are a little nutty with that deep chocolate flavor that can't really be compared to anything else in nature.
Processed chocolate in bars and desserts contains sugar and other additives that make it sweet and sometimes completely take away the bitterness of the cacao bean.
Cacao nibs are crunchy, similar to roasted nuts, but smoother. Cocoa powder is dry and feathery light, but it has a high fat content that makes it dense at the same time.
Processed chocolate in bar form or other ready-to-eat varieties is smooth and silky. Some chocolates have a buttery texture that melts in your mouth while others are a bit drier and even a tiny bit crunchy, though the crunch is still velvety.
Is Chocolate a Flavor?
Your chocolate treat may have no actual chocolate in it at all. If it doesn't, it's been produced with a chocolate flavoring, which is usually artificial. What's referred to as "white chocolate" is another popular "chocolate" flavor that's added to candies, beverages and desserts.
Real white chocolate is made from the fat of the cacao bean and is yellowish in color. This flavor is not very much like darker chocolate at all, but rather more like sweet cream (and it's not usually vegan).
What Does Milk Chocolate Taste Like?
Like white chocolate, most milk chocolates aren't vegan because they contain milk products. But that's just typical milk chocolate—you can buy incredible vegan "milk" chocolates made with coconut or nut milks.
These taste sweet, chocolaty and, unsurprisingly, like they contain cream. They're good for those who don't enjoy the bitterness of the cacao bean as there's no trace of this flavor in them. Raspberries and tangy fruits pair well with milk chocolate.
How Would You Describe the Taste of Dark Chocolate?
For all the milk chocolate lovers out there, there are as many dark chocolate addicts. It's much easier to find vegan dark chocolate than milk chocolate as it doesn't require any milk proteins (though it may contain them).
This variety has a powerful chocolate taste combined with a healthy dose of bitterness. It's significantly less sweet than milk chocolate, and it's wonderful with sea salt, nuts and dried fruits.
How Do You Make Vegan Chocolate?
How would you like to make your own vegan chocolate bars at home? If this seems daunting, trust us, it's super easy. Watch these short videos to see how it's done.
Vegan milk chocolate is something you really have to try. This recipe is for "mylk" chocolate that you can eat straight or melt into a rich fudge sauce for vegan sundaes.
Here's what you'll need:
- Cacao (or cocoa) powder
- Maple syrup
- Coconut milk
- Vanilla extract
- Coconut butter
- Cashew butter
- Coconut oil
This is a very basic recipe for vegan white chocolate. You only need three ingredients: cocoa butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. There are other, more complex vegan white chocolate recipes out there, but this one will show you the nuts and bolts.
There are many different kinds of chocolate, but they all have an almost indescribable flavor. Dark chocolate is bittersweet while milk chocolate is more sugary and creamy. Just be sure to pick up vegan products as many chocolates aren't vegan, or make your own. If you have the basic ingredients and a container, it's as easy as one-two-three.