October 5, 2010

Allergy Free - Did You Know Products - 3 (Dairy Free Chocolate)


Welcome to Chocolate Land! I'm not actually a chocoholic myself but I know that there are a lot of you out there and that a dairy-free lifestyle can severely dent your habits let alone being a pain in the bee-hind... So today's 'Did you Know Products' is focused on some of your dairy free chocolate options.

'El Lobo' Torta de Chocolate con Almendras
(Chocolate Tart with Almonds)
As you can see from the picture this is a large disk of dark chocolate filled with almonds. Importantly I note that this chocolate actually looks like it's picture unlike soooo many other products. It's roughly 1/2 inch in depth and costs €5.50 in Fallon & Byrne on (Exchequer Street). Although it seems pricey at first, it is actually good value compared with other dairy-free chocolate options. It is also important to say that I haven't actually tasted this Spanish chocolate myself. I have smelt it and closely inspected it and 'almost' tasted it but because it contains soya lecithin I was restricted from indulging. However, my foodie friends thoroughly enjoyed it during their Saturday Italian brunch routine which is a true recommendation if you knew them.. Please note that El Lobo does contain the warning that it is made in a factory which uses milk. And actually, the warning is of a humorous nature stating that has been: 'Elaborated in a company that uses: Other tree nuts, milk [and] wheat'. The added benefit is, of course, the 'collaboration with unicef' sticker!

- dairy free
- wheat free
- egg free
- vegetarian
- vegan
- corn free


Booja-Booja 'Hazelnut Crunch Truffles'
**
The bees knees indeed-s. Booja Booja is my saving grace. Easter for countless years, has seen my face filled with glee and my taste buds wrapped in the glory of Booja Booja dairy free truffles. Booja Booja is quite possibly the best dairy free chocolate on the market. Now.. a debate is on the line. Countless people have said to me that Booja Booja chocolate is raw. Although I eat raw chocolate I must admit that I don't love it. For some bizarre reason my stomach always feels somewhat unsettled afterwards and anytime that this conversation comes up I am told that Booja Booja chocolate is raw and I always have to eat my words (and a Booja Booja if they are near by!) because they really are the best thing since sliced bread ...BUT...I have read every inch of their packaging and I have trailed through their website and the only thing I found in relation to raw is that their new and wonderful ice cream has 'many', but even then, not all raw ingredients (update: The Ecuadorian Dark Truffles are 100% Raw and come in a beautiful little 2-pack for approx. €1.99). All that aside: Booja Booja come in beautiful little boxes (even hand painted ones available for occasions) with about 7 truffles in each. They are about €7.00 for the small box but BOY are they worth it. They have a cocoa powder exterior which I like to lick off before starting each sweet and then they have a solid 'shell' and a smooth, cool, melting interior in true truffle fashion. There are 5 or 6 flavours (Espresso, Hazelnut Crunch, Ginger Wine, Cognac Flamb├ęd Banana, Champagne and a two-pack of Raspberry with Agave Syrup). I would pass on the Raspberry but the Hazelnut Crunch is where it's at!! (www.boojabooja.com)

- dairy free
- egg free
- wheat free
- gluten free
- vegetarian
- GMO free
- vegan
- organic

- raw (Ecuadorian Dark Truffles only)


Organica Vegan Diets 'White Bar' *
Organica Vegan Diets is a handy brand. Both the 'Golden Coconut & Dark Chocolate' bar and 'Hazlenut Nougat & Dark Chocolate' bar are nice little treats and are available in almost all of the Nourish's in Dublin. However, the purpose of this review is to discuss my new friend, the 'White Bar'. I have never seen a dairy free white chocolate until now, that is, so you can imagine my excitement at the prospects of the White Bar! The cream (or lack there of, pardon the pun) is that the White Bar is not only dairy free but also soya free. It is rich and sweet (in that slightly overkill way that is white chocolate) and its big enough to both savour and indulge in at the same time... I love it. I can't eat too much because it is white chocolate after all (note the overkill comment) but I love it so much that I have already had three of them despite its high price of €3.50 - €4.15 despite finding this price fluctuation scandalous! Now, the bitter reality: Outside of my tastes, my white chocolate loving boyfriend informed me that the White Bar was 'OK' but that it lacked the 'milkyness' of 'real' white chocolate. Take from that what you will but my verdict is that although the White Bar is no Booja Booja it is still a damn good alternative for we dairy-free consumers. I have located it in Portlaoise, and also in Nourish's flagship shop (Wicklow St) but I'm sure that it is only a matter of time before it spreads it's love around the rest of Dublin. (www.venturefoods.com)

- dairy free
- soya free
- egg free
- gluten free
- corn free
- vegan
- vegetarian
- organic


Plamil 'Dairy Free Chocolate Drops'
This is a find for me. There is a popular dark chocolate bar for baking (Wonderbar) which is dairy free. It is available in Tesco and some Londis shops. There are also dark chocolate chips available in Tesco which also happen to be dairy free (Tesco brand I believe) which are OK too but not as nice as the Wonderbar. BUT... to find dairy free AND soya free chocolate chips.. now that is a find! The only ingredients are sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter and sunflower lecithin. They come in a small tub containing 175g and they take your woes away ;). The biggest problem is that I haven't been able to find them in many places. I found them in the midlands in the town of Portlaoise but Plamil is stocked in most health food shops so I'm sure that a special request order in your local shop not be a problem. (www.plamilfoods.co.uk)

- dairy free
- soya free
- wheat free
- gluten free
- egg free
- corn free
- vegetarian
- vegan


Montezuma's Dark Chocolate Mini Bars
Dark Peru Chocolate with Sea Salt, Very Dark Chocolate (73% Cocoa) and Dark Chocolate with Chilli are all high-quality vegan chocolate options in the Montezuma's range. They are rich rich rich and a liking for dark chocolate is a prerequisite but if you are new to dark chocolate just give yourself time as it can be a bit of an acquired taste. I find them to be the perfect size if you just want to have something in the house should the nibbles bite after the shops are closed. I can open them and take a third off to get me though but can leave the rest behind for later which is a difficult ration for me! Montezuma is available in Nourish and Liston's. Please note that there is a 'possible nut and dairy traces' warning under their vegan notification. Also of interest is the Chocolate Vampire Bear on their website, check it out, very cute..or rather, scccaAARRRYYyyyy as the case may be... (www.montezumas.co.uk)

- dairy free
- soya free
- egg free
- corn free
- wheat free
- gluten free
- vegetarian
- vegan
- organic



Humdinger's 'Dairy Free - Deliciously Smooth'
* (not pictured)
The problem with dairy free chocolate is that the majority of options are dark chocolate and not everybody likes it. So luckily there is still an option for good old fashioned milk chocolate lovers.. and that option is Humdinger. The Dairy Free Rice Crackle and the Dairy Free Chocolate Buttons are both class acts. I reserve them for those times when I just really want milk chocolate. My favourite is the Rice Crackle but that in no way diminishes the Buttons. After looking through their website I am very surprised to say that in addition to the Rice Crackle and the Buttons that there is also an 'Original' bar, 'Tangerine' and 'Roasted Almond'!!! This actually shocks me because Humdinger's Dairy-Free bars are very available not to mention popular in Dublin in both health food shops and Tesco's but I have genuinely never seen the other flavours.. ever.. I don't say this to taunt you and my apologies for the distress of Dairy-Free advocates all over Dublin... but maybe we should all just pack up and go to the UK ;) (www.dairy-free.co.uk/dairyfree.htm)

- dairy free
- gluten free
- wheat free
- vegetarian
- vegan
- GMO free


Quiggan's 'Finest Almond Marzipan'
If you are not a marzipan lover than skip this... HOWEVER, if you ARE a marzipan lover read on: Myself and my sister have been marzipan lovers since we can remember so a big thick bar of quality marzipan covered in dark chocolate is always something that will snap us to attention. Over the years (esp. at Christmas time) a few different marzipan options have cropped up. Thortons do a wonderful little bag of individual dark chocolate coated marzipan with a walnut on top or Lyme Regis' Dark Chocolate Covered Marzipan (both are of course dairy free). There are a few other bars too which never seem to be available all year round.. Anyway, Quiggan's is a bar which is available in Liston's (Wexford St) for €2.50. It is definitely quality stuff. However, I am not 100% about its allergy-friendly status. the Plain Chocolate ingredient which lists itself as 'Plain Chocolate (Cocoa Solids 50% min) is not really very helpful and the Glucose Syrup also leaves one wondering. SO, I have written to Quiggan's and am patiently awaiting feedback so watch this space... (www.quiggins.co.uk)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just to clear up the confusion about Booja-Booja truffles. Only the Dark Ecuadorian Truffles are completely raw and the Raspberry Ecuadorian Truffles are 97% raw. All the other delicious chocolates are not raw but are dairy-free and organic. Booja-Booja are launching a new website next month where you'll be able to find more details about all their products. I hope this helps.

Aurea Conroy said...

Wonderful! Thank you very much! All debates are now happily solved.
I went straight out to Nourish today and found the Ecuadorian Dark truffle 2-pack for €1.99. They are definitely richer than the non-raw truffles but are quite nice too, although hazelnut crunch will always have my heart!