I took a little too much adderall today so you are getting a weekend post. Congrats. But really this should be addressed as soon as possible! The Colorful Kitchen is out of control! Chocolate hummus?! The world will never be the same!
Product review: ChocoSol vegan chocolate! »
ChocoSol is an artisanal dark chocolate company in Toronto. They sent me some free samples to try and now I will tell you all about them!
I knew you guys would like the company because, well just read this from their about:
Our artisan chocolate is made right here in Toronto using organic, forest garden, shade-grown cacao, sourced directly from indigenous communities in the Lacondon Jungle of Chiapas and the Oaxacan mountains of Southern Mexico. Our horizontal trade relationships go beyond the exchange of commodities and bring symbolic products, whose story is as important as the product itself. Our relationships are based on reciprocity, friendship, respect and mutual learning.
Our chocolates are made without dairy, gluten, soy and nuts, and are also vegan. We specialize in both eating chocolate and drinking chocolate (xocolatl), and offer a number of other sustainably grown ingredients that are sourced directly from farmers (such as coffee, cacao nibs, agave, hemp seeds and vanilla pods, among others).
Right?! And I love the packaging, it makes quite an impression. But! How is the chocolate, you ask? In a word: intense. It’s chocolaty-intense. As usual I had the whole office try it and ChocoSol was very popular among the suits. I liked the Darkness bar the best, though coconut-lovers were fond of the coconut-flaked bar. But if you are a milk-chocolate-only person, this is not your chocolate. This is super dark. But if that’s your style, you will love this!
They also make “drinking chocolate” which comes as these super awesome chocolate hockey pucks you see below. Again, very intense but really good. The vanilla adds a little sweetness which is nice. If you are into old school chocolate drink, this is for you. It’s really fun, the hockey pucks just seem so hardcore. It would be so smooth to pop these out after a dinner party, am I right? You’d be the coolest!
Unfortunately, it looks like the easiest place to buy ChocoSol is in Toronto. Any of our Canadian readers tried this before? Buy some at the farmer’s market and send it to your vegan friends to the south!
Sorbet review: Dolce Gelateria in the West Village! »
Megan: Meave and I got free sorbet at Dolce Gelateria in West Village! Because we are the coolest vegans! All of their sorbets are vegan (though I don’t know their sugar source) and they have lots of flavors: lemon, mango, chocolate, cantaloupe, peach, strawberry, and more.
Meave: We were secretly hoping the olive oil gelato (below, middle of the back row) would be vegan, but no. Still, there are tons of vegan sorbet flavors, and in the gelateria tradition, they’re all really beautiful.
Megan: I’m always ragging on sorbet because you know it’s our only option for dessert at 99 percent of non-vegan restaurants. But they had chocolate sorbet! If every restaurant had chocolate sorbet, I would never complain again (about sorbet, everything else is still up for scrutiny). So obvi I had to get the chocolate because I never see it and additionally: CHOCOLATE SORBET. I also got strawberry.
The strawberry was good, not too sweet and nice and refreshing. And the chocolate was great! I kept asking our host like, “is this really vegan? Yeah? Really? Can you check the ingredients? You’ll check those for me, right?” So she did—water, sugar, chocolate. BAM! Vegan! How happy am I? (HINT: SUPER HAPPY). In summary: I. Want. More. Additionally: CHOCOLATE SORBET.
Meave: Yeah, sorbet on its face isn’t really exciting anymore, but when someone offers us free sorbet, we aren’t too good to turn it down. Plus it’s sooooooo hoooooooooot, saying no to cold desserts would be dumb. I got mango and cantaloupe, because I love both those fruits but I have been way too lazy to buy and prep them this season. Why not let someone else mix them with water and sugar and whip them into a creamy vegan treat?
Meave: Gorgeous, right? Megan wasn’t into it (“Why did you get the two fruits I hate?” she said), but I thought the flavors were as bright and summery as the colors. I’m also really into Dolce’s style of putting the flavors side by side instead of one on top of the other. The whole point of having two scoops is tasting them individually AND together, plus this way they melt evenly, so you’re not eating the top flavor at peak cold while the bottom flavors turns into sorbet soup underneath it. All other cold dessert places need to get it together.
Sugary pastel chocolate-filled toadstools from Andie’s Specialty Sweets, coming to you from Dallas, Texas, via etsy! Maybe you saw them in a recent issue of Chickpea magazine? They’re super-cute, probably delicious, and perfect for a fancy vegan Easter basket (very Martha, right?). Andie’s Specialty Sweets isn’t all vegan, but a number of their adorable products are. These toadstools are filled with fair-trade chocolate, too! I love fancy candies.
Vegansaurus Giveaway: Coracao Confections Deluxe Box of Chocolates! »
Hubba hubba! This 22-piece deluxe sampler box from Coracao is up for grabs! You can see the box in all its glory above. I think that’s the bee pollen truffle in the middle but I checked with Coracao and they said that the bee pollen truffle doesn’t actually come in the sampler. So it’s all vegan—don’t worry your pretty lil’ head!
As you know, we are big fans of this yummy chocolate. This box sells for $60 and is not only vegan, it’s raw, organic, gluten-free and soy-free. Coracao also sent me a bunch of links about the possible health benefits of raw and dark chocolate:
So obvi, raw chocolate is the new penicillin.
To win: “Like” the Coracao FB page and leave a comment here about how this deluxe raw chocolate sampler box will help you take over the world. I’ll pick a winner next Friday!
Coracao Confections is raw, ethical, and delicious! »
Coracao Confections is a raw, mostly vegan (there’s one truffle with bee pollen) chocolate company. It’s on the FEP recommend list so we can enjoy it in ethical peace! Moreover, Coracao says all of the chocolates “are made with the purest ingredients, including raw cacao, which is full of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and those “happy brain” chemicals that we so love.” That’s my kind of science! Sarah reviewed these a while ago but I wanted to try them for myself because everyone should try all vegan chocolate all the time!
Coracao sent me a bunch of free stuff to try. Coracao chocolate is rich but not very sweet. In a word: delicious. I want more! No really, I’ve been craving it since the first bite. But because I am so nice, I brought the chocolates to work to share with everyone. Everybody loved them! I think it made up for some of the other wacky vegan things I make them try. Silly omnis, always hating vegan stuff. Not this time!
Here is a lovely box of chocolates they sent. The almond heart is the cutest! So of course I gave it to the baddass rock ’n’ roll biker who occasionally freelances in my office (being on staff is NOT rock ’n’ roll!). He enjoyed it. What’s cuter than a biker with a chocolate heart? Not much.
Here’s the inside of the hazelnut mousse truffle:
My favorite thing in the mix was the caramel cup.
Here are the butterscotch cookie-dough macaroons. I tried one and it was good but coconut isn’t my favorite. Macaroon fans at work liked them though. My Creative Director also really enjoyed the package design—and he has high standards in design.
Coracao also sent me these chocolate bars:
The caramel bar was great and everybody liked it. Someone noted that the caramel had a bit of a grainy texture, but they liked it. I thought it was very yummy. I wasn’t that into the lime caramel bar; it was REALLY lime-y. But my taste-testers definitely liked it. One said it had a key-lime pie flavor. So if you like chocolate and key-lime pie, this is for you.
But my most favorite thing was the almond butter bar! Here’s an inside shot:
It’s yummy! It has a high chocolate-to-filling ratio. The filling is my favorite part but it’s good chocolate so that’s OK too. When you bite in, the bittersweet chocolate shell exterior snaps and gives way to the delicious almond butter filling. I totally can’t get it out of my head! I seriously just ordered two bars (and a peppermint patty!) because writing this post was making me miss it. Sigh. Until we meet again, Rawmond Butter Bar!
Product review: Nibmor ethical vegan chocolate got FEP-approved just for this post! »
I love Nibmor chocolate. First of all, it tastes damn good, ticking all the boxes to make my vegan chocoholic heart happy: free from refined sugar, vegan, and organic. The two flavor varieties Nibmor sent me, original and mint, were both rich and smooth, the right balance of dark, fruity cacao and creamy richness.
But while Nibmor tastes like joy incarnate, what I may love most about it is that when I told the company I couldn’t review its chocolate until it was certified ethical vegan by the Food Empowerment Project, Nibmor jumped to the occasion, contacted FEP, and became certified! FEP’s Lauren Ornelas just did an amazing interview about the dark side of chocolate; I highly recommend listening to it!
Nibmor is truly ethical and delicious dark chocolate. Get some online, or at Rainbow Grocery and other local health food stores.
Alchemy Creamery: Brooklyn-based vegan ice cream with wacky flavors! »
Look what I found in the Carroll Gardens Union Market last night! A new (to me) vegan ice cream, Alchemy Creamery. It’s all vegan and also gluten-free, though I don’t know if gluten is a concern with vegan ice cream.
There was some sort of pumpkin spice flavor, an apple cinnamon flavor, and then the chocolate chai-flavored “Fixation,” which I bought and you see above. It’s nice and creamy. In a word: delicious. The flavor is more chai than chocolate I think. The chocolate is bitter enough to balance out the chai though, which I usually find too sweet. Right? Chai is always so sweet. So yeah, this flavor isn’t that chocolatey but it is bittersweet enough to balance out the chai sweetness.
I want to try the apple cinnamon one next! Actually, if you look on their site, there’s hella crazy flavors I need to try. I will let you know what progress I make. Of course being Megan Rascal, I had to suggest a flavor I want to the makers, that flavor being coffee. Not mocha—strait-up coffee! A nice person named Giuseppe (right?!) answered my email saying he’s working on an espresso and donut flavor that will be out in the summer. I say hells yeah to that.
Apparently you can now buy the ice cream at all the Union Markets in city! And they will also deliver to the NYC area. How will we get it to our west coast friends?! I will work on this. But you will have to trade me those vegan cinnamon rolls they have at the SOMA Whole Foods.
Valentine’s Day is both nonsense and three weeks away, so let’s order ourselves this box of 24 assorted raw vegan chocolates from Happy Herbivore for … Galentine’s Day? Anna Howard Shaw Day? Because you’re worth it? Who cares, just do it! Choose from 10 different flavors, all of which are organic and two of which are nut-free. Fancy, beautiful, and delicious, three words that also describe our wonderful Vegansaurus readers.
Happy Herbivore has an Etsy shop full of raw vegan chocolates, and sells gift certificates, if two dozen raw vegan chocolates aren’t your thing. (which, why aren’t they your thing?)
Product review: Rawmio raw chocolate truffle cake! »
When I first got into raw foods in college, I was shocked by the amount of raw desserts that are mostly made of nuts and oil. I’ve got nothing against nuts and oil, especially when they’re high quality—it’s just a very different food experience than, say, fluffy vegan cake or a flaky crusted pie. I think a lot of folks experimenting with raw foodism get excited about raw desserts but end up not loving them due to their overwhelming density.
When Alex Malinsky, mastermind of Rawmio, told me he was coming out with a raw chocolate truffle cake, I was skeptical. Would it be way too dense? Would it go bad after only a few days? Would it have that funky aftertaste so many raw desserts have due to bad flavor combining? Most importantly, how could a raw cake be safely transported through the mail?
Turns out all my worries were completely unfounded—Rawmio Chocolate Truffle Cake is downright epic. It succeeds where so many other raw desserts, especially cakes, fail, because it doesn’t try to defy its nature. It doesn’t pretend to be a cooked vegan cake—it goes straight for the truffle-lover jugular. It is rich and fudgy, and uses only certified organic, vegan, raw, and gluten-free ingredients including stone-ground cacao, coconut flakes, cashews, and low-glycemic coconut crystals. It is rich in antioxidants and nutrients while being completely unprocessed, and—best of all—it lasts six months, even unrefrigerated! Talk about convenient!
You can buy a Rawmio cake and serve it on many occasions, or just eat it by yourself! I plan to share, but I could see a raw food lover or couple savoring this for a looong time. That makes it a superb deal, and would satisfy any raw chocolate cravings, for sure.
How does it taste? The crust (coconut flakes, almonds, currants, cacao) is like a Crunch Bar, super crispy and sweet. The topping, or “filling” (coconut flakes, coconut sugar, cashews, cacao, sea salt) is essentially a raw chocolate bar, and I have started using some of the shavings atop smoothies. I really love this cake, and I think those who love raw chocolate or want to give raw desserts another shot should definitely consider giving this a go! Order online at Raw Guru.