Dairy-free and delicious milk chocolate

A delicious bar of dairy-free milk chocolate, broken into pieces

The calendar is full of excuses for chocolate lovers to indulge, from religious festivals to birthdays—and even World Chocolate Day on July 7th. But for those who are vegan or on dairy-free diets, there’s no need to miss out because there are plenty of delicious vegan chocolate varieties available.

Dairy-free milk chocolate is made in largely the same way as regular chocolate, up until the point when the milk is added. Cacao beans are roasted for a couple of hours until they develop a rich flavor. The outer shells are removed, and the interior nibs are ground to make a paste that can be mixed with cocoa butter to produce the desired percentage of chocolate. Flavorings, sugar, and milk are added in different quantities to create the type of chocolate being produced. At this stage, the chocolate is grainy and needs to be mashed until it becomes smooth—this process can take days! Finally, it is tempered through a process of heating and cooling until it is ready to eat.

Now, how do vegan chocolatiers achieve that creamy milk flavor and texture in their products?

Rice Milk: 

The flavor of rice milk perfectly complements the cocoa beans, making it one of the first dairy milk alternatives used to create vegan milk chocolate. Rice milk, made from rice powder, is sometimes combined with hazelnut milk to achieve the ideal texture and taste for various chocolate bars.

Coconut Milk:

 Coconut milk is the perfect ingredient for adding creaminess to a chocolate bar. With its high-fat content, sweet but not overpowering taste, and the right consistency, coconut milk is an excellent choice for vegan milk chocolate. Chocolate made with coconut milk melts wonderfully for drizzling or dipping, and the slight tropical flavor pairs well with other fruit flavors and nuts.

Soy Milk:

 Soy has long been a staple in vegan and vegetarian diets due to its protein content and widespread availability.