No matter how many times I “give it up”, there’s no getting around the fact that I simply love chocolate. Dark chocolate, white chocolate, with caramel, almonds, peanut butter, you name it.
In my chocolate quests, I’ve found that although many local grocery stores are becoming more hip to the notion of veganism and fair trade chocolate, it’s pretty hard to find gourmet vegan truffles and the likes of vegan fudge or pralines in local shops.
So, I’ve decided to team up with my great friend and founder of The Vegan Woman, Sivan Pardo Renwick, to share my love of gourmet vegan chocolate and present you with the ultimate vegan chocolate guide.
Our Top Gourmet Vegan Chocolate Brands
Booja Booja: vegan chocolate truffles
Lead taste tester: Sivan
Booja Booja does organic vegan chocolate truffles to perfection. Over the years, I have tried several flavors from their truffle collections, including my favorite Almond and Sea Salt Caramel Truffles, their oh-so-pampering Banoffee Toffee Truffles (which are currently only available in their truffle selection box no.2), and their nutty Hazelnut Chocolate Truffles.
The truffles are made up of a creamy, melt in your mouth, pampering center, wrapped up in a dark chocolate outer shell sprinkled with rich cocoa powder.
The Booja Booja truffles come in colorful boxes and various selection combinations, so you can choose a box of your favorite flavors, or simply try out a selection box to introduce yourself to their various truffles.
Vegan Valentine’s chocolates from Booja Booja: Although Booja Booja doesn’t offer specialty Valentine’s truffles, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t be impressed with one of their collection boxes, or a festive Booja Booja Vegan Champagne Truffles box…
Premium Chocolatiers: vegan chocolate truffles, chocolate candies and chocolate bars
Lead taste tester: Beverlyn
Move over Fannie May! Premium Chocolatiers have taken charge in the gourmet chocolate department with a wide selection of decadent, suitable-for-vegans treats, from truffles to peanut butter cups and caramel-nougat bars. My taste buds were definitely treated to their assortment of truffles a couple months ago, and while I am generally a giving person, I found these hard to share!
The Premium Chocolatiers truffles have a perfect outer shell (including one with milkless white chocolate); and they had me savoring every bite. I guess if I had to choose one, oh who am I kidding, if I had to choose a few, they would be the rich Coffee Truffle with a deep dark chocolate center, the Grand Marnier (with the yummy white chocolate shell), and the Salted Caramel that perfectly harmonized sweet with salty.
Vegan Valentine’s chocolates from Premium Chocolatiers: Premium Chocolatiers offer a variety of options for Valentine’s Day, including Heart Truffle Boxes (regular and large), as well as heart shaped lollipops and strawberry cream filled semisweet chocolate hearts. Word to the wise, you’ll want more than you think!
Hotel Chocolat: vegan pralines, puddles, buttons and slabs
Lead taste tester: Sivan
While Hotel Chocolat is not a vegan brand, it offers exquisite vegan chocolates of various shapes and forms, and during holidays, like Christmas and Valentine’s, it also offers seasonal chocolate creations that aim to please vegan hearts across the globe.
My all-time favorite Hotel Chocolat concoction is without a doubt the Gianduja Bombe Selector, a nutty vegan praline that simply melts in your mouth. However, the Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Slab and the Pistachio Crunchers have also been known to make quite a few appearances in our home.
Vegan Valentine’s chocolates from Hotel Chocolat: While Hotel Chocolat offers a few variations of vegan dark chocolate hearts, I think its All Dark Collection wins for Valentine’s chocolates, hands down.
Nicobella: vegan chocolate truffles and chocolate snacks
Lead taste tester: Beverlyn
Nicobella is a socially conscious company that aims to share its message of plant-based, cruelty free living through its delicious dark chocolates! What’s more, Nicobella makes a conscious effort to use recycled materials wherever possible, actively raises awareness (and funds) for animals in need, helps support local animal shelters on a regular basis, and educates its reader-base on the benefits of a plant-based diet.
I had the pleasure of trying an assortment of Nicobella’s dark chocolate truffles, which were pure, melt-in-your-mouth, dark chocolate lusciousness! Out of the bunch, the Cocoa Bliss with its velvety smooth richness, Cinnamon Turmeric Spice Truffle that leaves your taste buds with a hint of invigorating spice, and incredibly unique Sunflower Butter Banana especially stood out.
Vegan Valentine’s chocolates from Nicobella: Nicobella will be featuring special Valentine’s Day items on its website starting February third, and will also be partnering with Yo Soy Candle and Zen Teas to offer a special tea and chocolate vegan Zen Set.
Natasha’s Raw and Living Foods: raw vegan fudge, truffles, chunks, and dark chocolate
Lead taste tester: Sivan
Natasha’s Raw and Living foods does various types of delicious, high quality, sugar-free, rich and pampering chocolates, from fudge to truffles and dark chocolate. I tried a selection of these chocolates this past Christmas, and let me tell you, I was wowed by the uniqueness of flavor.
All of Natasha’s fudges and truffles are super creamy and rich, and also have the look and feel of boutique vegan chocolates that were individually made. My favorites are the Brazilian Cinnamon Truffles, the Raw Goji Fudge, and the Raw Fudge with Almond Mylk and Chai Spice.
If you have less of a sweet tooth, and prefer dark chocolate over the sweet and creamy truffles and fudge, you should be aware that Natasha’a dark chocolates are very dark (like none that I have tried before), and unlike the fudge and truffles, would probably not be suitable for children. Also, if you try the dark chocolate, you should know that all of Natasha’s chocolates are vegan, apart from one dark chocolate variation (which contains bee-pollen).
Vegan Valentine’s chocolates from Natasha’s Raw and Living Foods: Natasha’s special Valentine’s offer is the Raw Cacao Hearts with Goji berries. However, her Raw Fudge Collection Box and her Raw Goji Fudge Love Box can make beautiful gifts as well, on Valentine’s and year round.
Creek House Patisserie: vegan chocolate truffles
Another non-vegan brand that offers vegan chocolate and is receiving great reviews is Creek House Patisserie. You can find Berry Berry, Chili Mango, Dark Espresso, and Orange Coconut flavors amongst their truffle offerings.
While I unfortunately couldn’t get my hands on a box prior to this review, they look very promising, and so I decided to add them to our list as our wild card. If you decide to order, just be sure not to get confused with the Creek House Classics (their dairy chocolate line).
That’s all for our guide to vegan chocolates! I think it’s fair to say that our taste buds were the clear winners throughout this journey into the world of gourmet vegan chocolate, but luckily yours can be, too!
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below and let us know what your favorite vegan chocolates are on Valentine’s and year round.
Guest Post by Beverlyn Baer
Beverlyn is a lover – of animals, life, food, laughing, movement, adventure, contemplation, musical journeys, continuous learning and finding the beauty in seemingly small and mundane elements of life. She is an avid traveler and seeker of new experiences, and shares her love of yoga and cruelty free, nutritious and delicious food wherever she goes.
Cover image: courtesy of Premium Chocolatiers, Hotel Chocolat and Booja Booja.
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