Being a Brummy girl I reckon there were summers growing up where I ended up visiting the Cadbury’s Chocolate factory every few weeks. And I know that little me would have seen this as a Very Good Thing. Out of all the kids in Willy Wonka I think I identified most with Augustus Gloop. Who wouldn’t want to swim in a river made from melted chocolate? I mean, phwoar.
When I first became vegan, one of the things I remember missing the most – not bacon, not cheese – was chocolate. I was worried about how much I’d miss going into a newsagent seeing a wall of chocolate bars and feeling delightfully overwhelmed with the possibilities. Thankfully, vegan chocolate is better than I could have ever imagined and increasingly easy to get hold of. If you’re in a pickle then Cabdury’s Bournville – whilst not tremendously exciting – is dairy-free and good value; and most UK supermarkets also sell dairy-free chocolate bars or buttons that are vegan-friendly. Below are some of my ultimate chocolate finds.
Moo Free – all of their chocolate is completely dairy free, gluten free, lactose free, casein free and vegan. My favourite flavours include the mini moos cheeky orange bar (try this if you like a Terry’s Chocolate Orange) and the caramelised hazelnut chocolate bar. Whilst these chocolates are brilliant for adults like me (looks to camera) I imagine they would be absolutely perfect for mini-vegans as their wrappers feature cute characters like Clawdia Cat and Hammy Hamster. Moo Free make advent calendars and Easter Eggs too so you never need to miss out on sweet treat just because you’re dairy-free. Little bars are around £1 each and the larger bars around £2.50. I like to stock up on them when they’re on offer as I’m equal parts thrifty and greedy.
Round Ups – Ananda Foods make their own fresh, gelatine-free marshmallows that vegetarians and vegans can enjoy. The original Round Up – a gelatine free marshmallow sandwiched between two handmade chocolate biscuits, with a dollop of strawberry jam, coated in dark Belgium chocolate – is beautiful to look at and even more beautiful to eat. I can vouch for the Oran E-Tang Round Up too. Great for people who miss eating Wagon Wheels, they’re around £2.80 each so a bit of a treat but handmade and tasty so worth every penny.
Fabulous Free From Chocolate Raisins – Fabulous Freefrom Factory create dairy-free delights using homemade traditional methods in England. Their raison d’être is to create dairy-free sweets and treats that tickle our tastebuds. Their products are vegan, free from hydrogenated fats and artificial flavours and preservatives. They make fudge, “chrunchee bites” and raspberry ice bites but it’s the chocolate raisins which are my go-to snack. Perfect with a cup of tea and a good film on the telly or on a long country walk; they retail at about £1.50 for a 75g bag.
Booja-Booja – Their recipes have the “perfectly minimal number of simple organic ingredients and everything is dairy, gluten and soya free”. Their truffles are out-of-this-world tasty. Seriously. I used to adore Charbonnel et Walker’s fancy truffles and Booja-Booja are right up there. Smooth, decadent, creamy, everything you’d want in a truffle. My husband bought me the Gourmet Selection Box for Christmas (he’s a keeper) so I got to try quite a few flavours – Rum Sozzled Sultana Chocolate, Fine De Champagne, Almond and Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate being personal highlights – and I can’t begin to describe how perfect these bad boys are. Boxes of truffles start at around £7, so for me are for special occasions only really, but one taste and you’ll see why they’re award-winning.
Guppy’s – Guppy’s Chocolate Cinder Toffee tastes just like a Crunchie. I repeat: Guppy’s Chocolate Cinder Toffee taste just like a crunchie! At around £2 for a 100g bag.
Seed & Bean – Not only are their chocolates beautifully tasty, 100% organic, ethically sourced and handmade in England but I absolutely love this company’s green credentials. They strive to do what they can to reduce their carbon footprint – they deliver in multi-drop vehicles in order to save fuel and cut carbon emissions and their “foil” wrappes are actually fully home-compostable and made from trees!
Seed & Bean have 16 certified vegan chocolate bars including Lavender, Orange and Thyme, Cornish Sea Salt and my personal fave Coconut and Raspberry. They’re around £2.50 each but often on offer in Waitrose.
VeganBurd – Adele makes vegan versions of yer favourite tuckshop treats, in Glasgow. If you miss eating Rolos and Snickers then VeganBurd has your back. Her ‘Yer Bound Tae’ is brilliantly named and her packaging is adorable. A great small business and really delicious hand-made chocolates – I am a big VeganBurd fan.
iChoc – This German company makes chocolate that is completely free of animal products that still tastes like ‘traditional’ milk and white chocolate. Instead of using powdered milk from animals they use rice drink powder. Everything is organic and original and, I can attest, ruddy delicious. My faves are the Almond Orange, White Nougat Crisp and White Vanilla but I would try any of them in a heartbeat. From around £1.50 upwards for an 80g bar.
Go Max Go – Named after the owner’s pup, Go Max Go set out to create extraordinarily delicious candy bars. They craved candy bars that were chocolatey, nougaty, caramely, peanutty, almondy, coconutty crazy indulgences, with all the luscious flavor of traditional treats but without dairy, eggs, hydrogenated oils, trans fats, artificial ingredients, or cholesterol. Mahalo tastes just like a Bounty bar and has a wonderfully tiki-inspired wrapper, Cleo’s Peanut Butter Cups taste just like Reese’s Chocolate Cups and Twilights – caramel and chocolatey nougat in a rice-milk chocolatey coating – are just like Milky Ways. I get mine from Ms Cupcake in Brixton, and they’re a little pricey – but lots of fun.
You’ll note this is blog is labelled ‘My Favourite Vegan Chocolates and Sweets Part 1’. There are too many sweet treats I love to fit into just one post. How many posts I end up doing on this topic I don’t know. All I do know is that I won’t rest until I’ve tried as many chocolate bars as I can get my sticky paws on. These are all chocolates I have scoffed and vouch for. Have I missed your favourite? Let me know in the comments! You might also have noted I’ve included pictures of Betty and Chester, because nothing is sweeter than those two.