Review Detail

Vegan Candy Recipes
by Mattie    

vanilla / soy milk powder

I have used this recipe and was really impressed but have a few questions:

1) I can't find and vanilla essence that is entirely water free - I'm not sure if this is just something that it's hard to find in England or if a little water is ok? When I made it I used the seeds from a vanilla pod but this would be expensive to repeat regularly.

2) I found the chocolate to be a little powdery and not as creamy as I was hoping. I wondered if this is due to the use of icing sugar and soy milk powder. If people ask I tell them that I am a vegan but in reality I eat ahimsa (this means that I will eat milk/eggs if they come from animals who will never be killed and whose off-spring will live out their full lives also.) There are a couple of ahimsa farms in the UK so I can access ahimsa milk; I am aware that sometimes chocolate is made with condensed milk and was wondering if by condensing some of my milk with sugar to make sweetened condensed milk I could then use this to give richness and substance to the chocolate. Do you think this would work? Could you give me any advise on quantities? White chocolate is one of the things I miss most since I gave up commercial milk products and I would love to be able to recreate a really creamy flavour!

3) How much difference does the quality of the cacao butter make? Do you think this could be the problem with my chocolate?

Thanks a lot - this website has improved my enjoyment of food and cooking no-end!

Owner's reply

Great questions helen! The vanilla extract I use here in the US is alcohol based and as far as I know, 100% water-free. They do make vanilla extracts that are glucose-based (labeled as alcohol-free) and I don't personally prefer those because I like the idea of alcohol being a better medium for infusing vanilla flavors. If you're concerned about water (which you should be- more on that below) then you'd be right to use a vanilla bean. It's going to be a little more expensive as you noticed though.

This recipe is constantly evolving as I look for ways to make a creamy white chocolate. To tell you the truth, I've thought about delisting this recipe until I can nail it, because the powderiness is a consistent problem. The issue is that white chocolate needs solids in order to feel creamy on the palate. Otherwise it's just melted fat that doesn't quite feel right. In dairy-based white chocolate they use milk solids that dissolve into the fat. Soy milk powder and confectioners sugar always seems to contribute a slight level of graininess. I could probably get around the confectioners sugar issue by increasing the amount of time it was mixed. But I'd still have the issue of the soy milk powder contributing graininess.

One of the things that makes this so hard in a vegan white chocolate is because in the chocolate world, water is the enemy. Even a few drops of water causes the cocoa butter in chocolate to separate in a process called seizing. This means that even condensed milk won't work in chocolate due to the water it contains (although it would make a stellar ganache if you added enough of it). Eventually I need to find something that works more similar to milk solids and can really disperse into the mixture while adding mouthfeel to go along with the fat. Feel free to message me if you have any ideas or insight. I'll be sure to update this recipe with the most recent developments so everyone can benefit. Good luck!

Was this review helpful to you?