31 August 2012

The Starter Vegan Podcast #5 - A vegan chocolate tasting with special guest Allison Higginbotham

In today's episode, I invite my longtime friend Allison Higginbotham to taste test vegan chocolates.

The Chocolates and The Taste Test Results

Ikea Dark Chocolate - Middle of the road, not bad for $1chocolate but a little dry
Lindt Swiss Bittersweet - Creamy, almost milk chocolate texture and good, rich taste
Citarella Pomegranate Dark Chocolate - Crumbly, and very little flavor
Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Goji Berries, Pecans and Maca - Pasty, powdery texture, almost no flavor, bitter aftertaste
Lake Champlain Peppermint Crunch - Crisp, creamy and delicious with little bits of peppermint candy inside
Perugina Dark Chocolate with Caramelized Almonds - Good and creamy
Perugina Bittersweet - Pasty under the tongue, starchy on the palette
Sharffen Berger Mocha - good creamy texture, crunchy espresso bits in the bar, good coffee taste and fragrance
Citarella Dark Chocolate Cranberries - Good, middle of the road, sweeter and creamier than the other chocolate of the same brand.
Chocolove Dark Chocolate with Orange Peel - Rich and fragrant with a strong orange taste and crunchy texture.
Noi Pure Icelandic Chocolate Bittersweet - Creamy, strong flavored, very good texture, easy meltability
Noi Pure Icelandic Chocolate SemiSweet - Very creamy and sweet, closest to milk chocolate in texture and taste, refreshing aftertaste.
Enjoy Life Mini Chips - Dry if straight out of the bag, melty and very similar to standard chocolate chips in cookies.
Baker's Chocolate - Very good in baked goods

Allison's Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegan margarine
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large banana, mashed
2 cups Enjoy Life Mini Chips

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.
Beat together, margarine, both sugars and vanilla in bowl of mixer.  Add banana.  Mix well.
Add dry mixture.   Stir until flour is well incorporated.

Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9-11 minutes.

Fianna's Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegan margarine, room temperature
1 cup turbinado sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 egg replacer  (1 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer plus 2 tablespoons water)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate, chopped into chunks
1 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup chopped raw almonds

Preheat to 325°F.  
Place flour, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. 
Using electric mixer, beat margarine, sugar, and molasses in mixer bowl until well blended. Mix in egg and both extracts. Beat in flour mixture. Mix in oats, then chocolate chips, cherries and almonds.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake cookies 12 minutes or until slightly browned.

Sponsors of this Podcast
Vegan Farmgirl In the City -www.veganfarmgirl.wordpress.com
Animals Asia - www. animalsasia.org
Fianna MacGregor Consulting/ Vegan Lifestyle Coach - www.fiannamacgregorconsulting.com

Fianna MacGregor | Blog | Blog | Twitter | Email New York City Fianna has been vegan for 36 years. She is currently working on a second M.A. in Human Rights from NYU. When she isn’t veganizing every cookbook she can get her hands on, she’s working her urban farm in New York City. She also writes extensively on veganism, running and green living. Her newest project is to trace everything she buys to find out if it’s cruelty-free (both animal and human) and eco-friendly. Fianna and her fiancĂ© are animal rescuers of dogs, cats and birds.

Photo credit: Fianna