I had to twist my friend Caroline’s rubber arm to come over for some tea and chocolate tastings. As a food allergy mom who managed a milk allergy with her son for years, Caroline has vast tasting experience with both dairy-rich and dairy-free chocolates. And she wasn’t shy with her opinions on Charm School Chocolate vegan white, milk, and dark chocolate bars.
As I unwrapped the first bar, I immediately noticed the smooth, clean finish with only a light design imprinted and angling that created thicker and thinner portions.
“No scoring?”, I uttered in surprise.
“Excellent, then you have an excuse not to share!”, Caroline proclaimed.
That woman is a genius. Nonetheless, I broke off pieces of each decadent-looking bar for us to sample.
Vanilla Bean White Charm School Chocolate Bar (34% Cacao)
Wow, wow, WOW! At last a dairy-free white chocolate that is smooth, creamy, and not overly sweet. Both Caroline and I adored the deep flavor with the richness of caramel and the unmistakable underpinnings of pure white chocolate. And dare I say it, but I think this dairy-free white chocolate is far better than ANY other white chocolate I’ve ever tasted, with dairy or without. Charm School Chocolate uses organic cocoa butter as the first dreamy ingredient, adding only organic cane sugar and organic tapioca syrup for sweetness, organic coconut and organic sunflower lecithin (yes, it is soy-free, too!), for the consistency, and organic whole vanilla bean and French sea salt to heighten the flavors.
The Vanilla Bean White bar is insanely delicious on its own, yet I couldn’t help but wonder how this Charm School Chocolate delight would make pretzels and dairy-free macadamia nut cookies come to life.
Coconut Milk Charm School Chocolate Bar (49% Cacao)
“This is off the hook!”, Caroline proclaimed. As someone who has probably eaten “real” milk chocolate in the past few months, I highly valued her opinion. And, I agreed. Not nearly as sweet as other dairy-free “milk” chocolate brands, Charm School Chocolate went the rich route with this creamy, decadent delight. The flavor has full-bodied cacao bean notes, and is similar in sweetness to semi-sweet chocolate, yet has just the right amount of organic cocoa butter and luxurious coconut to call it a milky chocolate. No lecithin is needed in this Charm School Chocolate confection, so it is naturally soy-free, and no, we couldn’t taste even a hint of coconut!
70% Dark Belize Charm School Chocolate Bar
After trialing the mellow, milky flavors, the Charm School Chocolate dark came as a bit of a shock to our taste buds. As we settled into the bolder cacao, and even compared it to similar percentage bars, we were surprised by the deep, raw taste of this bar. Made with organic Maya cocoa beans, organic cane sugar, and organic cocoa butter – nothing more – the pure, dark flavor was more akin to an 80% chocolate. Though it was slightly more bitter than our ideal dark (we’re wimps!), the Belize bar is definitely one for dense cacao lovers to explore.
Certifications: Charm School Chocolate is Certified Vegan. Though not certified, they do use organic ingredients.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Charm School Chocolate Bars are dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian. Select varieties are made without nuts. Nonetheless, read the ingredient statement and check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.
For More Product Information: Visit the Charm School Chocolate website at www.charmschoolchocolate.com.