When many people convert to dairy-free living, concerns of consuming chocolate immediately pop up. But for me, all thoughts went to brown sugary confections like caramel. Traditional caramel recipes include butter, cream, and/or evaporated / condensed milk.
I eventually overcame my cravings, but the memories of those sweet, chewy confections have returned, thanks to Chocolate Inspirations. I have had some vegan caramel in candy bars like those from Go Max Go, and in a variety of delicious dairy-free truffles, but this was the first time I had tasted caramel, plain and simple, vegan-style.
This little candy company keeps churning out new vegan offerings. The latest includes these Peanut Butter Pillows, which I truly loved:
This is the first vegan version of Butterfinger candy bars that I’ve trialed, and I was impressed! Though slightly denser and a little less sweet, they had a flaky Butterfinger vibe that I think I liked better than the original! I can definitely imagine crumbling this atop some dairy-free ice cream. I only received a very small sampling, so I haven’t had the chance to trial that out yet!
Other new products from Chocolate Inspirations that were enjoyed include:
Gourmet Caramel Corn
Hot Chocolate Cups
Onto the …
Caramel Candy Bar – This is basically a thick block of candy bar-sized caramel enrobed in a blanket of dark chocolate. The shape is beautiful and so much more refined than your average candy bar, but the taste … very much like a 100 Grand Bar, but without the crispies. The flavor and texture blend is simple, yet perfect. I don’t think you could find a better chocolate-caramel bar, vegan or not.
Note: I had some lighting issues with the photo below. In real life, the caramel filling looks like the caramel cups above.
An added bonus: The creaminess of the caramel from Chocolate Inspirations actually comes from a nut-coconut milk combination. They are not completely soy-free (they do contain soy lecithin), but they are “soy low” for those who are not bothered by lecithin or trace amounts.
Cinnamon Peanut Brittle – This is a relatively thin brittle with whole peanut chunks throughout. I loved the cinnamon spike, which added warm notes to this fairly traditional candy, and even mellowed the sweetness a bit. This is an excellent option for those who don’t like overly sugary candy.
Cashew Brittle – Taking the indulgence factor up a notch, this brittle had a dark chocolate coating. I think the cashews were more my thing than the peanuts – sweeter, mellower, softer – so this brittle was my top choice. The brittle itself had a nice sweetness that wasn’t too sugary; a perfect complement to the chocolate layer.
English Toffee – How about a thin toffee enrobed in two thick layers of chocolate and sprinkled with crushed nuts. I loved the way the sweet toffee all but vanished into the chocolate to create a new sweet seamless confection that was truly addictive, sweet, and indulgent.
Coffee Toffee – This toffee seemed thinner overall, but had same delicious texture and taste as the English Toffee – the toffee literally melting and softening into the chocolate. The only difference that I detected was a slightly notable espresso taste; definitely the icing on the cake for coffee lovers.
Cinnamon Toffee with Almonds – This very unique combination has a thick brittle-like toffee layer that bursts with cinnamon, and is enrobed in chocolate dotted with big sugar crystals. There is a dusting of crushed nuts, but no almond chunks that I found. Though I was a bit disappointed at first in the lack of almonds, I ended up loving this over-the-top indulgence. Perfect for those ultimate chocolate and sugar cravings.
The Facts on Chocolate Inspirations
Certifications: Chocolate Inspirations is Non-GMO – it’s unclear if they’re Verified.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Chocolate Inspirations is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, vegan / plant-based, vegetarian. Some varieties are nut-free and peanut-free.. Nonetheless, always 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 Chocolate Inspirations website at www.chocolateinspirations.com.
This is a third party review and article by Alisa Fleming, founder of GoDairyFree.org and author of the best-selling book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a freelance writer for several publications and a recipe creator for the natural food industry with an emphasis on dairy-free living and other special diets.