I realize my blog is small–my own little corner of the vegan universe. (That last phrase is probably an oxymoron!) So when a vegan chocolate company asks you to review their products, I feel tremendously flattered! First, I was asked to review Chocholistic a little while back. Most recently, I was contacted by Madeleine of Chocolate Hollow.
Before I begin the “official” review part of this post, suffice it to say that the chocolate from Chocolate Hollow is the.best.vegan.chocolate.i.have.ever.had.
Madeleine’s story resonates with me. She regales, “I can’t remember life before I met chocolate.” That sounds like the perfect opening line to a favorite would-be novel! After learning about the dark side of the food industry, she went vegan and like so many of us chocolate-loving omnivores-turned-vegan, she missed the delights of milk chocolate. Enter her endeavor to bring back milk chocolate to the vegan world: “schmilk” chocolate. I love, love, love that!!
The production process behind the Chocolate Hollow products are admirable as well. The ingredients are not only vegan, but simple: cocoa beans, cocoa butter, nuts, evaporated cane juice, soymilk powder–to name a few. The chocolate bar packaging is recycled foil and recycled paper, and all hand-wrapped. Even though Chocolate Hollow is a small bean-to-bar company with simple (and wholesome) ingredients, I can tell you this: every time I unwrapped a bar and nibbled on a morsel of chocolate, I could sense the enormous amount of love and care that went into these chocolate bars.
Now, let’s get down to business…the taste!
When Madeleine reached out to me about sending a sample, I was all for it. When the delivery came to my home and I opened up the box and saw I was sent more than one chocolate bar, I thought I had hit the jackpot! I also knew I needed to take my time and savor each bar (and protect my waistline, ha ha!). Because of that, it took me some time to write this post. Or maybe I just didn’t want the magic to come to an end.
I was sent a traditional “schmilk” bar, a bittersweet chocolate bar, a hazelnut crunch, bittersweet & cherries, toffee crunch, fruit & nut, and two hazelnut truffle bars.
The “schmilk” chocolate is so, so creamy! I swear if you had these bars at your disposal you would never miss the taste of a Hershey bar! I even gave the schmilk chocolate the melt test–I melt chocolate and see how nicely it smoothes out and coats whatever food I dip into it. Plus, I simply love the warm, liquid chocolate in my mouth! I could have sipped this melted chocolate–it was that luscious!
Each bar is delectable. The bittersweet bar is stronger than the schmilk, naturally, with just a touch more edge to it as a bittersweet chocolate should have.
I’m not a huge fan of dried fruit, but…the combination of bittersweet chocolate with the dried, sweet cherries was, of course, awesome. Plump, chewy, sweet cherries enrobed in bittersweet chocolate…yes, please! And just look at the beautiful cocoa leaves design on this bar!
The fruit and nut bar has it all–the schmilk chocolate, almonds, the fruit, oh my! Gimme, gimme, gimme.
For you hazelnut lovers, the hazelnut crunch bar is your new BFF. Once again, this bar marries the schmilk chocolate with these sophisticated nuts. To. die. for.
The toffee crunch bar has solid toffee in the middle within the schmilk-style chocolate. As the bar melts in your mouth, the toffee softens to a slightly chewy consistency without being tacky, and it’s just delicious! It would be perfect with a post-dinner coffee. Toffee…coffee…you know 😉
Finally, the bar that I consider the “piece de resistance”, was the hazelnut truffle bar. Thank God Madeleine sent me two of these! This bar has the schmilk chocolate with thick and uber-creamy hazelnut cream/fudge/nougat (not chewy nougat) in the middle. While this is hands-down the best product I was sent, the only *miniscule* criticism is that sometimes the truffle center sticks to your teeth. It’s almost too thick in your mouth, like the way peanut butter sticks to the roof of your mouth. But honestly, how many of us say, “Drat that peanut butter; I’m staying away from it! It sticks to the roof of your mouth!” Exactly–we keep coming back for me. And TRUST ME, once you try this hazelnut truffle bar, you WILL want more!
I’ve had some amazing chocolate that I’ve reviewed and shared on this blog. I really didn’t expect these Chocolate Hollow products to blow me away as much as they did. I can only hope the business continues to prosper so that it can begin to pop up in more marketplaces across the country. And please keep in mind that if you are planning a wedding, shower, party, etc, that these chocolate can be ordered for party favors! Please spread the word about Chocolate Hollow and follow them on Facebook and Pinterest and Twitter. I promise you their product lives up to the tagline in their logo–“udderlessly divine”!