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  • Briony May

Coco-not Chocolate Ganache - my search for a vegan alternative to coconut cream


Someone on my Instagram asked me if I have any dairy-free, vegan alternatives to coconut cream for a chocolate ganache because they cannot have any coconut products and honestly, I didn't. So I decided to take on a little challenge and try to come up with a tasty, glossy ganache without using dairy or coconut products. So here is what happened...


In order to make a dairy-free, vegan chocolate ganache you need two things: chocolate (vegan, dairy-free) and a double cream alternative. I normally use coconut cream but for this I had to find something else. It needed to be as close to double cream consistency as possible so shop bought, dairy-free milk alternatives wouldn't work. After a bit of research into dairy-free "double cream", I found a few articles online about different options so I decided to try homemade cashew milk, soya cream and Oatley cream.



I already had a dairy-free, vegan chocolate that I love to use and it doesn't contain and coconut products. It is Sainsbury's own brand and only costs £1 a bar:



Cashew Milk Ganache


This involves a bit of preparation as you have to soak the cashews overnight. I used 150g of plain, unsalted cashews and just covered them with water. Once they have been soaked, you pour the cashews and the water they are in, into a blender and whizz it up until it is smooth. It was quite thick, more the consistency of thick yogurt. But I went with it! I used 100g of chocolate and broke it up into small pieces in a bowl. I sieved the cashew milk which gave me about 100ml, then heated it in a pan, stirring constantly, until it started to steam. I then poured it over the chocolate and left it for a few minutes. I mixed it until it was well combined.

It wasn't glossy or particularly smooth but it was delicious! It almost had a mousse texture and the flavour of the cashews blended with the chocolate was really yummy. My two year old loved it too so it must have been nice!

So here's the recipe:


Ingredients

150g cashews, plain

100g dairy-free chocolate


Method

1. Day before: cover cashews with water. Leave overnight.



2. Place soaked cashews and water in blender and whizz until smooth.

3. Sieve cashew milk.



4. Break up chocolate into bowl.

5. Heat cashew milk in pan until steaming, stir constantly.

6. Pour over chocolate. Leave for a few minutes.

7. Stir to combine.



Soya Cream Ganache


Soya cream is a dairy-free, vegan alternative to single cream so on its own , it isn't thick enough to make ganache. I found an article online (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/may/09/dairy-free-food-whipping-whipped-cream) that said to add vegetable fat to the soya cream to up the fat content and thicken the cream. It also said to add some xanthan gum to help stabilise the mixture.

I heated the soya cream with the vegetable fat (I used Trex) and a 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum until the fat had melted and it started to steam, almost boiling. I then poured this through a sieve onto the broken chocolate and left it for a few minutes.

I got my quantities mixed up here so I only used 100g of chocolate instead of 200g to 200ml of soya cream and 70g of Trex. Even with this, the ganache was smooth and glossy! I have to admit, I didn't love the flavour but I think that is because I am not a huge fan of soya. I think a pinch of salt would really help but overall it was a nice ganache.


Ingredients

200ml soya cream

70g vegetable fat

200g dairy-free chocolate

pinch of salt


Method

1. Break chocolate up in bowl.

2. Heat cream, vegetable fat and salt in pan until pan, stirring constantly, until fat melts and cream starts to steam, almost boiling.

3. Pour over chocolate through sieve. Leave for a few minutes.


4. Mix well to combine.




Oatley Cream Chocolate Ganache


This one I came up with because my brother, who can't eat dairy, loves the Oatley products which are made using oats funnily enough. They do a great creme fraiche alternative! It has a similar consistency to the soya cream so I followed the exact same method using the Trex to thicken it up and the xanthan gum to stabilise.

It was the best ganache by far! It was smooth, glossy and tasted really good. This was my favourite ganache of the three and I think it could definitely be a great alternative for people who want a coconut free, dairy-free, vegan alternative choclate ganache. So here's the recipe...


Ingredients

200ml Oatley cream

70g vegetable fat

200g dairy-free chocolate

pinch of salt


Method

1. Break chocolate up in bowl.

2. Heat cream, vegetable fat and salt in pan until pan, stirring constantly, until fat melts and cream starts to steam, almost boiling.

3. Pour over chocolate through sieve. Leave for a few minutes.



4. Mix well to combine.




Cashew Milk Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients

150g cashews, plain

100g dairy-free chocolate


Method

1. Day before: cover cashews with water. Leave overnight.

2. Place soaked cashews and water in blender and whizz until smooth.

3. Sieve cashew milk.

4. Break up chocolate into bowl.

5. Heat cashew milk in pan until steaming, stir constantly.

6. Pour over chocolate. Leave for a few minutes.

7. Stir to combine.


Soya Cream Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients

200ml soya cream

70g vegetable fat

200g dairy-free chocolate

pinch of salt


Method

1. Break chocolate up in bowl.

2. Heat cream, vegetable fat and salt in pan until pan, stirring constantly, until fat melts and cream starts to steam, almost boiling.

3. Pour over chocolate through sieve. Leave for a few minutes.

4. Mix well to combine.


Oatley Cream Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients

200ml Oatley cream

70g vegetable fat

200g dairy-free chocolate

pinch of salt


Method

1. Break chocolate up in bowl.

2. Heat cream, vegetable fat and salt in pan until pan, stirring constantly, until fat melts and cream starts to steam, almost boiling.

3. Pour over chocolate through sieve. Leave for a few minutes.

4. Mix well to combine.

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