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Discovered: vegan chocolate ganache

A friend has recently decided to adopt a vegan diet. I was going over for dinner and at the last minute offered to make dessert - a vegan chocolate cake (simple, nothing weird about it - usually called "wacky cake" or some other such name) but didn't have anything in the house to top it with. Can't use whipped cream and didn't have any decent fruit. So I decided to make a chocolate ganache glaze using canned coconut milk instead of cream. Bingo. Works perfectly - no real coconut flavour to interfere with the chocolate and with a texture almost indistinguishable from a standard ganache. I haven't tried making truffles this way, but I'll bet it would be fine too. Excellent alternative for anyone who can't have or wishes to avoid dairy.

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  1. No coconut flavor???? That seems impossible.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chefj

      If it was there, it was very very subtle. I used a good dark chocolate, and in combination with the cake, I could taste no coconut.

      1. re: Nyleve

        Cool, not that coconut and Dark Chocolate are not great together.

    2. sounds great for lactose intolerant people as well (not me , but a couple in my circle). what proportions did you use?

      9 Replies
      1. re: wonderwoman

        I used pretty much 4 oz. chocolate and about 1/2 cup coconut milk. This made a spreadable ganache that firmed up just enough when cool.

          1. re: Nyleve

            thanks. i use a lot of coconut milk so it's always on the shelf. nice not having to buy a pint of cream when i only need 1/2 cup.

            i assume you just heat the coconut milk and pour it over finely chopped chocolate.

            1. re: wonderwoman

              I was lazy and in a hurry. I just put chopped chocolate in a bowl with the coconut milk and nuked for 15 second intervals, stirring after each. At one point I overnuked it and it began to separate so I just stirred in a bit more coconut milk and it smoothed out nicely.

              1. re: Nyleve

                just tried it -- scalded 1/2 trader joe's light coconut milk, then stirred it into 4-ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (tj's 72% pound+). added a shot of vanilla.

                came out great. thanks.

                1. re: wonderwoman

                  Fantastic. Always good to get confirmation!

          2. re: wonderwoman

            Keep in mind when cooking for vegans, people with milk allergies, and maybe people with lactose intolerance (I'm not sure if this is as much of an issue for LI) that the majority of chocolates on the market use milk fat and sometimes milk solids. Dark chocolate included. You'll have to read the labels carefully if you want to avoid any and all milk products in chocolate.

            1. re: cowboyardee

              good point! fortunately there are a lot of good options for dairy-free dark chocolate nowadays.

          3. Nice idea. I'm not vegan but whenever I see a recipe along these lines it's always silken tofu that makes up the 'cream,' element which doesn't sound all that good. This sound even better than cream!