Plant-based pastry chefs and home gourmets’ prayers have been answered. Valrhona, the French premium chocolate brand famous in the professional culinary world, has recently launched Madagascan Amatika 46%, the brand’s first-ever vegan milk chocolate.
Valrhona has recently rolled out its first vegan milk chocolate offering, Madagascan Amatika 46%, a dairy-free Grand Cru chocolate designed for pastry chefs and home gourmet cooks. The French premium chocolate brand, a staple in many professional kitchens and restaurants, says its new vegan chocolate was developed by its “gourmet engineers” in response to its clients who are experiencing a surge in demand for plant-based options.
Madagascan Amatika 46%
The new Amatika chocolate uses single origin cocoa sourced from Madagascar, and is combined with ground almonds, sunflower lecithin, and natural vanilla extract to make up a 46% milk couverture chocolate suitable for baking and cooking.
Valrhona describes it as providing “all the indulgence” of its classic dairy-based milk chocolate, boasting notes of cacao, the flavour of toasted almonds with a slight acidity, while also offering subtle aromas of orange blossom, Grand Marnier, and jasmine.
It has been developed by Valrhona’s in-house team of sensory and R&D experts led by the company’s pastry chef and creative director Frédéric Bau. Made at the company’s Millot Plantation, the product is certified vegan by the European Vegetarian Union and by Vegan Action in the US.
“Amatika 46% is a bold and expert work of art created by our gourmet engineers,” shared Bau. “With its truly gourmet appearance, it marries all the sweetness, delicacy, creaminess and warm colours of a milk chocolate with none of the milk.”
Rising vegan demand
In a summary of its first-ever vegan milk chocolate offering, Valrhona cited the growing demand for plant-based food as the reason for launching the product. “Amatika 46% follows the vegan movement for plant-based, indulgent food which is accessible and ethical,” it reads.
“Veganism is a trend that is growing in importance to the point that it is becoming a lifestyle in itself,” Valhrona continues. “Vegan Pastries [are] a whole new world for pastry chefs to explore.”
The French chocolatier says it can be used to create vegan versions of virtually any classic pastry recipe that calls for milk chocolate, as it has been designed to deliver the same creamy, fatty and sugariness of its conventional counterparts. Its texture is suited for traditional pastry-making techniques, from mousse to ganache and complex tarts.
Amatika has already garnered rave reviews from gourmet chefs, with one commenting: “This arrived [at] my kitchen today and I’m completely in love. Beautiful creaminess complemented by nutty notes that don’t overwhelm or dominate the palate, which is common in vegan milk chocolates. Just perfect.”
Vegan chocolate scene heats up
More chocolate brands have rolled out plant-based versions of their most popular products in recent months in response to growing vegan demand. Driven by health, ethical and environmental concerns, consumers around the world are now actively cutting back on their meat and dairy intake, with one poll suggesting as many as 42% of global shoppers now self-identifying as flexitarian or “part-time vegan”.
Mondelez has become the latest to join the vegan chocolate trend, launching Cadbury Plant Bar, a 100% dairy-free version of its iconic Dairy Milk bar. Set to hit store shelves in the UK next month, the bar will join other iconic confectionery names that now offer plant-based versions, such as Nestlé’s Vegan KitKat and Lindt’s Vegan Oat Milk bars.
Valrhona’s fellow French luxury chocolate maker La Maison du Chocolat now also boasts a vegan collection.
All images courtesy of Valrhona.