Vegan white chocolate sauce poured over iced summer berries is an indulgently simple way to end a meal
So, white chocolate? Love or hate? I love it, always have done (milky bars are on me?!). I tried making my own a while back and it was a bit tricky so gave up, got disgruntled and used a shop bought one to dip my clementines in instead.
The white chocolate urge came over me again recently when I decided I really wanted to make a white chocolate panna cotta served with rhubarb (stay with me, that’s not quite what this recipe is). I also wanted to make it dairy free and vegan since I cater so often for at least 1-2 dairy free or vegan folk, and as well as teaching at a plant based cooking school. So, my quest to find the best tasting dairy free white chocolate began. I wasn’t too bothered about the ingredients (white chocolate’s first ingredient is sugar, there’s no avoiding it, so don’t try to), but would generally hope to find one that also contained cocoa butter, and some kind of milk substitute. I have tasted a fair few over the last few months, and repeatedly wondered how some of them passed a taste test before being mass produced. When you bite in you want a light sweetness, balanced with rich creaminess. You do not want a mouthful of fat or sugar.
So, to cut a long story short I didn’t end up making the panna cottas (yet), because I got sidetracked into something much better, and when I mean better I mean something far easier. Also, since I don’t have budget to buy 20 dariole moulds required for catering the panna cottas, this vegan white chocolate sauce with summer berries seems a much more sensible way of serving up white chocolate when catering retreats this summer.
As well as trying all of the budget supermarket ‘dairy free’ offerings (all in the too sweet category), I finally struck gold with iChoc’s vanilla chocolate bar, which I found in a small health food shop in my neighbourhood (and is also available on line and from larger retailers). It contains raw cane sugar, so is browner than most white chocolates, and especially in this sauce, although it does whiten as it cools. On its own I do find it a bit too rich and cocoa butter (i.e. fatty) tasting, but melted down it works perfectly in this sauce. If you have any favourite vegan / dairy free white chocolates I can try do let me know.
This dessert using frozen berries and a simple white chocolate sauce is I gather quite a classic. The google big hitters Delicious and BBC Good Food both have their own version, though there seems to be no definitive on the ratio of cream to chocolate. I actually tried this dish first using some cows double cream I had left over from a job and some classic white chocolate becuase I wanted to see what it was meant to taste like. In my vegan version I have replaced the double cream with coconut cream. I buy coconut cream in cartons, but you can scoop out the cream from a chilled can of coconut milk too. However since double and coconut cream don’t have the same properties (double cream is silkier, and also fattier by the gram), I found that I needed more white chocolate for bulk it out. If you want to make the cows version I’d suggest 80g white chocolate to 120mls double cream instead.
I wanted to add something extra to my vegan white chocolate sauce, so a pinch of vanilla powder, along with cardamom and lemon zest did the job perfectly. You could of course add a shot of limoncello too, I am told. Now I’m also wondering about gin… I garnished my dish with lemon balm partly because I thought tied the lemony vibe together, but also because its the only windowsill herb pot of mine to be currently thriving. I love the flavour it adds.
When the warm sauce hits the frozen berries they begin to thaw as the sauce chills around them and its really rather delicious. Sure, the sauce is indulgent, but I couldn’t think of a better way to get my antioxidant berry hit.
- 120g vegan white chocolate
- 120mls coconut cream
- ¼ tsp vanilla powder or the seeds from 1 vanilla pod
- pinch ground cardamom
- zest from ½ lemon, and long strips of zest for garnish
- 320g frozen summer berries; raspberries, blackberries, red or blackcurrants are perfect. The tarter the better
- handful of lemon balm or mint to serve
- Break up the white chocolate and place into a small heavy bottomed saucepan with the coconut cream. Heat over a low-medium heat until the chocolate has melted into the cream and stir.
- Taste to check you are happy with the balance of chocolate to cream. Add the lemon zest, vanilla and cardamom and stir again. Keep warm on a low heat
- Divide your frozen berries between the serving bowls, then pour over your warm chocolate sauce, add a sprig of green and the lemon zest strips and serve immediately.
So, white chocolate, are you in or out?
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This sounds absolutely amazing! I’m not a huge fan of white chocolate although it’s ok in small quantities but I can imagine the contrast between warm, sweet, white-chocolatey sauce and cold, tart summer berries is fantastic. And so easy! No excuse not to give it a whirl. Thanks 🙂
PS I once made a huge batch of panna cottas using silicon cupcake cases and they came out perfectly and looked very pretty with the crinkly edges.
Thanks Helen! yes, its less about the white chocolate flavour and more about a rich warm cream! I actually bought a set of silicon cupcake cases last weekend and did wonder if they’d work for panna cotta. Hurrah, will be giving that a try soon!
Looks like the perfect summer dessert to me in this scorching heat we’re having at the moment. Love the fact that vegan products are increasing in availability!
Love the combination of white chocolate sauce with frozen berries, a lovely summery dessert:-)
Thanks Camilla, I really enjoyed it! And great the sun has come out this week too.
My oh my, Ceri. You have outdone yourself with this vegan treat. I do a vegan dark chocolate and iced berries for my weight management classes in the summer but gosh I really love this idea for folk not wanting to lose a bit. I am not in the white chocolate team but really since you’ve added cardamom AND lemon it would be churlish not it give this a go. I actually have loads of cacao butter and wondering if I can manage a version using that. Really love this, Ceri. Bravo 🙂
Aw thanks Kellie! I love dark chocolate too but for me I think I prefer the white in this dish! Cardamom, lemon and vanilla were born to go with white chocolate it just all came together! I did think of trying cacao butter with some of my own sugar too instead. If you get along with that let me know! Also I chilled the leftovers and they solidified into the most wonderful mousse pot which I topped with more berries this afternoon. That’s worth trying too! A little goes a long way!
I’m a vegan personal chef in Austin, TX and I came across your site looking for examples of WordPress sites that are using the Cook’d Pro theme. Thanks for sharing a beautiful example! The recipe index is fabulous and I found this particular recipe by searching for “vegan”. Your white chocolate sauce looks great! I haven’t done anything with vegan white chocolate in years as it’s a little temperamental. I made white chocolate bark using cacao butter and macadamia nut butter as an emulsifier with dried dragonfruit and rose petals for Valentine’s Day once.
Anyway, I’m switching my current theme on my website and blog to either Foodie Pro or Cook’d Pro with hopes everything will look better and be mobile friendly too!
Best wishes for your business and have fun learning more about vegan cooking!
Hi Christina, thanks for your message. It took a while for me to get the site like I wanted to, but haven’t looked back! Really appreciate that, and best of luck with your transfer over! Best Ceri