Good news: I’ve discovered some allergy-friendly, Swiss chocolate! Bad news: I had to make it myself…
As I’ve mentioned many times before, I’ve been searching for allergy-friendly Swiss chocolate (dairy/egg/nut-free). Following my visit to Salon du Chocolat in Zurich this spring, I decided to follow-up with a couple dozen of Switzerland’s chocolate makers and vendors to see what if any of their chocolate is dairy, egg, and nut-free.
To date, 12 of the 30 companies I emailed on March 30 have responded to my inquiry. Of these responses, only one company could guarantee a chocolate product free of my son’s allergens: Cailler’s Chocolate Powder (ingredients: sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla extract). After reviewing their website, Cailler’s unsweetened cacao powder also looks to be allergy-friendly. Please note: In the interest of full disclosure, my emails were written in English, so language could have influenced a company’s nonresponse.
Overall, I received some very thoughtful emails from the chocolate companies, but my investigation continues… In the meantime, I decided to try making my own chocolate bars—something I never thought I would attempt, but it was actually really easy to do.
Making Homemade Chocolate
I found two recipes for homemade chocolate online using coconut oil—a product I’ve found easily at our neighborhood market and Coop (Migros likely has it too, I just haven’t checked yet). As in the past, I used Coop’s bio cacao powder, and voila! Homemade Swiss chocolate that’s safe for my son.
Here’s my quick review of these very, easy recipes. For both of them, I used maple syrup as the liquid sweetener.
Raw Chocolate Recipe #2, The Veggie Nook: I added raisins and ground hazelnuts to this recipe. The mixture was quite thick. So, when I scraped it onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, I had to press it into a bar-like shape. I put it in the freezer, and the final product was a little fudgey. It cut easily with a very sharp knife (i.e., didn’t crack). The chocolate is very dark and rich.
Three-Ingredient Chocolate Bars, Chocolate-Covered Katie: After the first recipe, I was surprised by how this mixture was very thin and smooth (like a thick hot chocolate). I poured it into a pie plate lined with parchment paper and placed it in our tiny freezer to cool. Next time, since the chocolate mixture is so thin, I’ll use something smaller and with a better shape. Maybe my madeleine pan?
In the end, I would make both recipes again because I like having chocolate on hand that’s safe for our whole family. Luckily, my husband just returned from a trip to the United States, so we have a stockpile of Enjoy Life chocolate bars, chips and cookies.
For those of us that can’t walk into a store and easily find allergy-friendly chocolate, and if you’re looking for chocolate that can ship to your Swiss address, here are a few Europe-based companies. I haven’t purchased products from any of them yet, so if you have recommendations or advice to share, I’ll use the information to update this list.
- Alles-Vegetarisch (Germany)
- Allergoora (France)
- Parallerg (France)
- Un Monde Vegan (France)
- Midzu (Italy)
- Plamil Foods (UK)
As a reminder, it’s Food Allergy Awareness Week in the United States (May 12-18). There are lots of great activities and resources connected with this event. Please help spread the word. Thanks, and bon week-end!