Vegan Divas Part II: I REALLY can’t believe these were vegan21 Jun 2010, Posted by Butterfield Market, Francois Chocolate Bar, Holy crap it's vegan!, Vegan Divas bakery in
Yesterday I wrote about my two favorite sweets from the Vegan Divas line, the brownie and the chocolate frosted cupcake. However, there were more creations to try – all with no milk, dairy or eggs.
The item that got the most raves during the sample give-away at Butterfield Market was definitely the rich chocolate mousse. This is a mousse with the texture of chocolate pudding. It’s made with copious amounts of dark chocolate and contains raw cocoa beans. It was so silky smooth it reminded me of a panna cotta.
If I served this at a party I wouldn’t even need to tell my guests that it was vegan because they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Again, as with the brownie and the cupcake, this dessert is competitive not just against other vegan desserts but with full dairy desserts as well.
Rich chocolate mousse (made with raw cocoa beans) $4.49
The raspberry coconut roll was one item that the Dessertbuzz team spilt on. I thought this was a very solid dessert item worthy of recommendation. The other half of the dessertbuzz team on this day, a highly experienced baker, thought the “roll” was superb and worthy of a DessertBuzz “rave”.
The roll had all the hallmarks of great baked dessert: It was flavorful and very fresh and seem to be composed of fine ingediants. The coconut on the outside as well as the raspberry on the inside was also very flavorful. The baker half of DessertBuzz also thought the unique texture of the cake, which was slightly grainy rather than smooth (like the difference between an artisinal bread and Wonder) was what made the dessert special. Ultimately, we both liked the roll quite a bit.
The raspberry coconut roll: $4.49
The Vegan Divas coconut macaroons were superior to any full butter-and-egg-containing macaroons I have tried. If all macaroons tasted like these they would be as ubiquitous as chocolate chip cookies. To be clear, I am not comparing these to the macaroons that come in a sealed container around the Jewish holidays. I am comparing them to other short-shelf-life, flour-less, packaged cookies such as those found at Zabars.
The main difference with these macaroons is that they were very light but about twice as flavorful as normal macaroons. They contain no flour and are made with arrowroot (a starch many chefs use as a thickener). For example, if you ate the whole container of 4 (that might happen) you wouldn’t feel like too much of a pig.
Coconut macaroons (box of 4) $6.95
Finally, the DessertBuzz team was not able to try the dark chocolate chocolate chip cookies but were able to try the standard chocolate chip cookies. These were good but not in the class of the other items. That is, not as good as a Levain or Jacques Torres cookie.
Chocolate Chip Cookies (4-pack) $6.95
Ultimately, I was surprised that seven-out-of-eight of the items DessertBuzz tried from Vegan Divas was as good or better than the best non-vegan version. Just the fact that Payard and Butterfield were going to carry the lines in their stores should have tipped me off.
Highly Recommended: Chocolate brownie, gold leaf chocolate cupcake, chocolate mousse and coconut macaroons
Recommended: Raspberry coconut roll, blueberry muffin
Part I of this review is here.
The Vegan Divas line is available at Buterfield Market, 1114 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10075-0379, (212) 2887800
Three of the items, the raspberry coconut roll, coconut macaroons and oatmeal raisin cookies will be available at Francois Chocolate Bar, 714 Madison Ave, 4th floor (212) 759-1600.
The Vegan Divas web site is here.