Whipping up some vegan Valentine’s chocolate can help make sure that no one, regardless of chosen diet or lifestyle, misses out on one of the most romantic holidays of the year. And while there are lots of ready-made vegan treats you can purchase, there’s something about giving (or receiving) a homemade or handmade present that means more.
Chocolate will always be a favorite confectionery used to mark this auspicious day, and just because you (or your partner) have adopted a plant-based diet doesn’t mean you can no longer enjoy this tasty treat come Valentine’s Day (or any time of the year).
Many commercial chocolates include dairy products among their ingredients. If you’re looking to avoid this, a good place to start is dark chocolate. Some types of dark chocolate are made using quality cocoa powder, maybe some refined sugar, and no animal products — making it a vegan food. However, make sure to still read the labels of your dark chocolate bars to make sure they don’t contain any dairy.1
While there are plenty of certified vegan dark chocolates out in the market, why stop there? Take your dark chocolate bar to the next level with these easy recipes you can either wrap up in a pretty bow and gift to a special someone or serve as an amazing dessert after a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner.
Easy Vegan Desserts: Homemade Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
While plenty of so-called “nice cream” recipes rely on bananas for texture, this recipe uses both cashews and coconut milk instead to get that rich creamy characteristic of ice cream.
- ¾ cup cashews
- 1 cup water
- 14 oz. full-fat canned coconut milk
- ¼ tsp. xanthan gum
- 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- ½ tsp. instant espresso powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup refined sugar
- 6 oz. dark chocolate
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch (optional)
- Place cashews in a bowl with boiling water. Cover and let soak for 30 minutes, then drain.
- Transfer cashews into a blender, then add the cup of water. Blend until smooth.
- Add in coconut milk, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, espresso powder, salt, and vanilla extract. Continue blending until you achieve as smooth of a consistency as possible.
- In a saucepot, combine sugar, dark chocolate, and half the amount of the cashew and coconut mixture. Stir over low heat, making sure everything is smooth and well-blended.
- In a small bowl, add the rest of the cashew and coconut mixture. Whisk in the cornstarch until lumps disappear.
- Slowly pour this mixture into the cocoa and cashew mixture, stirring constantly until smooth and well-incorporated.
- Bring the mixture in the pot back to a boil, whisking constantly to prevent scorching.
- Transfer ice cream mixture to a bowl, and cover the surface with wax paper or plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight (or at least until completely cooled).
- Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and churn until done. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until completely solid.2
A note on cornstarch: This is a thickening agent that gives your ice cream its texture. If you don’t want to use it, you can skip steps 5 and 6. The consistency of your ice cream will change a little, though.
The Perfect V-Day Present: Vegan Red Velvet Truffles
Not only is this sweet treat raw, vegan, and free from refined sugar, but its red hue (courtesy of beet powder) makes it adorably perfect for this romantic holiday. Toss a handful of these truffles into a tin for a cute homemade present, or simply make a large enough batch to share as you snuggle on the couch and binge cheesy rom-coms.
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- 2 Tbsp. beet powder
- ½ vegan dark chocolate bar, chopped, or ¼ cup cacao nibs
- In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir with a spatula.
- With a spoon, scoop and form small balls.
- Assemble completed truffles on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Freeze truffles on the baking sheet for about 20 minutes.
- Store truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator.3
Two-Ingredient Dark Chocolate Truffles For Valentine’s Day
Not crazy about red velvet? Here’s a basic dark chocolate truffle recipe that’s vegan-friendly and works as a great blank canvas for whatever additional flavors, ingredients, or toppings you choose (such as crushed nuts, melted chocolate drizzle, or chopped dried fruit).
- 9 oz. vegan dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 7 Tbsp. full-fat coconut milk, slightly warmed
- Combine the chocolate and coconut milk in a small bowl.
- Cover with a dish towel or plate, and let the chocolate melt into the warm milk for a few minutes.
- Stir to incorporate completely, then chill for a few hours before forming into truffles.4
Make Your Own Chocolate Treat: Vegan Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Almond Bark
This nutty treat takes the cake. With flaky sea salt perfectly complementing the rich flavor of the chocolate and almonds, it’s a special dessert you’d be proud to serve on Valentine’s Day.
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 Tbsp. + ½ tsp. coconut oil (measured while solid)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 10 oz. dark chocolate chips
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- Spread almonds on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast in the oven at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning them. Set aside to cool.
- In a double boiler (or a saucepan set over a pot of simmering water), gently stir together coconut oil, chocolate, and vanilla until smooth and glossy. Keep stirring to avoid burning.
- Remove from heat and stir in almonds.
- Transfer to a wax paper-lined baking pan. Use a spatula to spread the melted chocolate mixture evenly.
- Sprinkle sea salt liberally on the surface.
- Refrigerate until solid. Store as is, or break into large shards before placing in tins or serving immediately.5
Enjoy Delightful Vegan Chocolate Treats On Valentine’s Day
Spread the love this Valentine’s Day with vegan treats and desserts sure to delight your loved ones. You can’t go wrong with dark chocolate, especially with these vegan recipes highlighting its rich flavor and versatility.