Nut-Free Chocolate Ranked!

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Various Brand Descriptions
Callebaut: Belgian chocolate that is nut-free? Absolutey! The Callebaut Corporation has several facilities in different countries around the world. According to their Sales Department (Galit_Greenfield@barry-callebaut.com), the manufacturing facility based in Belgium is completely peanut and tree nut free.  The one issue to be aware of is that because it is sold in a mostly bulk capacity, you have to make sure it has not been repackaged anywhere. Although you end up buying a large amount, it is so delicious. It will be worth it.
Guittard: According to Guttard’s official allergy statement, their chocolate is safe. They have one production line that has almonds on it but apparently it is isolated and they follow strict guidelines. You should make the decision for yourself, the products are fantastic and very easy to acquire.  
Vermont Nut-Free: Vermont Nut-free offers a wide range of products. The disadvantage is it can get very expensive and is not as rich in flavor as some of the European brands.
Trader Joes: Offers a more basic selection but this chocolate is available in every Trader Joes Market around the country. The flavors are similar to Hersheys chips which are not always trustworthy. Here is the statement from the company.
Enjoy Life: LOVE these products!!  They are all delicious and are free of the top 8 allergens. When you open a box or bag of anything you never have to worry.
Hershey’s: Hershey’s chocolate is tricky. They have many products that are safe and then many that are not. I have been told that the labels are trustworthy and that is an advantage but it is disappointing that they offer so many products that are not available to people with nut allergies. With that said, the cocoa powder is phenomenal. It is peanut and tree nut free and free of pretty much every other allergen also. It gives you the opportunity to inject that classic Hershey’s flavor into all of your baked goods without having to worry.
Sweetworks: I LOVE Sweetworks’ Sixlets. They taste like M&M’s and look like pearls. They come in every color and make baked goods look fancy. I had a long talk with the company representative at the Sweets and Snacks Show in Chicago and they were very comfortable with their role as the nut-free alternative to M&M’s.
 

Various Kinds

Milk Chocolate: Milk chocolate is made from cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, milk and sugar. Milk chocolate is obviously a lighter color than dark chocolate and contains much less cocoa liquor than dark chocolate does. Milk chocolate is the most often used when it comes to confectionary and it is cited by the majority of chocolate lovers to be their favorite of the three varieties of chocolate.

  1. Callebaut Milk Block 32 %
  2. Guittard Milk Chocolate Baking Bar
  3. Vermont Nut Free

Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate, in contrast to milk chocolate, is made from cocoa liquor, cocoa butter and sugar. The greater amount of liquor used in dark chocolate as opposed to milk chocolate is what causes the bitterness characteristic of dark chocolate. As the amount of liquor used goes down the bitterness of the chocolate goes down as well.

  1. Callebaut Dark Block 60 %
  2. Guittard Dark Chocolate Baking Bar
  3. Vermont Nut Free

Semisweet Chocolate Chips: Semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolates contain cocoa liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla, and sometimes lecithin (acts as an emulsifier).  The quality and blends of cocoa beans, amount and quality of the added ingredients, and the processing determines the quality of the chocolate.  Each brand has their own special formula and method of processing.

  1. Callebaut 811NV Select Semi Sweet 56% Chocolate Callets
  2. Trader Joes Semi Sweet Chips
  3. Vermont Nut-Free
  4. Trader Joes Chocolate Chunks

White Chocolate: The fact is that it is not truly chocolate at all, in fact white chocolate is made from cocoa butter and sugar and no cocoa liquor at all. Many people who like white chocolate over dark or milk state its sweetness and creaminess as the reason why.

  1. Callebaut White Couverture Callets 28.1% Cacao 22 lbs.
  2. Guittard Choc-Au-Lait
  3. Trader Joes White Chocolate Baking Chips
  4. Vermont Nut Free

Candy Melts: Candy melts are a product that are often recommended for easy candy making or coating cake pops with a chocolaty coating. They come in many colors and have a plain, vaguely milky flavor that serves as a base for additional flavorings. There are other products with very similar names out there that perform in the same way.  Many people make the mistake of thinking that these are chocolate, since they’re recommended for candy making, but these melts are not chocolate. They’re primarily made with a combination of sugar and vegetable fats – not cocoa butter.

  1. Guittard A’Peels
  2. Vermont Nut-Free white chocolate candy melts

Some More Fun Stuff:

Vegan Chocolate:

  1. Enjoy Life Mini Chips and Mega Chunks
  2. Callebaut Dark Chocolate Baking Callets

Chocolates in a Candy Shell:

  1. Vermont Nut Free Skippers
  2. Sixlets

Cocoa:

  1. Hersheys Cocoa
 

Chocolate Information Sources:

http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Difference-Between-Dark,-Milk-and-White-Chocolate&id=3780418

http://www.joyofbaking.com/SemisweetChocolate.html#ixzz2mWmUcuSG

http://bakingbites.com/2012/10/what-are-candy-melts/

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