Do not expect chocolate with alternate sugars to taste the same as the chocolate that you grew up with. Cane sugar is about the sweetest, most free-of-flavour sweetener you can find. Agave, coconut sugar, maple sugar and beet sugar all tend to have distinct flavours related to the fruit or tree that they come from. If you have ever switched from using corn syrup to brown rice syrup in your baking, you will know what I mean when I say that making chocolate with alternate sugar can add a 'healthy', somewhat-earthy-sort-of-flavour to a treat.
Light agave syrup is the closest to cane sugar in taste, but as far as I know, it is not available in powdered form (a liquid cannot be added to chocolate solids, or you will have a truffle or a toffee, not a solid chocolate bar). But if you have decided to make the switch, and you head into this no-cane-sugar-lifestyle full throttle, then you must be ready to accept and become used to a new chocolate flavour. Regardless of a slight change of flavour, many of the chocolates on this list are delicious! So check them out. And if you know of others, please let me know in the Comments below.
List of Chocolate made with Alternate Sugars
(no-cane sugar chocolate)
here, or visit Hexx's website: www.hexxchocolate.com.
Raaka (Brooklyn, NY) - Raaka has been making popular 'unroasted' bean-to-bar chocolate for some time, and now has a chocolate bar free of cane sugar. Learn more about the Yacon chocolate bar here: http://www.raakachocolate.com/collections/frontpage/products/yacon-sugar-free.
Palette de Bine (Quebec, Canada) This chocolate maker just won an International Chocolate Award (Americas Competition) for their maple-sweetened chocolate bar called: Bines à l'érable San Juan Estate Trinidad 70%. Visit the website for more information or buy the bar online here from Canada and the U.S. on the www.latablette.ca website.
here, or visit: www.takeafancy.ca
Starchild Chocolate (Willits, CA) - Starchild Chocolate's entire line of single origin chocolate bars are sweetened with coconut sugar. They recently won a Bronze at the International Chocolate Awards (Americas Competition). Buy online, or visit: https://starchildchocolate.com/
Kayer (Pronounced 'care') brand by Barkleys (British Columbia) - this line of chocolate bars are sweetened with organic coconut palm sugar. They are also organic, low glycemic (a GI index of 35), gluten free and all natural. The solid chocolate bars are called the 'Kayer G35 Series" and have four interesting flavours, also there are four flavours of smaller truffle bars. They appear to be targeted to diabetics and anyone who has eliminated or is reducing cane sugar intake. Learn more: http://www.barkleys.ca/chocolate/kayer/. Barkleys products are available across Canada (I bought a truffle bar at an IDA pharmacy) including in Wholefoods, Safeway and other major national retailers.
'Nudie', an 80% dark chocolate bar with organic coconut sugar, instead of cane sugar. Also makes a delicious milk chocolate with Pomegranate and Hazelnut called the Sassy bar and a dark chocolate sea salt and almonds (learn more about these here). These are available in Bulk Barns across Canada, as well as other retailers in Canada and the U.S. www.zazubean.com
Organic Fair Organic Fair's Coco-Milk chocolate bar has 53% cocoa solids and is all about the coconut; it's made with dried coconut and organic coconut oil, and as a bonus, is sweetened with coconut sugar. Learn more on the Canadian website at: http://www.organicfairmarket.ca or the American site here: www.organicfair.com.
Barkleys 'Kayer' brand (Coquitlam, BC) - The Kayer brand of chocolate truffle bars, by Barkleys, a maker of all natural chocolates, uses organic coconut palm sugar to sweeten their 'low-glycemic' truffle bars and 'G35 Series' solid chocolate bars. Also, at Easter 2015, Barkleys sold a dark chocolate bunny that was sweetened with beet sugar. For more info, read here or visit the brand website: http://www.barkleys.ca/chocolate/kayer/
Tease Chocolates (Tacoma, Washington) - including the Princess Superstar Bar, Venezuela Origin 86% with cocoa nibs and honey. Interesting packaging and chocolate bar names with a variety of inclusions. See here for more info. https://www.facebook.com/TeaseChocolates
EatingEvolved - their chocolate is made with organic cacao and maple sugar. Their sweetener is directly sourced from maple producers in Vermont and Canada. http://eatingevolved.com/
Firefly Chocolate (Windsor, CA) - All of Firefly's chocolate is made with coconut sugar, and most of their chocolate bars are made with 85% cocoa solids, except for the very interesting Coconut Cream bar, which uses organic coconut oil instead of cocoa butter for a soft texture. Firefly Chocolate also offers a monthly chocolate delivery service, nut butters and nibs. www.fireflychocolate.com
Hummingbird Chocolate (Almonte, Ontario) - Hummingbird's Maple chocolate bar is sweet and bitter and all-Canadian. This is totally delicious. Read more about it here. For more information on Hummingbird Chocolate, visit http://hummingbirdchocolate.com/.
Moonlight Chocolates (Santa Clara County, CA) - Thomas Snuggs started out as a home chocolate maker and will soon be selling his chocolate within his local area. He makes wonderful milk chocolate bars with coconut sugar, including one with crisped rice cereal. Read my review of his chocolate here, or visit: www.moonlightchocolates.com
The Chocolate Alchemist (Philadelphia, PA) - Chocolate maker Robert Campbell Jr. is passionate about using coconut sugar in his chocolate. He makes a lovely 80% dark chocolate bar called the Philly Blend, and also makes gourmet drinking chocolates, truffles and raw vegan creations. Learn more in my recent blog post, or at: www.sazonphilly.com .
U.K. and Europe:
Akesson's Milk Chocolate Bali - the milk chocolate version of their Bali Single Plantation Chocolate bar is made with organic coconut blossom sugar. This fine chocolate maker owns cacao plantations, and makes a brand of award winning bean-to-bar chocolate. Read more about this chocolate bar here or visit the chocolate maker's website at: http://www.akessons-organic.com/
Forever Cacao (Wales, U.K.) - Hand-made raw, bean-to-bar chocolate in Wales. Full range is made with organic coconut sugar. Includes 80% and 72% chocolate bars, and one made with coffee. www.forevercacao.co.uk
Nihant Malaya Area Lait (Belgium) - Dark Milk 55% Coconut blossom sugar. An interesting and tangy dark-milk chocolate. Buy here, or learn more at: www.benoitnihant.be
Lucocoa Chocolate (London, UK) - We're bean to bar chocolate makers; sourcing great beans from around the world using coconut sugar & lucuma to sweeten giving a unique taste.
Ombar Chocolate (Cambridge, UK) - Raw chocolate made with coconut sugar and freeze-dried fruit. 100% organic and sustainably sourced. http://Facebook.com/ombarchocolate
Amma Chocolate's Gula Merah 70% Chocolate bar (Bahia, Brazil) - this tangy and incredibly fruity bar tastes much darker than a 70% chocolate and has a slight sugary crunch to it. Amma makes chocolate from tree-to-bar in Brazil. This chocolate is sold in North America at various locations, including La Tablette de Miss Choco in Montreal (will ship to your location through online sales site).