Why do we crave chocolate? Science says that chocolate stimulates the release of endorphins and serotonin in the brain which make us feel happy and relaxed. Still, we fight the urge to succumb to our desires because chocolate is often deemed a forbidden treat for anyone watching their waist or on a dairy or sugar-free diet. Now, you can indulge guilt-free with La Maison du Chocolat’s new collection of diary-, gluten-, and sugar-free chocolates, unveiled in its stores this month.
The collection of six new chocolate varieties are sweetened with natural sugars like honey, pureed fruits, and fruit nectar, and the rich ganache (typically made with cream and butter) is a recipe that combines hazelnut oil for creaminess with natural chicory fiber for substance. The sweets are also a safe alternative for the chocolatier’s lactose intolerant customers who previously could only indulge in the brand’s darkest chocolate varieties (which don’t include milk or cream). But now, the full range of new sweets is made without dairy.
Aside from the feel-good effects of chocolate, the new flavors also include ingredients high in vitamins and antioxidants, like turmeric, squash seeds, and pomegranate. The Green Apple Aloe Vera chocolate is made of a combination of dairy-free chocolate ganache combined with green apple and aloe vera. Likewise, Mango Tumeric combines the two flavors with dark chocolate ganache. These chocolates are made of no less than 45% fruits, and sometimes as much as 74%.
The rich, creamy, and flavorful new chocolates are the result of an 18-month collaboration between the French brand’s chef Nicolas Cloiseau and Dr. Thierry Han, a nutritionist known for applying food science with corporations and well-known chefs to promote gourmet yet balanced food. Chef Cloiseau, who has been developing the brands varieties for years, has been experimenting with healthier options throughout his tenure but was unwilling to sacrifice the desired taste and luscious texture that is expected from one of the world’s top chocolatiers. Now, he says, he finally forged the right balance that delivers the satisfying pleasure we want from chocolate without some of the guilty additives.