Knowledge Base > Fran Costigan - What’s New In Vegan Chocolate

What’s New In Vegan Chocolate

Fran Costigan - What’s New In Vegan Chocolate

This event was on Tuesday, March 19, 2024 at 1:00 pm Pacific, 4:00 pm Eastern

Explore the fascinating. evolving and nuanced world of vegan chocolates with Chef Fran Costigan, Rouxbe Director of Vegan Pastry, and the chocolate lover behind “Vegan Chocolate: Una… Read More.



I know you love chocolate, but do you have recommendations for substituting cacao in recipes for those who are caffeine sensitive, please?

— Kristin T. Østrem


As far as I know, cacao has caffeine. Now the ca I'm assuming that you, you're talking about the powder here. So for example, I've got, I've got all of those are cocoa powders. This is one Coca Rouge and this is one from Divine, which is a fair trade. These are all alkalized or alkali or Dutch processed cocos, meaning they've been processed with an alkali and they're smoother. Cacao is a powder that is said to be raw, but it's a knot. There is no such thing as raw chocolate. Many of you have heard me say this before and more than once it's unroasted chocolate. It is not raw, there is no such thing. So my students in essential vegan desserts do for example, an assignment where they're comparing a natural cocoa powder non alkalies with a Dutch process making a hot chocolate and then comparing and contrasting them any non alkalies cocoa powder is, this is going to be the equivalent of cacao. So you find yourself a recipe for you find yourself a recipe that uses cocoa powder, that is a natural cocoa powder and there are plenty. And then go ahead and substitute it. Now I don't have anything to back this up off the top of my head, but I was taught that the caffeine is tied into the amount of fat in the chocolate and cocoa powders tend to be very low fat. So there you go. If you are really caffeine sensitive to that extent, maybe chocolate, cacao cocoa is not the best thing for you.
Fran Costigan

Fran Costigan

Director of Vegan Pastry