Monthly Archives November 2019

Your Favorite Chocolate Shop’s Favorite Chocolate Factory: Behind the Scenes at Buffalo’s Tomric Systems Inc.

From 1960s plastic molds to pure chocolate cascades, these local master chocolatiers just might be one of Buffalo’s finest success stories.

BUFFALO, NY – Take a tour of Buffalo’s Black Rock neighborhood, especially along 85 River Rock Drive, and you might see the sign for Tomric Systems Inc.

But most Western New Yorkers, even if they to do see this sign or the building– not really know what Tomric means to the city, the country and far beyond.

And hey there is of them chocolate cascades right through the front door. Seriously.

But those big dreams came from humble beginnings, just like so many Buffalo success stories.

Michael Odrzywolski, sales manager of Tomric, can trace the chronology of the “Tomric” brand back to 1962, when the rest of the chocolate industry used metal or pewter molds.

“It wasn’t really easy to use, [it was] hard to do, ”said Odrzywolski. “Then the Elsinghorst brothers started making plastic molds, and that’s when we really started. “

Many mornings you can find Odrzywolski at Tomric’s sharing a cup of coffee with Brian Donaghy, the corporate chocolatier and director of the company’s innovation center.

Donaghy has been with the company for almost 13 years and has seen the business grow in leaps and bounds during this time.

“We thought small,” says Donaghy of his early days with Tomric, “which is no insult. We were a family business that just hadn’t grown up yet.”

As the turn came, they continued to aim higher. To be more than just a chocolate mold company.

Eventually, for Tomric, the molds led to full candy trays, which led to specialized chocolate candy designs and candy wrappers.

Now Tomric sells virtually any chocolate making machine you can think of, from small batch machines for local chocolate factories to industrial sized machines for larger confectionery companies.

It’s safe to say that if you’ve ever eaten a piece of chocolate that you really liked, there’s a good chance Tomric has had at least one little little influence in its manufacture.

“If you walk into any chocolate store around the corner, let it be here in Buffalo,” Odrzywolski said, referring to local stores like Fowlers, Dark Forest, Antoinette’s and Park Edge as a few examples. “It was probably a mold made by Tomric that brought you there.”

“We’re behind the scenes for most people,” Donaghy said. “Being a part of so many businesses and people’s lives… It’s kinda fun.”

But beyond the local scene, Tomric has also expanded his influence internationally, in countries like Canada, Mexico, Colombia and Nicaragua, to name a few.

Their clientele is fairly small, with around 3,500 active customers, but Tomric doesn’t just sell equipment or molds. In the words of Odrzywolski, they want to help their customers solve their problems.

“We really support them from start to finish, and that’s why we built this facility, right? To really help our customers learn how to make better chocolate. “

While in culinary school, Donaghy’s chef instructors gave him and his classmates some wisdom: “You can go anywhere and do anything in it. this job. You just have to be determined. “

But it was not really his favorite words of wisdom.

“My mom jokes with me that when I was 6 I would order the biggest piece of chocolate cake they had on the menu, no matter what I had for dinner,” laughs Donaghy. “And I would eat it all.”

It’s that same love that fuels some of the educational opportunities Tomric has deployed, like their ice cream making and chocolate carving classes in recent months.

From potential customers with orders for dozens of molds, to birthday parties or wine and chocolate pairing events to chocolate lovers in Western New York, Donaghy is keenly aware of how lucky he is. to be able to share his profession with others.

“It was fate. I really believe it,” Donaghy said. “I love working with, and teaching about it and just the aroma… I’m the only guy I know who regularly has a box of 20 pounds of chocolate on her counter at home. “

If you want to know more about the services, opportunities and possibilities that you can find at Tomric, whether you want to start your own chocolate making business, create a specialized design for your holiday treats or even a specialized event for you. – even and a group of friends, family or co-workers – you can call their Buffalo location at (716) 854-6050, or visit their website for another event or contact information.

(And hey… seriously… make a date only to see these chocolate cascades …)

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9 brands of vegan hot chocolate and how to make the best cocoa

Put on your favorite sweater, throw a plush blanket over your shoulders and enjoy the cold weather. Some of us are counting the days until spring, but hey, it’s vegan hot chocolate season. Here’s how to find the best vegan hot chocolate brands and make the best dairy-free cocoa at home.

Is chocolate vegan?

Chocolate comes from the cocoa tree. According to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), some of the main cocoa producing countries are the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Brazil, Ghana, Nigeria and Ivory Coast. To make chocolate, the bitter cocoa bean is first fermented, dried, cleaned and roasted. The shell of the bean is made into cocoa beans, which are ground into cocoa mass or pure chocolate.

Cocoa powder itself is vegan, but it might not be gentle on humans. The Food empowerment project, a non-profit organization that aims to “Create a more just and sustainable world by recognizing the power of one’s food choices”, notes that West African countries supply over 70 percent of the world’s cocoa.

In recent years, organizations and journalists have denounced the prevalence of child labor and slavery on farms in this region. Several of the farms supply cocoa to international companies, including Hershey’s, Mars and Nestlé. The Food Empowerment Project maintains a shopping list vegan chocolate brands that use ethically sourced cocoa.

The best vegan milk for hot chocolate

With aisles full of dairy-free milk consisting of everything from almonds to macadamia nuts and rice, how do you choose which vegan milk you’re going to use? It depends on personal preferences. If you prefer a finer hot chocolate, opt for almond or coconut milk. But if you like your thick and rich hot chocolate, then use soy or oatmeal milk.

Lagusta Yearwood, founder of the vegan Lagusta’s Luscious chocolate factory and author of the “Sweet + Salty” cookbook, advises using almond milk. “We prefer almond milk because it is quite light and the flavor does not interfere with the flavor of the chocolate” she told LIVEKINDLY in an email.

She added, “The oats are also very nice, although they are a little thicker.”

What’s not vegan about marshmallows?

Are marshmallows vegan?

Marshmallows are hot cocoa jelly peanut butter. While a cup filled with chocolate doesn’t lack anything, a layer of the chewy, chewy confectionery makes it somehow better.

Most marshmallows are made from gelatin, an ingredient made from the collagen animal bones or ligaments. There is no commercially available gelatin version yet. Geltor, a biotechnology company based in San Leandro, Calif., Recently partnered with collagen maker GELTIA to market animal-free collagen for supplements. But, vegan gelatin-based marshmallows might be available in the near future: “This is a first step, but we will continue to look to the entire food and beverage industry for partnerships,” co-founder Alex Lorestani said Food Navigator.

Which marshmallows are vegan?

The best vegan marshmallows for hot chocolate

Although most marshmallows contain gelatin, there are a few vegan options on the market. Look for Dandies, Trader Joe’s (mini and regular), and Suzanne’s Specialty Ricemellow Creme in the United States. In the UK, try Anada’s, Mallow Puffs, and Freedom Confectionery.

Vegan hot chocolate brands

These vegan hot chocolate mixes make it easy to get your hot chocolate fix.

A classic drinking chocolate.

1. Hotel Chocolat

British chocolate maker Hotel Chocolat’s classic drinking chocolate is vegan when made with water or plant-based milk. The blend features the deep, sweet flavors of 70 percent dark chocolate. Hotel Chocolat sources ethically from farms in Ghana, Saint Lucia, Colombia, Dominican Republic and Honduras.

Check it out here.

Taza uses direct trade cocoa.

2. Taza chocolate

Taza’s Chocolate Mexicano offers six vegan flavors: cinnamon, vanilla, chili guajillo, salted almonds, puro cocoa and coffee, made with direct trade cocoa. Each disc can be melted in vegan milk to make hot chocolate.

Check it out here.

5 brands of vegan hot chocolate and how to make the best cocoa

Cadbury’s Freddo Drinking Chocolate is vegan.

3. Freddo drinking chocolate

A mainstay of the UK, Cadbury’s Freddo Drinking Chocolate is vegan. Hot chocolate powder is designed to be mixed with milk, but it does not contain powdered milk or whey, which are traditionally added to hot cocoa mixes. Instead, mix it with non-dairy milk.

Check it out here.

Slightly sweet and precisely ground.

4. The succulent of Lagusta

New York-based feminist chocolate maker Lagusta’s Lucious of New Paltz makes vegan sipping chocolate. Slightly sweet and made with 66% cocoa, it offers a decadent experience.

According to the website, Luscious from vegan chocolatier Lagusta means “Social justice, environmentalism and veganism with a love of bold flavor and an obsessive commitment to artisan techniques. ” From its ethically sourced chocolate to the 100% post-consumer recycled materials it is packaged in, this vegan sipping chocolate is sweet in more ways than one.

Check it out here.

5 brands of vegan hot chocolate and how to make the best cocoa

Several flavors of Whittard Luxury Hot Chocolate are vegan.

5. Whittard Deluxe Hot Chocolate

Whittard of Chelsea is known for its range of luxury hot chocolates. Fortunately, several flavors are vegan, including salted caramel, chili, orange, amaretto, and tiramisu.

Check it out here.

Just add vegan milk.

6. Equal exchange

Equal Exchange’s organic dark hot chocolate is described as rich and extra-decadent. All you need is a tablespoon of the mixture and some vegan milk. Equal Exchange is a workers’ cooperative that sources fair trade cocoa from small farms in Latin America.

Check it out here.

5 brands of vegan hot chocolate and how to make the best cocoa

Cadbury Signature Cocoa is dairy free.

7. Cadbury Cocoa

United Kingdom, rejoice: Cadbury Bourneville cocoa is dairy free. It’s perfect for cooking or drinking, so take the opportunity to whip up a cup of vegan hot chocolate.

Check it out here.

Lake Champlain Chocolate’s gourmet hot chocolate is vegan.

8. Chocolates from Lake Champlain

The gourmet chocolatier of Vermont Lake Champlain Chocolates has over 35 years of experience and a passion for craftsmanship. The traditional hot chocolate is made with Dutch fairtrade cocoa and organic sugar. The blend itself is vegan – just add any dairy free milk of your choice.

Check it out here.

5 brands of vegan hot chocolate and how to make the best cocoa

Mix Sweet Freedom with your favorite dairy free milk.

9. Sweet Freedom Choc Shot

Are you looking for an allergen-friendly option? British brand Sweet Freedom’s Choc Shot is free from all 14 major allergens, plus it’s vegan! It’s also sweetened with carob and apple extracts instead of refined sugar.

Check it out here.

How to make hot chocolate

Making vegan hot chocolate is easy. If you are using a pre-made mix, just follow the directions on the package.

Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipes

You know which brands are vegan, but what about making your own? Try one of these delicious dairy free hot chocolate recipes.

Even better than dairy products. | Brandi doming

1. “The best” vegan hot chocolate

This decadent hot chocolate is extra-rich, thanks to a combination of semi-sweet chocolate and cocoa powder. Best of all, it only takes six ingredients and five minutes to come together! Top it off with a generous pile of dairy free whipped cream and chocolate shavings, if you feel like it.

Get the recipe here.

Sit back, sip and relax. | Delicious adventures

2. Vegan hot chocolate with peppermint

The cool tingle of peppermint meets the rich taste of cocoa in this dairy-free peppermint hot chocolate. Made from plant-based milk, canned coconut milk, cocoa powder and peppermint extract, it’s the perfect drink for the holiday season.

Get the recipe here.

The real deal. | Pierre Dora

3. Authentic Mexican Hot Chocolate

Creamy, frothy, rich and delicious, this authentic vegan Mexican hot chocolate has a hint of cinnamon and just the right amount of sweetness. Using soy milk for this recipe is the key to getting the perfect froth.

Get the recipe here.

The perfect pick-me-up. | Dana schultz

4. Vegan white hot chocolate

Yes, you can make vegan white hot chocolate! This creamy, dreamy drink contains whole coconut milk, real cocoa butter, coconut butter, a pinch of cinnamon and maca, which adds hints of caramel.

Get the recipe here.

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