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Clon’s chocolate firm branches out with dairy-free vegan range

December 7th, 2019 1:02 PM

By Southern Star Team

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CLONAKILTY Chocolate has changed its name to Exploding Tree, and has just added a new dairy-free vegan chocolate to their range.

The ethical business has announced Creamy Oat, a dairy-free alternative to traditional milk chocolate to their range.

Company founder Allison Robterts says the range is naturally free from lactose, nuts, soy and gluten.

‘To make our new Creamy Oat bar, I developed a means of stone grinding whole creamed Irish oats into our roasted and nibbed Fairtrade cocoa beans. We add Fairtrade coconut sugar, refine and conch over three days for a smooth and creamy texture. We then age, temper and mould into bars. We choose to use coconut sugar, a natural and nutrient rich alternative to refined sugar, because it gives the bar a hint of caramel. We’re the first in Ireland to make an oat ‘milk’ alternative bar, and one of very few globally,’ she said. Exploding Tree’s cocoa beans are grown by Fairtrade farming co-operative Kuapa Kokoo in Ghana, West Africa, then shipped to their garden bean-to-bar micro-factory in West Cork.

The Exploding Tree vegan range now includes eight chocolate bars with  natural sweeteners (primarily coconut sugar) with top sellers like salt and seaweed and garden mint. The new bars are wrapped in card sleeves that depict Clonakilty’s high street and are made from post-agricultural waste. Allison added: ‘I’ve been thinking and experimenting with dairy alternative bars for years now. My son is lactose-intolerant, so when he started drinking milk at age two, we got into drinking oat milk. The oats add a deliciously nutty sweetness to the chocolate, but with none of the dairy aftertaste you get with a milk chocolate – just a beautifully clean, smooth finish. It’s taken a year to perfect and I’m delighted with it.’

The bar retails at between €4.15-€4.75 and can be purchased in local independent shops nationwide, as well as through the company’s online shop www.explodingtree.com.

The new bar and brand will be launched with a series of special events during Fairtrade fortnight (Feb 24th – Mar 8th) including an ‘open studio’ day at the factory. See www.explodingtree.com/events for more.

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