White Chocolate Should Be Appreciated

White chocolate constantly gets a bad name in the world of chocolate and there are a variety of reasons for this. Let us, however, take a look at white chocolate for what it is, not chocolate at all. White chocolate is a confection. A candy if you will. In this way, we may be able to appreciate the really good white chocolate in the world and it may become more acceptable to our palates.

Let us first start with how white chocolate is made. The first processes are the same for all chocolate. The dried cocoa beans arrive to the chocolate manufacturer and they are brushed, cleaned and roasted. The roasting enhances the cocoa beans’ aroma and also loosens their husks for removal. The next process is to crush the cocoa beans to remove their husks. This crushing exposes the inside of the cocoa beans which is called the nib. The nibs are where the cocoa butter comes from. The beans are then ground together to form a paste. The paste is then put into a press which extracts most of the cocoa butter. This product is called chocolate liquor (no alcohol content) and can be used to make cocoa powder. It may also be combined with cocoa butter and other ingredients to produce other forms of chocolate. Then to make the white chocolate, cocoa butter is combined with sugar, milk solids, and sometimes vanilla and/or lecithin.

Historically, white chocolate was first introduced after World War I in Switzerland. It was used more in confections and molded chocolates than in bars, which is changing. In Europe, white chocolate is often called “Blancor” or “Ivoire”. Prior to the year 2004 in the United States, there were no standards for white chocolate. It was actually illegal to call white chocolate chocolate. It had to be labeled “white coating” or “white confection”. In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration calls for the definition of white chocolate as being, at least 20% cocoa butter, 14% milk solids, and 3.5% milk fat. As I said, white chocolate is not really chocolate at all. As you can see, there are no cocoa solids in white chocolate. True white chocolate should be ivory in color from the color of the cocoa butter, but not white. Real white chocolate doesn’t have any vegetable fat. The white chocolate that you may remember tasting as a child had an awful oily feel with an odd after taste which was due to the addition of vegetable fats.

White chocolate is different than milk and dark chocolates in that white chocolate will not melt at room temperature. It does, however, melt in your mouth at body temperature just like its chocolate relatives. White chocolate has only trace amounts of theobromine and caffeine, and no health benefits. It will, however, give you a rush because of the sugar content and when done properly, tastes magnificent! White chocolate should be enjoyed for what it is…a lovely, creamy confection.

Recently, more companies have been increasing the amount of cocoa butter in their white chocolate. This addition of cocoa butter makes it more pleasing to the eye as well as increasing its taste, texture and creaminess. The days of waxy, thick white chocolate are almost behind us. The next time you find yourself at a local chocolatier’s shop, give the white chocolate bar a try. I promise that you will be delighted with their work.

White chocolate constantly gets a bad name in the world of chocolate and there are a variety of reasons for this. Let us, however, take a look at white chocolate for what it is, not chocolate at all. White chocolate is a confection. A candy if you will. In this way, we may be able to appreciate the really good white chocolate in the world and it may become more acceptable to our palates.

Let us first start with how white chocolate is made. The first processes are the same for all chocolate. The dried cocoa beans arrive to the chocolate manufacturer and they are brushed, cleaned and roasted. The roasting enhances the cocoa beans’ aroma and also loosens their husks for removal. The next process is to crush the cocoa beans to remove their husks. This crushing exposes the inside of the cocoa beans which is called the nib. The nibs are where the cocoa butter comes from. The beans are then ground together to form a paste. The paste is then put into a press which extracts most of the cocoa butter. This product is called chocolate liquor (no alcohol content) and can be used to make cocoa powder. It may also be combined with cocoa butter and other ingredients to produce other forms of chocolate.  Then to make the white chocolate, cocoa butter is combined with sugar, milk solids, and sometimes vanilla and/or lecithin.

Historically, white chocolate was first introduced after World War I in Switzerland. It was used more in confections and molded chocolates than in bars, which is changing. In Europe, white chocolate is often called “Blancor” or “Ivoire”. Prior to the year 2004 in the United States, there were no standards for white chocolate. It was actually illegal to call white chocolate chocolate. It had to be labeled “white coating” or “white confection”. In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration calls for the definition of white chocolate as being, at least 20% cocoa butter, 14% milk solids, and 3.5% milk fat. As I said, white chocolate is not really chocolate at all. As you can see, there are no cocoa solids in white chocolate. True white chocolate should be ivory in color from the color of the cocoa butter, but not white. Real white chocolate doesn’t have any vegetable fat. The white chocolate that you may remember tasting as a child had an awful oily feel with an odd after taste which was due to the addition of vegetable fats.

White chocolate is different than milk and dark chocolates in that white chocolate will not melt at room temperature. It does, however, melt in your mouth at body temperature just like its chocolate relatives. White chocolate has only trace amounts of theobromine and caffeine, and no health benefits. It will, however, give you a rush because of the sugar content and when done properly, tastes magnificent! White chocolate should be enjoyed for what it is…a lovely, creamy confection.

Recently, more companies have been increasing the amount of cocoa butter in their white chocolate. This addition of cocoa butter makes it more pleasing to the eye as well as increasing its taste, texture and creaminess. The days of waxy, thick white chocolate are almost behind us. The next time you find yourself at a local chocolatier’s shop, give the white chocolate bar a try. I promise that you will be delighted with their work.

3 Comments

  • Reply May 3, 2010

    Anonymous

    I have never been able eat white chocolate, the taste is so awful to me. I won’t even eat chocolates that have white chocolate drizzled on top.

    So it was rather ironic that when my daughter was born, she would be allergic to chocolate. While nursing, I couldn’t even eat a piece of chocolate cake, she would break out in hives so badly.

    When she was old enough, we discovered that she could in fact partake in white chocolate, without any reaction whatsoever. We are chocolate snobs, so only the best will do. My daughter would always beg me to have a nibble of hers, and I would do so to be kind and encourage sharing. It was always awful.

    That is, until her uncle sent along your white chocolate and cardamom bar as a gift. I do love cardamom, but prepared myself for the worst when I went for my “nibble”.

    OH MY GOD. I am so ashamed.
    I ate almost the entire bar myself.
    Now there is nowhere to get a replacement.
    WHAT AM I TO DO??????

  • Reply May 6, 2010

    Candice

    I am not a fan of white chocolate. But like all things, there is a time and a place for everything. I like white chocolate sorbet or frozen white chocolate mousse in a spicy wit bier for beer floats. White chocolate chunks in macadamia nut cookies. Or even infused white chocolates with spices like the above comments mentions.

    A local man around here in Boston, has been infusing white chocolate with hops. I love big bitter hops, but I was on the fence about this creation. Only because I am not a huge fan of white chocolate, however with hops, I probably wouldn’t infuse it in anything but white chocolate.

    I won’t turn white chocolate away. But it’s not something I care for all that much. I am adventurous though and love new discoveries or new ways to go about including certain ingredients. So I will always try what is put in front of me.

  • Reply May 18, 2010

    Chocolate London

    I always loved white chocolate when I was a kid. Used to buy those Nestle ‘milky bar’ things. Something great about them.

    Now of course, having eaten a lot of high quality chocolate, milky bars don’t taste so good – just very, very sweet.

    So I would really like to try some *quality* white chocolate. I think I’m going to have to buy one of the Rococo white chocolate bars. Maybe the Cardamon White Chocolate bar. Hope it’s not *too* sweet. Looks amazing.

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