On White Chocolate

White chocolate is a wonderful thing, in my opinion, and in many cases I actually prefer it to chocolate itself. I’ve heard many people express a distaste for the stuff, and I have a feeling that some of these cases stem from a couple of causes.

Many people believe they’re eating white chocolate when, in fact, they’re eating what is referred to as “confectionary coating”, or a white blend of solid fats, sugar, and vanilla flavoring. This is not white chocolate, and in my opinion tastes very little like real white chocolate. Any time you see something labeled “white chips” or the like, it isn’t white chocolate. If in doubt, check the ingredient list; it should contain actual cocoa butter.

Some white chocolates do have a chalky taste to them; I’m guessing this is due in some way to the milk solids used in them. However, when used as ingredients in most recipes, this chalky taste tends to get drowned out in favor of white chocolate’s better aspects (which include an incredibly delicate flavor and a you-wouldn’t-believe-it smooth, buttery mouth-feel). I highly recommend tracking down a copy of the unfortunately out-of-print White Chocolate cookbook by Janice Henderson. However, many chocolate cookbooks these days include recipes for white chocolate as well (I’ll be reviewing one soon, in fact).

If you really want the ultimate white chocolate experience, however, then there’s really only one solution: track down a bar of Green & Black brand organic white chocolate with real vanilla bean flecks. We find it off-and-on in the all-natural foods section of our grocery store, or occasionally with the other chocolate bars. There’s no chalky taste in this brand, and my favorite way to showcase it is simply to make hot chocolate with a bar—whole milk or half and half (about a cup to a cup and a half, heated to scalding in a microwave) in which you whisk in one chopped or broken-up bar. Serves two.

Chocolate is a Vegetable White T-Shirt

Posted in Cooking
7 comments on “On White Chocolate
  1. I’m not a fan of white chocolate (in fact I prefer dark chocolate, the darker the better), but even I have to admit that hot chocolate sounds good. Any time I can drink whole milk, sign me up.

  2. heather says:

    rys: I really do think most folks have been scarred by having poor quality white chocolate or confectionery coating “disguised” as white chocolate (some companies go to great lengths to package things such that you won’t notice they’ve never quite called it white chocolate). I do highly recommend trying the hot chocolate made with a Green & Black bar if you’re the least bit uncertain. And if you find you like that, try some good recipes made with it! It can fulfill some very nifty (and fairly subtle) functions in recipes, as the White Chocolate cookbook attests. Basically, it’s got a lot of the subtle mouth-feel of butter, but is solid at room temp, which you can use to do some interesting things in baking.

    As for non-white chocolate, the darker the better for me, too. I pretty much can’t stand milk chocolate, except in some rare high-quality cases, and even then I mostly tolerate it.

  3. Bildo says:

    Simply put, Chocolate = “t3h aw3som3zors”. You can quote me. 🙂

  4. I never knew. Hmmm. I do like white chocolate, although it’s a bit too sweet for me in large doses. I love dark chocolate – but also in small doses.

  5. heather says:

    Bildo: Ha! I have to agree!

    Feline: They both work really well as ingredients if you find them too rich by themselves. I prefer them in recipes or hot chocolate myself.

  6. Tara says:

    Your hot chocolate sounds so good!

  7. heather says:

    Tara: Thank you! I certainly love it. 😀

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