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What is ‘White Chocolate’?

White chocolate seems to always divide people between those who love it and those who hate it. Moreover, the debate whether it really is chocolate has existed since it was first made in the 1930s.

In its purest form, it’s made up of cacao butter, sugar, and milk powder.

Although it doesn’t contain any cocoa solids, it does contain cacao butter which comes from the cocoa bean. In fact, 55% of the weight of a cocoa bean is cacao butter.

History of White Chocolate

White chocolate was first created in the 1930s by Nestlé. Like many other brilliant inventions, this type of chocolate was actually created by accident.

At the time, Nestlé was manufacturing a dietary supplement for children and adults called Nestrovit. This was a milk powder that was enriched with minerals and vitamins.

In an attempt to create their milk in the form of a solid bar, Nestlé mixed the enriched milk powder with cacao butter. Mixing the sweetened milk powder with the cacao butter produced white chocolate.

Nestlé realised how delicious it tasted and Milkybar arrived on the market in 1936.

How is it made?

White chocolate is comprised of 30 – 45% cacao butter, 25 – 40% milk powder and 25 – 40% sugar.

Which type of cacao butter for chocolate?

Nearly all white chocolate you find in supermarkets is made with deodorised cacao butter.

The problem is that in the process of deodorising the cacao butter, the original flavour and aromas are removed. In order to give the chocolate bar any flavour at all, manufacturers add synthetic vanilla and a lot of sugar. This is why this type of chocolate has a bad reputation for being overly sweet.

Good quality white chocolate is made with undeodorised cacao butter. No vanilla is needed as the butter contains its own strong flavour profile.

White Chocolate Varieties

Classic white

A classic white is made up of good quality cacao butter, sugar and milk powder. The milk powder doesn’t need to be from a cow. In fact, alternative milk is becoming very popular thanks to brands such as Solkiki.

Caramelised or toasted white

Caramelised or “blond” chocolate, is where the milk is heated until its caramelised. This gives the chocolate a delicious toasted and syrup-like flavour

Flavoured white

Makers add powdered flavourings or essential oils to add an extra dimension to the chocolate. These bars can have beautiful colours. For example when matcha powder is added to produce green chocolate or raspberry powder to create a striking red.

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