White chocolate is a blend of cocoa butter, milk solids, butterfat, sugar, lecithin and sometimes flavourings such as vanilla.
White chocolate is labelled as white chocolate here in Canada, but can’t be labelled as such in the U.S., because it contains only cocoa butter and no chocolate solids. By law, every product labelled chocolate must contain both. This leads to consumer confusion, including among those of us Canadians who order it on-line from the U.S. or buy our groceries there while passing through. Some typical names are white confectionery bar or morsels, white confectionery coating or white baking bar. To add to the confusion, some manufacturers sell a different product that also goes by the name white confectionery bar or coating, which contains no cocoa butter. It is merely a white-coloured coating mixture of shortening, sugar, milk solids and flavourings.
The bottom line is that if you’re buying white chocolate, especially in the U.S., you need to read labels to be sure of what you’re getting.
The best white chocolates, mostly European, include no fat other than cocoa butter, for example Lindt (DELICIOUS!)
And now for the really good stuff:
Real white chocolate is ivory-coloured (like cocoa butter) and has a delicate, faintly chocolatey aroma and taste. In contrast, the imitations are often more white in colour and have a cloying, overly sweet taste and smell. White chocolate is sensitive to heat and must be melted slowly to prevent lumping or scorching.
White chocolate isn’t usually mixed into flour cake batters, but it’s perfect inside cheesecake batters, ice creams, mousses and ganaches. It makes great decorations i.e. curls or shavings. It melts more easily than other chocolate, so it’s best not to work with raw white chocolate in a warm environment.
And now, for the best part: recipes featuring white chocolate. Enjoy!
White Chocolate Layer Cake with Apricot Filling and White Chocolate Buttercream
Suggested wine pairing: cream sherry
White Chocolate Espresso Torte with Hazelnut Praline
Suggested wine pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon or cream sherry
White Chocolate and Strawberry Cheesecake
Suggested wine pairing: a medium bodied red dessert wine such as moscato