White chocolate is a confection of sugar, cocoa butter, and milk solids. The melting point of cocoa butter is high enough to keep white chocolate solid at room temperature, yet low enough to allow white chocolate to melt in the mouth
Origin and production
White chocolate first appeared in Switzerland in the 1930s. It was invented by Nestlé to use excess cocoa butter. It was first popularly distributed in America in 1948 with the introduction of Nestlé's Alpine White Chocolate bar, which contained white chocolate and almonds
Composition and regulations
Composition and regulations
White chocolate is made of cocoa butter, milk, and sugar. Most often, the cocoa butter is deodorized to remove its strong and undesirable taste that would negatively impact the flavour of the finished chocolate. Regulations also govern what may be marketed as "white chocolate": In the United States, since 2004, white chocolate must be at least 20% cocoa butter (by weight), at least 14% total milk solids, at least 3.5% milk fat, and less than 55% sugar or other sweeteners. Before this date, U.S. firms required temporary marketing permits to sell white chocolate. The European Union has adopted the same standards, except that there is no limit on sugar or sweeteners. Although white chocolate is made the same way as milk chocolate and dark chocolate, the ingredients are different. Because of the ingredients, many people (including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) don't consider "white chocolate" to be chocolate at all, but in most cases, it does contain cocoa butter: a product that, like many cocoa solids, is derived from the cacao bean. However, some preparations (known as confectioner's coating or summer coating) are made from inexpensive solid or hydrogenated vegetable and animal fats, and as such, is not at all derived from cocoa. These preparations may actually be white in color (in contrast to white chocolate's ivory shade) and will lack cocoa butter's flavor.
Because it does not contain any cocoa solids, one benefit of white chocolate is that it also does not contain any theobromine, which means it can be consumed by individuals who must avoid theobromine for medical reasons. Theobromine is only found in the cocoa solids and other ingredients of chocolate that give it the characteristic brown color. In contrast to white chocolate, dark chocolate contains the largest amount of theobromine, because it contains the largest amount of cocoa solids. The theobromine content of milk chocolate falls somewhere between white and dark chocolate.
Use in baking
White chocolate can be difficult to work with. When melted, the cocoa butter can occasionally split and create an oily compound that can be recovered by re-emulsifying. This can be done by melting a small amount of butter or chocolate and whisking in the "oily compound". As with chocolate, as soon as any water is introduced into the melted product it rapidly turns lumpy and grainy, i.e. split. Again, it can be saved by re-emulsifying.
Like chocolate, it may be purchased in large or small bricks, but these can often be difficult to work with as one must cut off chunks with a knife, often resulting in inaccurate portioning. Pastilles/Feves (small chips) are often a more precise way to use white chocolate.
White chocolate can be used for decoration of milk or dark chocolate confections or in any way chocolates might be used. Vanilla fudge is also marked as white chocolate fudge.
There are two kinds of White Chocolate, both are not Chocolate.
- "Real" White Chocolate is a candy bark developed for people who were allergic to Cacao. It contains not a speck of Cacao.
- Much of today's fine grade White Chocolate is primarily Cocoa Butter, sugar, milk and vanilla, without any Cacao flavoring. Since there is little noticeable taste of Cacao in the common milk-chocolate-candy bar, it is easy to make a bar taste like that without Cacao flavoring.
White Chocolate is everything that is in candy bars that is not Chocolate.