If you’re anything like me, you may have always avoided white chocolate. When I’m at the store choosing chocolate, I always opt for a dark chocolate. I tend to steer clear of milk chocolate and especially white chocolate. But with this white chocolate recipe, I’ve had to rethink my stance on white chocolate!
Is White Chocolate Really Chocolate?
One of the biggest questions people have about white chocolate is, well, what it is. Is white chocolate really chocolate? It’s actually not. See, white chocolate doesn’t contain any cocoa solids, which is what makes up chocolate.
So how do you get white chocolate? To make chocolate, you start with the cocoa bean, which has been removed from its pod, and extract the chocolate nib. The nibs are ground into a paste, called chocolate liquor, but don’t worry — there’s no alcohol involved! At this point, the chocolate liquor can be separated into cocoa solids and cocoa fat, also known as cocoa butter. (1)
Cocoa solids are what give chocolate that delicious flavor, but white chocolate doesn’t contain any. Instead, white chocolate’s major ingredient is flavorless cocoa butter. Additionally, white chocolate only needs to have at least 20 percent of cocoa butter to qualify as white chocolate, according to the FDA. (2)
The rest of white chocolate can be made up of milk, whey, flavorings, emulsifying agents and more. While chocolate has been eaten for centuries, white chocolate is fairly new on the scene. It was invented by the Nestlé company in Switzerland in 1930, but it’s proven to be a hit.
You might ask yourself: How do you color white chocolate? White chocolate’s color is lighter because of the cocoa butter that’s used to make it. Without the cocoa solids that are used in “real” chocolate, white chocolate lacks the dark coloring milk and dark chocolate have.
Real white chocolate isn’t actually white, though; it’s usually a yellowish color. If your white chocolate is super white, it’s likely less of a chocolate and more of a candy.
Is White Chocolate Bad for You?
We know that dark chocolate has some health benefits, but does white chocolate have the same, or is white chocolate bad for you?
White chocolate purchased from the store isn’t your healthiest option. The bulk of white chocolate is sugar and milk, with other additives. But my homemade white chocolate recipe is a bit different. For starters, it’s vegan — we’ll use powered coconut milk instead of cow’s milk to keep it dairy-free.
While we’ll still use cacao butter, soaked cashews will give this white chocolate recipe a deliciously creamy texture without imparting too much of a nutty flavor. We’ll sweeten things up with maple syrup, one of my favorite natural sweeteners, and add extra flavor by using a fresh vanilla bean.
White chocolate is lovely on its own, but it also goes nicely with lemon-flavored treats or on top of soufflés, like this dark chocolate soufflé recipe. This recipe will make about 30–40 pieces of white chocolate. You can keep those for the family to enjoy, of course, but this white chocolate recipe also makes a lovely, simple gift. Tie a few pieces of chocolate together with a nice ribbon and gift to teachers or friends in the neighborhood.
What’s in a piece of this homemade white chocolate?
- 120 calories
- 0.57 grams protein
- 11.79 grams fat
- 3.81 grams carbohydrates
- 324 IUs vitamin A (14 percent DV)
- 0.179 milligrams manganese (10 percent DV)
- 84 milligrams sodium (6 percent DV)
- 0.063 milligrams vitamin B2 (6 percent DV)
- 0.056 milligrams copper (6 percent DV)
- 0.22 milligrams zinc (3 percent DV)
- 18 milligrams phosphorous (3 percent DV)
- 9 milligrams magnesium (3 percent DV)
- 0.32 milligrams vitamin E (2 percent DV)
How to Make White Chocolate
Ready to get your hands dirty and make some white chocolate?
Start by soaking the cashews for at least an hour to soften them up.
Next, drain the cashews and then blend them in the food processor until they’re smooth.
Then, in a double boiler, melt the cacao butter, cashews, coconut milk, syrup and vanilla beans together.
Watch over this so it doesn’t burn! Stir the melted mixture until it’s well combined.
Then pour the white chocolate into a mold of your desired shape. I used plain ones here, but you can get creative with seasonal molds or fun shapes like hearts and stars.
Allow the white chocolate to cool in the mold and then stick it in the freezer for about an hour to harden.
Once the white chocolate has solidified, it’s ready to eat!
Enjoy this white chocolate recipe with family and friends.
2 hours and 30 minutes
- 1 pound raw cacao butter
- 1 cup cashews
- 2 tablespoons powdered coconut milk
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 vanilla bean, cut and scraped
- Soak cashews for at least 1 hour.
- Drain cashews and blend them in a food processor until smooth.
- In a double boiler, melt cacao butter, cashews, coconut milk, syrup and vanilla beans.
- Stir until well-combined and then pour into a mold of desired shape.
- Allow to cool and then chill in freezer until solidified, about 1 hour.