White chocolate is so delicious, it is actually one of my favorite types of chocolate and I get my quick, cheap fix with the new white chocolate M&Ms that just came out! So, how is this tasty concoction made? The main difference between white chocolate and other dark chocolates is that white chocolate is based on cocoa butter, which gives the ivory white confectionary delight its appearance and distinctive taste. White chocolate also contains milk solids, sugar, and lecithin as well as other flavors, most notably vanilla. Cocoa butter is the active ingredient used in other chocolates to keep them solid at room temperature yet melt easily in your mouth. Does that sound familiar? This is why I feel white chocolate has a texture like that of chocolate but does not have quite the same taste.
Some will find the taste similar to milk chocolate. White chocolate was first introduced in Switzerland after World War I. It was first popularly distributed in America in the early 1980's with the introduction of Nestlé's Alpine White Chocolate bar containing white chocolate and almonds. Because of the fact that white chocolate does not contain cocoa solids or cocoa mass as in the finer dark chocolates, it does not meet the standards to be called chocolate in many countries. Since 2004, the United States has required that white chocolate needs to be at least 20% (by weight) cocoa butter, at least 14% total milk solids, and less than 55% sweeteners such as sugar.
Before 2004, US chocolate marketers had to obtain temporary marketing permits to sell this cocoa solids-free chocolate. In the European Union white chocolate needs to contain not less than 20% cocoa butter and not less than 14% dry milk solids. Did you ever realize that there were such stringent regulations on chocolate? Because of the high concentration of cocoa butter, white chocolate can be very difficult to work with as sometimes when it is melted the cocoa butter can come apart and create an oily mess that cannot be recovered and must be thrown out. As with any other form of chocolate, the introduction of water into the melted product makes it rapidly turn lumpy, grainy and unusable. It must then also be discarded. Some brands respond better to baking more than others; some even have a tendency to brown from being baked which is why there are specific kinds of chocolate made just for cooking.
Just like any other chocolate, white chocolate can be bought in large or small bricks, but these can often be difficult to work with as one must cut off sections with a knife, which often results in inaccurate portioning. Small chips are more often than not a more precise way to make use of white chocolate. White chocolate can be used for decoration of milk or dark chocolate confections or in any way the chocolates might be used. Some people such as myself actually prefer the white chocolate. I like it more not only because of the taste, but because the milk and milk chocolate gives me ulcers as I have an allergy to it.
Gregg Hall is a business consultant and author for many online and offline businesses and lives in Navarre Florida. Get fine chocolate at http://www.chocolates-plus.com