Many fans of chocolate are purists. The thought of eating one type of chocolate over another is as offensive as eating liver. Plain chocolate enthusiasts look down their nose at white chocolate enthusiasts. Milk chocolate fans fall somewhere in between. Regardless of your flavor preference, white chocolate is a staple that is here to stay.
The term "white chocolate" is somewhat misleading. White chocolate is generally recognized as vanilla chocolate, as it has a sweet, creamy vanilla flavor. It's offered alongside other types of chocolate at most chocolate shops. But what is white chocolate?
Let's take a look at how white chocolate is made. Unlike the complicated process of making chocolate, which requires roasting, winnowing and grinding of cocoa beans, white chocolate is quite simple. There are four steps to making white chocolate:
- Formulation: This is the process of mixing the solid ingredients (Sugar, Dairy Ingredients) with the fat (Cocoa butter or other fats) and kneading until uniform consistency forms before milling.
- Refining: this step is about reducing the particle size of the ingredients into an even thickness. (this is why you don't feel granulates of sugar when eating white chocolate)
- Emulsification: The fat covers every solid particle emulsifying- further refining the solids and fat to ensure smoothness and consistency in the final product by ensuring every solid particle is surrounded in fat.
- Standardizing: Usually, additional fat is added to change the final product's viscosity for its intended application, taste, and smoothness.
Chocolate as a food classification contains chocolate liquor. Chocolate liquor is very dark in color. Historically; A chocolate product by standards of identity could not be white in appearance. Therefore white chocolate has always technically been a confectionary coating. Until the FDA in 2002 established new standards for the confectionery industry regarding what white chocolate is or isn't. Big chocolate petitioned the FDA for legal clarity for which to market white chocolate with the proper labeling.
The FDA made clear that White Chocolate must contain no less than 20% cocoa butter, 14% milk solids, 3.5% milkfat. With these new standards-setting white chocolate, apart from the confectionary coating, it is no longer confusing. White chocolate meeting the FDA standards is chocolate. The confectionary coating is not chocolate, and what lies in between is usually tasty but sometimes cheap and waxy.