For years, connoisseurs dismissed white chocolate - a confection made with cocoa butter, milk solids and sugar, but with none of the cocoa solids that give darker chocolate its recognizable flavor and color. The host opens with: "If you love white chocolate, I hate to break it to you. You're not eating chocolate. Besides the absence of cocoa solids, the reputation stems from the fact that white chocolate products often contain such additives as palm oil and other fillers, plus an excess of sweeteners. But a growing number of specialty chocolate companies are now giving the same attention to white chocolate as dark or milk chocolate, and trying to highlight the ways it can showcase flavor. A cocoa bean is made up of roughly equal parts cocoa butter and cacao nibs. Cocoa butter is what gives chocolate its rich mouthfeel, and the nibs hold most of the distinctive smell and taste. Absent of nibs, "white chocolate is basically just sweet fat," says Clay Gordon, creator of the Chocolate Life website, "with a melt that is unencumbered by the nonfat cocoa solids, or cocoa powder. White chocolate, on the other hand, has to have a cocoa butter content of at least 20 percent and does not require the inclusion of nibs. Pastry chef and cookbook author David Lebovitz, an avowed white chocolate fan, disputes the idea that it's not really chocolate.
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What is white chocolate anyway? It is really chocolate? Is it even worth eating?
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It doesn't look like chocolate or smell like chocolate, and it sure as hell doesn't taste like chocolate. That's because it's not chocolate at all. So really, it's no wonder white chocolate is a controversial impostor; people either love it or they hate it, and there's nothing in between. White chocolate doesn't qualify as genuine chocolate because it doesn't contain chocolate solids a. White chocolate is typically made from a blend of cocoa butter , milk solids, sugar, milk fat and lecithin -- a fatty emulsifier that holds it all together. If you're on team White Chocolate, you can make it at home in the microwave from cocoa butter, powdered sugar and powdered milk. If you're not, you can make something delicious and authentically chocolate -- like this absurdly tasty chocolate cake. Whatever you do, make sure to have dessert today. Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter , Facebook , Pinterest and Tumblr.
This level of purity is not common in the chocolate industry due to the manufacturing cost. Cocoa butter is a pale-yellow, edible cacao fat obtained from cocoa beans. The butter has a mild chocolate flavor and aroma. It is most commonly used in the manufacture of high quality chocolate confections, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. Given the fat stability and melting characteristics, cocoa butter is fundamental in confectionery work as it remains solid at room temperature and melts just below body temperature.