A guide to white chocolate

Whether you have a really sweet tooth or you just find milk and dark chocolate too… rich, white chocolate is a delight to treat the whole family when you’re looking for something a little different.

But what do you actually know about white chocolate? Did you know who first made it? How to deal with it when baking? What you can use it for? Well worry no longer, because here’s a handy guide to white chocolate and it will answer all those questions and more!

When was the first white chocolate bar made?

While milk and dark chocolate had been available since around the mid-1800s, white chocolate wasn’t available to buy until Nestlé made the Milkybar during the 1930s. It’s rumoured that the Swiss company wanted to find a way to use up the milk powder left over from World War I which was no longer needed.

What is white chocolate made from?

I’ve heard people say that white chocolate isn’t really chocolate at all. But actually, the ingredients used to make it still come from the cacao plant, just like its milk and dark cousins. When making chocolate, the process involves drying, fermenting and roasting parts of the cacao beans to make a paste. That paste is then pressurised to separate it into cocoa solids and cocoa butter. The solids are mainly used for milk and dark chocolate and the butter is used for white chocolate – fascinating, right?

Milk and sugar are added to the cocoa butter and that’s how we get the deliciously smooth, sweet taste of white chocolate.

Why does white chocolate melt in a different way from milk and dark?

That’s because it’s mainly cocoa butter rather than the solids and it has a higher sugar content. That just means you need to keep a closer eye on the white chocolate as you melt it, to prevent it from sticking.

When making a chocolate ganache, you also need to change the ratio of your ingredients to take into account the whiteness of your chocolate. While you can use a ratio of 1:1 (one part chocolate to one part cream) for dark chocolate and 2:1 for milk, it’s best to go with a ratio of 3:1 for white chocolate.

What flavours go well with white chocolate?

Well, as they say, the world is your oyster with white chocolate. It very much depends on what you like, and there are some traditional flavour combinations that have been tried and tested. White chocolate is generally paired with vanilla, but raspberry and white chocolate is a very popular combination too.

I’ve seen it paired with passion fruit, coconut, orange, peppermint… why not give it a try and see what works best for you?

Great white chocolate recipes

When it comes to baking with white chocolate, there are so many options out there. I’ve picked out a handful of recipes that I love below so why not try them out?

White chocolate cookies

I love this simple recipe for white chocolate cookies. There’s nothing more comforting than a freshly baked batch of cookies as an after-school treat, a morning snack with a cuppa or a weekend indulgence when the family’s all at home.

White chocolate and raspberry blondies

Squidgy, indulgent, gooey and moreish, these blondies will be a hit with all your guests. And there are raspberries in there so that’s one of your five a day, right? 😉

Seriously though, these are a huge hit in our house and they’re surprisingly easy to create too.

White chocolate mousse

If you’re looking for a delicious dessert for your Sunday lunch, look no further. This light, deliciously sweet mousse could be paired with any kind of fruit as a simple but gorgeous pudding, dessert, afters… whatever you call it!

White chocolate fudge

When you need a sweet bite and shop-bought sweets just won’t cut it, why not try making this amazing white chocolate fudge. It’s really simple to make with only three ingredients, and it’s insanely tasty too – enjoy!

So, there you have it – loads of white chocolate goodness, inspiration and recipes. Which recipe will you try first? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to see how you get on.