By Lia Blanchard
This is the fourth article in a series about chocolate, the main ingredient of many of Art of Appreciation’s most popular gift baskets.
Our last article explored the vast landscape of dark chocolate in all of its variations, learning that the endless combinations of raw chocolate content and fat content produce the different types of “dark” chocolate.
But what about “white” chocolate – if it is chocolate, what makes it white? Turns out that what makes white chocolate officially “white” is the content of milk solids… and the absence of raw chocolate.
Wait… there’s no chocolate in white chocolate? There’s no raw chocolate, or chocolate liquor. What it does have is a content of cocoa butter that’s higher than the “brown” chocolates. The FDA allows a product to be called “white chocolate” if the product contains no chocolate liquor, at least 20% cocoa butter, and at least 14% milk solids.
Speaking of milk solids, what about milk chocolate? It’s not “dark” and it’s not “white”, so what is it? Milk chocolate generally has a lower percentage of chocolate liquor than the dark chocolate, but more importantly, it’s required to contain at least 12% milk solids to be labeled “milk chocolate”.
What about the “chocolatey coating” we sometimes see on candy bars? That’s compound chocolate – cocoa powder combined with sweeteners and cheap vegetable fat instead of cocoa butter. It doesn’t go through any of the tempering process that true chocolate does – it’s simply heated to its melting point and used as a coating.
Next: The next article in the series will bring it all together, describing how all of this yumminess is derived from cacao, the “food of the gods”.
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