What is White Chocolate and How is it Made?

Get the inside scoop on white chocolate, including its ingredients and manufacturing process.

What is White Chocolate?

White chocolate is a confection made of sugar, milk powder, cocoa butter, and often vanilla and lecithin. White chocolate doesn't contain brown cocoa solids (also known as cocoa liquor or cocoa mass), or cocoa powder. This is why white chocolate is not brown like other chocolate but is instead pale ivory or light yellow. Of all of the kinds of chocolate, white chocolate contains the highest percentage of milk solids, typically around or over 30 percent, while milk chocolate has only around 25 percent.

When was White Chocolate Invented?

White chocolate was invented by the Nestlé company in Switzerland in the mid-1930s as a way to use up market gluts of milk powder and cocoa butter. 

How is White Chocolate Made?

During chocolate manufacturing, fermented and roasted cocoa beans are compressed in hydraulic presses to separate the cocoa butter from the cocoa mass. White chocolate is made using only the cocoa butter (the fat from the cocoa bean but none of the brown-coloured cocoa mass (also known as cocoa liquor). During manufacturing, sugar, milk powder, and flavourings are added to the cocoa butter to make white chocolate. The only cocoa ingredient in white chocolate is cocoa butter, which means white chocolate contains only trace amounts of caffeine and theobromine (a chemical which makes chocolate toxic to pets).

Is White Chocolate Really Chocolate?

Many people don't think white chocolate is really chocolate because it isn't brown like milk or dark chocolate. But, legally speaking, white chocolate really is chocolate. According to rulings in 2004 by the FDA and the CFIA, white chocolate is legally defined as chocolate if contains not less than 20% cocoa butter and contains no other vegetable fat, like palm oil or coconut oil.
High-quality white chocolate tends to be slightly yellow or cream in colour because cocoa butter is naturally yellow. And remember, to be legally called "white chocolate" or "white couverture" the only fat in white chocolate should be cocoa butter, nothing else.

Why is White Chocolate Amazing?

Take a good whiff of cocoa butter hand cream or body butter and you'll smell chocolate right away. That's because cocoa butter conveys cocoa aroma and flavour which your nose and tongue detect right away. White chocolate's creamy, sweet, and mild flavour profile is a wonderful blank canvas on which you can play creatively with flavours and textures. Some delicious additions to white chocolate are nuts; dried fruits and citrus; spices like turmeric and curry; herbs like dill and rosemary.