Friday, October 29, 2010

White chocolate (low carb, dairy free)

I made white chocolate! From scratch! Low-carb! Dairy-free! It! Was! Delicious!

White chocolate is made from cocoa butter, sugar, powdered milk, and usually an emulsifier like soy lecithin. I've been sorely missing this stuff, but I wondered if I could perhaps make it myself, replacing the powdered milk (which is high carb) and sugar with something else.

Here's the catch: to make truly smooth chocolate of any kind, you need a wet grinder, typically a Santha, for refining the chocolate. Just one problem: the cheapest model costs $500. So I did not buy one. I made two batches, one where I just stirred the ingredients with a fork, and one with a blender. I preferred the texture of the chocolate made in the blender, but it is still not going to be perfectly smooth. I didn't mind too much, and it's particularly not noticeable if you use the white chocolate in baking (i.e. chopped up to make chocolate chips).

To make chocolate of any kind, you cannot add any water or liquid ingredients. This page shows the difference between chocolate without any water, and chocolate with just a single drop of water added. I went to the health food store and found packets of powdered coconut milk. The macronutrient content is mostly fat, and it only contains 1 gram of carbs per serving. Perfect! I do think that the final result was a bit too quick to melt, and I think it might be due to the high fat content of the coconut milk. I would like to try a combination of milk protein with a little bit of milk fat (clarified butter) to see if that produces a better result. As it is, I recommend freezing the chocolate before chopping it up and/or cooking with it.

I made two batches, one with Splenda and one with stevia. The stevia had the tiniest bit of that stevia "bite", but if you are used to it, it should not bother you. I always use Sweetleaf brand, which uses inulin as the carrier (all artificial sweeteners are diluted with a carrier of some sort). Inulin is just a type of soluble fiber, which also acts as an emulsifier so you can nix the soy lecithin granules. All of the other powdered stevia brands either use a corn starch or corn sugar like maltodextrin or dextrose, or they use sugar alcohols (way too gritty for white chocolate) so Sweetleaf it is. I did try adding lecithin but the granules did not break down in the blender so I think it is useless unless you have a Santha.

Lastly, be sure you are using top-quality food-grade cocoa butter. Much of the cocoa butter out there is intended for use in cosmetics or as a moisturizer. I used this stuff; deodorized versions are available as well but I think those are more intended for dark chocolates. For this you really want a good flavorful cocoa butter. Also, here's a nice article about the lipid composition of cocoa butter. According to Nutrition Data it is all fat, no carbs or protein.

You will also need a chocolate mold. I like this one; one batch as described below makes a single bar. Definitely splurge on the professional grade mold, trust me on this. I bought the hobbyist grade and it is a VERY flimsy plastic. Not worth it unless you plan to use it once and then throw it away.

So there you have it. I will probably continue trying to tweak this recipe, and I will post any updates/improvements. Please let me know if you try it!

WHITE CHOCOLATE
Makes about 4 oz

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS
  1. Combine the sweetener, coconut milk powder, and salt (ideally sift them together to remove any grit). Set aside.
  2. Chop up the cocoa butter into small pieces so that it melts easily. Nuke it in the microwave until melted. I microwaved it for a minute at a time at 70% power, stirring after each minute. It will liquefy and get quite hot.
  3. Add the sweetener, powdered coconut milk, and salt and mix with a fork.
  4. Scrape the mixture into a blender and blend until very smooth.
  5. Pour the chocolate into your mold. Rap it on the counter to remove some of the air bubbles.
  6. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

9 comments:

Anika said...

I tried it, I used butter and vanilla flavored whey protein powder. My chocolate didn't really blend well. The oils and the powders separated. I let them sit on the counter for a bit because I couldn't find space for them in the fridge, that's probably why it separated. It does taste good though :) and I'll probably try it again.

Erica said...

Hey Anika, thanks so much for letting me know that you tried it! Though I'm sorry that it didn't work out for you :\ I tried it once with protein powder and the mixture became way too thick and pasty. It should have roughly the consistency of melted chocolate. So I might need to add less protein powder for that variation. Probably just try adding a little at a time? I might also try it with protein powder that is designed for cooking, like Any Whey: http://amzn.to/evKL6h . I've just been using the powdered coconut milk but I might experiment with protein again!

danyelle6974 said...

I recommend real whole vanilla beans soaking in the cocoa butter for a while before you make it. The tiny bits of black make it look the part and it tastes so good.

www.mueblesbaratos.nom.es said...

Thanks so much for the post, quite helpful piece of writing.

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The Gracious Pantry said...

Do you think it's possible to make it without any powdered milk at all, or is that an essential component?

Erica said...

@Gracious Pantry: You CAN leave it out but you will definitely notice a big difference. The result without powdered milk will basically be just sweetened cocoa butter, which will still be tasty but it won't be quite the same thing. You could try using heavy cream or coconut milk instead if you're willing to keep it in the freezer until right before eating, or if you're going to use it in a dessert sauce or ganache. Hope that helps!

The Gracious Pantry said...

Yes, it does! Thanks!

Marina Saettone said...

I made this last night to use as decoration drizzle on top of chocolate dipped cookies. It was not good. At first it was way too runny and grainy. I out it into the food processor but that only stirred it up, then I chilled it and it helped a tiny but but was separated. My sister put it back into the processor just to stir it up then into the freezer. Then iit became too hard. She worked it until she could once again get it into he processor. It was finally workable but still grainy. We decided it was good that we were only using it for decoration and piped it. I altered the recipe only by halving it. Since it was decoration only and I didn't have enough coconut milk power to make a whole batch I halved it.

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