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!
Makes about 4 oz
- 2 oz (weight) food-grade cocoa butter
- 6 packets Splenda or Sweetleaf brand stevia
- 1 packet (about 2 oz) powdered coconut milk (I used a 1.76 oz packet). Or try 1.5 scoops unflavored milk protein powder + 1 Tbs clarified butter (untested so far).
- Pinch of table salt (not Kosher salt)
- Chocolate mold
- Combine the sweetener, coconut milk powder, and salt (ideally sift them together to remove any grit). Set aside.
- 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.
- Add the sweetener, powdered coconut milk, and salt and mix with a fork.
- Scrape the mixture into a blender and blend until very smooth.
- Pour the chocolate into your mold. Rap it on the counter to remove some of the air bubbles.
- Refrigerate for 24 hours.