Thursday, April 9, 2015

White chocolate alternatives

Since we stopped eating non-fair trade cocoa products we haven't been able to buy white chocolate: no one sells it fair trade in New Zealand :-(  This has led to the discovery that I rather like white chocolate, so I've recently been on a mission to make my own.

So far I've yet to even source fair trade cocoa butter (Piko Wholefoods in Christchurch sell it but they don't ship to the North Island), so I've been working with coconut butter and fractionated coconut oil instead.  Over the course of many yummy experiments I've finally come up with two recipes that give passable imitations of white chocolate :-)

Coconut butter 'white chocolate'

Coconut butter is what you get when you grind dessiccated coconut to a liquid (just like how you grind peanuts to make peanut butter).  It's solid at room temperature here in Auckland (except possibly in mid-summer), but returns to liquidy form if you leave it in the hot water cupboard for a few hours.  If you want to liquify it quickly you could try the microwave, but be careful - it burns really really easily!

Ingredients

60g dessiccated coconut OR coconut butter
1/4 cup (60g) white sugar, ground to a powder }
2T water                                                          } can use 2T honey instead
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
60g full-fat milk powder


Method:

1. Grind coconut until it's really liquidy.  If using pre-prepared coconut butter, place in hot water cupboard for a couple of hours to liquify.
2. Add sugar, one tablespoon water and vanilla and mix well.
3. Work in milk powder till it forms a thick paste, adding up to 3 tsp more water if necessary.
5. Press into a silicone loaf tin and put in the fridge to firm up, then cut into squares.


This tastes distinctly of coconut but is still a good substitute for white chocolate.  I expect to use this in things like peppermint bark or as white chocolate chips in baking.


Coconut oil 'white chocolate'

Fractionated coconut oil (also called deodorised coconut oil) is coconut oil with all the coconut scent/flavour taken out of it.  I've long used it as a conditioner for my hair but now I'm eating it, too :-)

Ingredients:

60g fractionated coconut oil
15g butter
1/4 cup (60g) white sugar, ground to powder (I suspect icing sugar would also work OK)
1 tsp vanilla essence
45g full-fat milk powder (skim would probably also be fine)

Method:


1. Melt the coconut oil and butter in the microwave.
2. Add sugar and vanilla and mix well.
3. Work in milk powder till it forms a thick paste.
4. Press into a silicone loaf tin and put in the fridge to firm up, then cut into squares.


This has no coconut taste and is strongly reminiscent of white chocolate.  It's a lot more expensive than the other version as fractionated coconut oil is pretty pricey: I'll only be making this when I actually want to eat pieces of white chocolate.


PS This project was inspired by the Household Covenant, mentioned earlier.  My commitment for the 'work and leisure' section was to do one or two fun things every week :-)

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