Monday, September 7, 2015

Homemade vegan white chocolate

homemade vegan white chocolate

So. It’s nearly fall. Can you believe it? (No—after nearly two decades of life, I am still surprised when fall rolls around.) In a way, I’m glad. The oppressive heat and constant, glaring sunlight is getting old; and honestly, if my tan lines get any worse my forearms might just give up being a part of my body and fall off. That is the fear, anyway.

And regardless of the impending cold of winter and, of course, the new school year, fall is always a fun season for baking. In New England, one might argue that it is the best season for baking. You’ve got crops like apples and pears and oranges and grapefruits and sweet potatoes, all perennial favorites in pies and cakes alike; warm spices like cinnamon and cloves and nutmeg; and of course, pumpkin. Pumpkin is a category of its own. Not to mention, the gently cooling weather makes turning on the oven a much more inviting task than it is in the summer, when only crazy people like myself find it necessary to churn out cakes and cookies on the reg. The combination of these factors, plus our newfound ability to cover up our pasty, pale bodies with turtlenecks and sweatpants given that it is no longer swimsuit season (and that applies to all genders, don’t think I’m being sexist here), makes fall a most wondrous season for the home baker.

But come on. We all know why white girls like fall.

The beverage that needs no introduction. source

But summer will be here for the next few weeks and all of the heat and mugginess that comes with it—so I’ll wait a little longer before breaking out the pumpkin.

In the meantime, feast your eyes on this white chocolate. 

Forgive the weird lighting.

I’ve been feeling guilty for a while about using white chocolate, since most brands use powdered milk, which is clearly not vegan; so imagine my delight when I discovered through the strategic use of Google that white chocolate can actually be made at home without any dairy whatsoever! Thanks to this brilliant recipe from Gluten Free on a Shoestring, everyone can enjoy delicious, gourmet white chocolate with ease, regardless of dairy allergies or dietary choices or whatever.

And I know I sound like an advertising copy writer. But it’s true. This recipe is waaaay easier than pie. This is, like, pour milk into cereal-level easy.

First things first, you order raw cacao butter from Amazon. Or pick some up at Whole Foods. Or buy a few ounces off the black market. I recommend ordering it online, because, duh. Easy. No wandering through the aisles at a Whole Foods half an hour from your house for fifteen minutes before awkwardly asking an employee where to find the cacao butter, only to realize that nice old lady putting stuff on the shelves was actually a customer, and now you have to awkwardly back out of the situation all while trying to save face and not offend said old lady and look for someone who is actually a Whole Foods employee, only to realize that the store is about to close because you took too fucking long and you have to come back tomorrow, which is when you find out that the cacao butter is about fifty bucks for a tiny-ass package and you only have forty-nine dollars in your wallet and yet again you are forced to slink back home shamefully, no cacao butter to be seen.

I mean, is that not how it goes down when you go to Whole Foods? Don’t tell me I’m the only one. 

My hand is not that fat in real life, I swear. It's just the angle.

The second step is actually making the white chocolate. Basically, you just melt the cacao butter. GENTLY. You don’t want to burn your precious cacao butter. That stuff is not cheap.

Then you add the vanilla paste, powdered sugar, almond flour (a dairy-free substitute for milk powder that actually works quite well), and kosher salt. Whisk. Pour into silicone molds—or, if you’re like me and don’t have silicone molds like some kind of peasant, onto a lightly-greased baking sheet. Chill. Break into pieces. 

Munch.

Okay, the munching part is optional. I ate a piece or two (or three) of this, and it was quite good; however, I only made this for a certain recipe I had in mind and so I saved most of it for later use.

A few notes about the recipe if you do want to make this. 

First, 1) the almond flour. If you don’t like the way this chocolate looks with the little brown speckles, or you’re allergic to almonds, or whatever, you can use soy milk powder instead. Apparently it works the same, although I haven’t tested it. 

And 2) the sugar. I found this chocolate to be very sweet (which tells you a lot, given my extreme sweet tooth), so you could easily reduce the amount of sugar in here if you want. Maybe about a half cup would be sufficient. Feel free to experiment with different sweeteners besides powdered sugar, though I can’t guarantee the chocolate will set up the same way. 

And finally, 3) the vanilla paste. You may substitute vanilla extract if you want, but I really like the way the vanilla paste adds flecks of vanilla caviar to the final result. Just make sure you’re using high-quality vanilla, because that is an important aspect of the flavor—the combination of vanilla and cacao butter is ultimately what will make your chocolate delicious.  

That’s all for today, folks. Here’s the recipe.

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Homemade vegan white chocolate


Ingredients

112 grams • raw cacao butter (I used this), roughly chopped • 4 ounces

8 grams • vanilla paste • 2 teaspoons

80 grams • powdered sugar • 2/3 cup

3 grams • almond flour • 1 teaspoon

1 gram • kosher salt • 1/4 teaspoon

Directions

In a small saucepan, melt cacao butter over very low heat, stirring consistently to ensure even melting. When the cacao butter is about 2/3 melted, remove from heat and stir until smooth. It will look a lot like melted butter, but darker in color.

Add vanilla paste, powdered sugar, almond flour, and salt. Whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour the mixture into silicone molds or, as I did, pour out onto a baking sheet. Refrigerate for half an hour, until firm. Store chocolate in the fridge, where it won’t be prone to melting.

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Like my new yellow background? I think it's quite perky.

For ways to use this white chocolate, check out the recipes below (come on, I know you want to).

Pumpkin pie white hot chocolate. The perfect fall drink.

Lemon white chocolate cupcakes. One of my earliest posts.

Lavender lemon ice cream cupcakes. A lovely flavor combination, that is.

20 comments:

  1. I really miss white chocolate. I've found a few alternatives that taste quite nice but are full of crazy preservatives so I would love to give this a try, the ingredients look fairly simple which I love. Thanks for the recipe!

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    1. I hope you do try it, so worthwhile! And tastes better than storebought white chocolate too :)

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  2. Brilliant! You make it sound so doable and I love the way it looks. I must try this. Thanks for sharing a fantastic recipe.

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    1. It really is very doable! I was surprised myself. Glad you like the recipe! :)

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  3. oh wow! I HAVE TO try it! Looks delicious!

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    1. I hope you do! Very worth your while :)

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  4. OMG I was always wondering if there was a version of white vegan chocolate, this is amazing, thanks so much for sharing!

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  5. MMm this sounds and looks delicious June! Almond butter is my favourite nut butter of choice when making chocolate too :D Makes it so creamy! x

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  6. Whole Foods is a dangerous rabbit hole for me. They have so many products that I often forget what I was looking for in the first place and I end up buying more than I came for. Hearing my total bill at the checkout line always makes me cringe.

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    1. You and me both! I've been known to go out on the hunt for something in particular and return with everything BUT what I was looking for :P lol

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  7. Ok I have a couple of things to say. First: LOVE the name of your blog, like seriously crushing hard on here! Second: This recipe is super duper mind blowing! and third: I can't stop laughing with the caption of your hand. Best post ever!

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    1. Thanks so much!! I really appreciate the love :) Tbh I have pretty short fingers so they always look like that in photos :P

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  8. Hahahah...I love the description of your trip to Whole Foods. That's how each and every one of my trips there goes, too! I've actually never made my own chocolate, but it is totally on my bucket list. This looks awesome...and tasty...and vegan!

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  9. June, that stack of your homemade vegan white chocolate looks very pretty - I love little specks of real vanilla in all the things that I make and the vanilla seeds must add a ton of flavor here. Almond flour sounds like a nice, naturally sweet flavor component too - a great recipe that would never have crossed my mind - and you reminded me that I do not own those silicone chocolate molds either but have been looking for them forever.
    Lovely post - great recipe & hilarious writing!
    Hope you had a great start to the new shool year!
    Andrea

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    1. Thanks Andrea! I was thinking I ought to get some candy molds as well, especially now that I know how to make homemade white chocolate :D

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