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.
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.
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.
Homemade vegan white chocolate
Adapted from Gluten Free on a Shoestring
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
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.
|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.