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Winter White Chocolate Delight

White Hot Chocolate

Winter conjures up visions of steaming hot chocolate with a dollop of whipped cream, but like a snow globe how about shaking it up this year and making it with white chocolate?

According to Datassential MenuTrends, white chocolate appeared on 8% more menus in 2015 than 2011. Yet many consumers remain hesitant, believing they don’t care for it. We get this response often at trade shows. But when booth visitors taste a sample, the reaction is almost always pleasant surprise – “I’ve never had white chocolate like this!”

Are memories of past experiences with white chocolate making you hesitate too? It’s likely that what you recall as “white chocolate” was actually a compound coating, or chocolate with added fat other than cocoa butter (typically vegetable oil). Since much of the taste of white chocolate comes from high quality cocoa butter, the flavor of a compound coating pales in comparison.

Real white chocolate, like chocolate by Agostoni, is made with just cocoa butter, sugar and milk (vanilla is optional). More cocoa butter means a higher fat content, resulting in a smooth “melt in your mouth” quality that you don’t get with a compound coating. You can tell by the color. Real white chocolate is not white, but yellow, from the cocoa butter used to make it.

Agostoni white chocolate is decadent and reminiscent of a high quality vanilla ice cream. A trained palate may pick up notes of egg custard, cooked milk, real vanilla and sometimes a hint of brown spice, adding a depth of flavor unparalleled in the industry (though no spice has been added).

Organic White Chocolate Bark

The secret is starting with the right cocoa beans. High quality, fully fermented beans have a low free fatty acid content and produce higher quality cocoa butter. Lower acid content leads to a better flavor and increased workability in the finished product. While the industry standard is no more than 1.75% free fatty acids, the makers of Agostoni chocolate set the limit even lower at 1%.

A high quality white chocolate does not overpower the flavor profile of products like fine dark chocolate. Rather than dominating the confection, dessert or beverage, it blends nicely and enhances the product’s overall impact. White chocolate pairs especially well with caramel, peppermint, fruit and nuts. One classic combination – and a favorite here at Global Organics – is a white chocolate bark with roasted pistachios and cranberries.

Happy Holidays and Enjoy the Hot Chocolate!

Organic White Hot Chocolate Recipe
Serves 2

Decadent and sweet, this version of white hot chocolate is unlike anything you've ever tasted. It is the winter version of a premium vanilla bean gelato.

2 cups Whole Milk
3 oz. Agostoni Monte Bianco Organic White Chocolate Couverture

Heat the milk over medium heat, stirring often, until just boiling. Gently pour the hot milk into a blender. Add the Monte Bianco couverture and wait 15 seconds to soften. Very carefully, with a towel over the blender cover, pulse until the chocolate is incorporated and the milk is frothy. Split between two mugs, garnish and serve immediately.

Optional toppings: a sprinkle of nutmeg, cinnamon or cocoa powder, crushed peppermint, or a shot of espresso for a white chocolate mocha.