The Mystery of White Chocolate

Photo courtesy of Thompson Poole Photography
Photo courtesy of Thompson Poole Photography

It doesn’t look like chocolate, it doesn’t taste like chocolate, yet its name leads us to presume that it is chocolate. We naturally accept that this must be the case, because that’s what it has always been called.

But is white chocolate really chocolate?

Technically, the answer is no. In order for a product to be “chocolate” it must contain chocolate liquor (or cocoa solids). Even though white chocolate doesn’t contain this, it does have a connection to the cacao bean. This connection is found in one of white chocolate’s main ingredients, cocoa butter, and is probably the reason for allowance of the word chocolate in its name.

When making chocolate the following occurs:

      1. Cacao beans are shelled and roasted.


      2. The core is ground into a paste, which is chocolate liquor.


      3. Chocolate liquor is the base of all chocolate products, and it is treated differently depending on its intended use.

        o When processing it for cocoa butter it is refined to a very small size


      o When processing it for chocolate products the size can be a little larger

Since the focus here is on white chocolate and cocoa butter, the next steps for regular chocolate aren’t of much concern; however, the final step in making cocoa butter for white chocolate is:

    4. A certain percentage of cocoa butter is removed from the chocolate liquor, and this can be kept in liquid or molded form.

Cocoa butter can then be mixed with milk, sugar, and some additional flavors, and the resulting product is white chocolate.

Despite white chocolate’s lack of cocoa solids, it is capable of being used and treated as regular chocolate – Delysia Chocolatier’s white chocolate truffles, bark, and molded chocolate are but a few examples.

So just because white chocolate isn’t technically chocolate, who says it can’t be enjoyed as if it were?

Nicole Patel

Nicole Patel is the proprietor of and chocolatier for Delysia Chocolatier. In 2006 while pregnant with her first son, Nicole made a batch of chocolate truffles as holiday gifts. To the delight of friends and family, she continued to create chocolates as a way to relieve stress from her corporate engineering job. In 2008, a chance trip to Becker Vineyards led to Nicole being the first in Texas to make truffles using local wines. Within five years, what started as a hobby turned Delysia into one of the Top Ten Chocolatiers in the Americas, as selected by the International Chocolate Salon.