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What is White Chocolate?

Posted on August 31, 2012 4:41 PM by Caitlin

"Is white chocolate really chocolate?"

white chocolate ghost

We hear this question a lot on our factory tours, and, to be honest, it depends on who is giving the tour to what answer is given. Before we get into why that is the case, we need to explain a little more about how chocolate is made:

There are two ingredients in a traditional European chocolate recipe that come directly from the cocoa bean and that, along with sugar and other ingredients, are combined to create chocolate. One is cocoa butter, and the other is cocoa liquor.

You have probably already heard of cocoa butter, since it is also used in the cosmetic industry. You may be familiar with it from skin creams or soaps. Cocoa butter is rich and creamy and adds a delicious texture to chocolate. Generally speaking, around twenty percent of our chocolate is cocoa butter.

The second ingredient that comes from the cocoa bean is cocoa liquor (and don’t worry, it’s not at all alcoholic.) This is the dark, “chocolaty” ingredient in chocolate. In fact, if you have ever cooked with unsweetened cocoa, that’s basically the same thing as cocoa liquor, but in a powdered form (and often alkalized). The amount of cocoa liquor in chocolate varies depending on the type of chocolate you are making. Darker chocolates have more liquor, and milk chocolates have less.

This brings us back to white chocolate, which does not have any cocoa liquor in it at all. When tasting white chocolate, you’ll notice that along with a lack of brown coloring, it is also missing that dark flavor that you often associate with chocolate products. This is because it does not contain any liquor. It does, however, still contain cocoa butter, which comes from the cocoa bean.

Because it contains ingredients from the cocoa bean, I have always argued that it is a form of chocolate, but because it does not contain any cocoa liquor, detractors say that it is not in fact chocolate. What we’ve found is that people who like white chocolate tend to call it chocolate, and people who don’t tend to say it isn’t.

In the US, the bottom line for white chocolate is laid out by the US Food and Drug Administration. According to their regulations, white chocolate must contain at least 20% cocoa butter. Ours does. In fact, our white chocolate contains only 5 ingredients: cocoa butter, sugar, milk, vanilla, and a soy emulsifier.

If you’ve ever seen a “white flavored” bar, or product, or found things that look like white chocolate but are called “vanilla flavored,” it’s because they’re substituting the expensive cocoa butter for a cheaper vegetable fat, and can therefore not legally call it white chocolate, since it contains nothing from the original bean. In that case I would agree with my detractors: it is not chocolate.

But ours is delicious, so if you have a white chocolate sweet tooth, be sure to check out our white chocolate Halloween ghost, our white chocolate chips, and our white chocolate cherry and raisin almond bark.

And finally, be sure to tell us what you think of white chocolate in the comments!

Goodbye Summer Shipping!

Posted on September 23, 2009 10:53 AM by Allison

Vermont sings in autumn with apple festivals, hayrides to pumpkin patches and porches adorned with colorful mums.  Lake Champlain Chocolates sings in the cooler temperatures by lowering our shipping rates.

With the cooler weather, it’s much easier to send our chocolate out into the world – the fears of our carefully handcrafted chocolates melting in big trucks or on front porches begin to fall away, just like orange leaves from maple trees.

What does this mean?  It means that we are happy to ship chocolate out the old-fashioned way – in big, brown UPS trucks.  We do, however, require orders to go at least two-day air to Florida, Hawaii and Alaska.  (A truck would have a hard time getting to Hawaii and it’s pretty much always hot in Florida, and do you know how big Alaska is?!)

Shipping rates now start at $7.50 as opposed to the summer’s $25.00 minimum.  Chocolate is a tricky thing to transport – since we use all natural ingredients, like pure cocoa butter which melts at about seventy degrees, its difficult to keep it safe once it leaves our climate-controlled chocolate safe-haven.

So go ahead and place that holiday order, or surprise someone with their favorite chocolate on their birthday.  Remember Halloween is coming up!  Why not give your favorite Trick-or-Treater a Pumpkin Face or White Chocolate Ghost this year?

And since it is getting a little colder, how about adding a can or two of our seven different types of Hot Chocolate to your order?  There’s nothing better than cozying up with a mug of hot chocolate in the fall temps - and a few marshmallows on top will bring out the little Trick-or-Treater in you.  Whether or not you go jump in a pile of leaves is entirely your decision.

"Do You Really Make White Chocolate Ghosts?"

Posted on September 4, 2008 2:05 PM by Leann

Booooooooo! Chocolate ghosts are scary! But yet, so tasty! Warning - For those of you who don’t like white chocolate or suffer from spectrophobia (fear of ghosts), stop here and don’t even think about watching the video. You’ve been warned.

But, for those of you who can’t get enough white chocolate and just love ghosts, ghouls, and goblins, carry on. Only around for the season, our white chocolate ghosts are hauntingly sweet, devilishly good but quick to vanish. So fast, in fact, you might wonder if they ever really existed.

For another glimpse into the chocolate factory, watch and see how they’re made by our wonderful chocolate makers. Since we don’t make a lot in white chocolate, this is definitely one of my favorite novelties.