White chocolate is not something we eat very often, but when we do, I like to make it homemade. Most things are better homemade anyway and white chocolate is no exception to this rule for several reasons.
The white chocolate that is available in the grocery store is typically made with a lot of not so healthy ingredients. Not to mention it is much too sweet for our tastes since we have scaled back our sugar consumption over the past few years. The only way to avoid the sugar overload & questionable ingredients found in commercially produced white chocolate is to make it yourself at home instead.
There are several different ways to make homemade white chocolate. I have found this method here to be the easiest and most reliable, especially for using the white chocolate for dipping and coating. Melted cacao butter blended with raw honey, soaked cashews and a pinch of ground vanilla is all it takes.
Cacao butter is the cold pressed oil from the cacao bean- rich in fat soluble vitamins E and K –which support eye, skin and heart health. Cacao butter is mostly comprised of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids which make it stable for cooking and give it a long shelf life. Stearic acid is the primary saturated fat in cacao butter (also found in beef) which has cholesterol lowering properties. Oleic acid is the primary monounsaturated fat (also found in olive oil, avocado and lard) which supports cardiovascular health. To put it simply- cacao butter may be a fat, but it should be considered a healthy fat- so you do not have to feel bad about eating it.
Soaked cashews become the stabilizer for the white chocolate in place of the dry milk powder a typical white chocolate recipe would call for, making this recipe dairy free as well.
Raw honey serves as the sweetener- maple syrup or agave (to make it vegan) can be substituted for the honey.
Ground vanilla is an economical stand in for vanilla beans and lends the white chocolate just enough of a floral warmth to compliment the flavor of the cacao butter nicely.
The main way I use homemade white chocolate in the kitchen is for dipping & coating foods. This recipe produces a softer end product then what you would buy from the grocery store, but it has a much cleaner ingredient list than what you would buy from the grocery store. So in the end, this homemade white chocolate is a healthy alternative.
- 220g (1 cup) raw cacao butter cacao butter
- 70g (1/2 cup) soaked cashews (soak in 1/2 cup of water for 1 hour & then drain)
- 70g (1/4 cup) raw honey (maple syrup or agave may be substituted)
- 1/4 tsp ground vanilla ground vanilla (vanilla extract may be substituted)
- Set up a double boiler on a burner over medium low heat (a heat safe bowl over a saucepan filled with about 1 inch of water)
- Add cacao butter to double boiler and stir occasionally until melted
- While the cacao butter is melting, add cashews to a high speed blender and blend until finely chopped
- Once cacao butter is melted, add in honey & vanilla, stir to combine and then add mixture to blender
- Blend on high until very smooth
- Pour white chocolate into a medium sized dish lined with parchment paper
- Place in the refrigerator until set (this typically takes about 1 hour)
- Remove white chocolate from parchment, store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place