7 Feb 2012
White chocolate is one of the store-bought treats that I used to miss most on a dairy-free diet … that is until I saw what was in it. One of the most popular brands of white chocolate chips on the market contains: Unsweetened Chocolate, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Cocoa Butter, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Coconut, Soybean, Cottonseed), Water, Milk Fat, Butter, Sorbitol, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Salt, Disodium Phosphate, Vanilla, Soy Lecithin, Potassium Sorbate. Seriously? Not exactly the makings of a real food diet.
True white chocolate is as simple as cocoa butter, milk powder, sugar, and vanilla. Since the milk powder part is a no-go for my dairy-free diet, and finding true white chocolate can be difficult anyway, I’ve learned to make my own vegan white chocolate at home from real food ingredients. My homemade stuff may not be as refined as the chocolatiers, but it’s still pure sweet cocoa butter bliss in my opinion.
The recipe below is a variation on my basic white chocolate recipe, using ground cashews instead of rice milk powder and adding some honey or agave (or maple for a warm earthy vibe!) to gently brighten the flavor and soften the bite. To temper the sweetness and add a nice texture to the bars, I have tossed in some organic rice cereal. Since my husband is also on a gluten-free diet, I use the Erewhon Organic Crispy Brown Rice Cereal Gluten Free cereal, which is certified gluten-free.
Of course, chocolate is the perfect sweet for Valentine’s day, too. So don’t hesitate to use those heart-shaped molds if sharing with friends and family, or if you just want to treat yourself to some homemade white chocolate love!
Note to self: Do not use coconut oil to grease a mold that you will be chilling.
I do recommend using silicone molds as the chocolate pops out easily. For everyday “bars” I use my trusty silicone muffin cups. They make nice little single-serve disks.
Also, you can add a little contrast with a layer of dark or semi-sweet chocolate for a Black ‘n White Chocolate Bar. See the variation at the end of the recipe for details.
Organic rice cereal offers a crispy surprise in between the white and dark chocolate layers!
Recipe: Easy Homemade White Chocolate Crispy Bars
Summary: Recipe adapted from Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook.
- 1 Ounce (scant 1/4 cup) Raw, Unsalted Cashews
- 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar (organic if possible)
- Pinch Salt
- 2 Ounces Cocoa Butter (food grade, sold online and in natural food
stores) or Coconut Oil, melted (about 1/3 cup when melted)
- 2 to 3 Teaspoons Honey, Agave Nectar, or Maple Syrup (for strictly
vegan, use agave or maple syrup)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract or Paste (preferably alcohol-free)
- 3 Tablespoons Erewhon Organic Gluten Free Rice Cereal (see instructions to
decide on the amount)
- Place the cashews, sugar, and salt, if using, in your spice grinder and whiz into a powder (takes just 30 seconds or so).
- Place the cashew-sugar mixture, melted cocoa butter or oil (I simply melt either one in the microwave), maple syrup, and vanilla in a blender and blend for 30 to 60 seconds to combine.
- Pour the white chocolate into 4 silicone muffin cups (or whatever molds you are using), top evenly with the organic rice cereal, and very gently press the cereal in to ensure it adheres as the chocolate chills.
- Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes to set-up.
- Pop them out and enjoy!
- If using coconut oil, be sure to store leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer. Bars made with cocoa butter can be stored chilled or at room temperature, but I still like them chilled.
Black ‘n White Chocolate Love – For a contrast in color and sweetness, semi-sweet chocolate pairs nicely. Allow the white chocolate to set-up for at least 5 minutes, then melt 2 ounces of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips with 1/2 teaspoon of grapeseed or olive oil. Evenly pour a layer of chocolate on top of each white chocolate bar or disk. You can tap it on the counter to help the chocolate evenly spread out. Return the chocolate to the freezer for 15 minutes to set-up completely.
Unrefined Goodness – If you prefer to use an less-refined sweetener, look for an organic powdered sugar or try coconut/palm sugar. Since you are grinding the sugar with the nuts, it will powder in the process. It still won’t be as smooth as store-bought powdered sugar (it may be a touch granular), and the flavor will have more caramel notes, but you may even prefer it that way!
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy free, Egg free, Gluten free, Peanut free, Soy free, Wheat free, optionally Refined Sugar free
Number of servings (yield): 4
Copyright © Alisa Fleming.
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