Earlier this year, I confessed to being a chocoholic. Like any true cacao lover, I adore white chocolate just as much as the dark stuff. White chocolate gets a bad rap at the best of times. But for many small-batch chocolate makers, creating delicious white chocolate is an art form. I am new to the bean-to-bar chocolate scene so I decided to sample a selection of high-quality white chocolates for myself.
Why do haters hate white chocolate?
Forget the haters. White chocolate IS STILL CHOCOLATE! A cocoa bean is made up for cocoa butter and cocoa nibs. While dark chocolate uses the entire cocoa bean, white chocolate contains only cocoa butter.
Unfortunately, most mainstream white chocolates are nothing but sugar and milk with just a dash of cocoa butter. Hence why haters insist that white chocolate is crap. They are not completely wrong. Cocoa butter is expensive. As a substance, it is rich in fatty acids, remains stable at room temperature, and is used in many products besides chocolate such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Large-scale chocolate producers try to get away with using less cocoa butter and more sugar to keep costs down. However, fine chocolate makers produce white chocolate that is comprised of more than 20% cocoa butter which results in a richer taste and creamier consistency.
Fun fact: white chocolate was invented by Nestle in 1936.
Bean-to-bar white chocolate
I was curious about bean-to-bar white chocolate. White chocolate in its purest form has an honest and delicate flavour profile. Many white chocolate makers like to introduce additional ingredients such as fruits, nuts, or spices to showcase its inherent creaminess. I purchased three highly acclaimed white chocolates from Hello Chocolate to find out what all the fuss was about. Watch my video taste-test below. Keep reading for tasting notes along with details on where to purchase this amazing chocolate.
Dulce de Tres Leches by Obolo
The first white chocolate I sampled has the enticing name Dulce de Tres Leches after a popular Chilean cake made from three types of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. It is produced by Chilean chocolatier Obolo. They source organic cocoa beans from the Pangoa cooperative in Peru.
The chocolate has a wonderful bronze-like colour and tastes like an especially rich spoonful of condensed milk with a toffee aftertaste. There was no “snap” factor when I broke a piece of chocolate from the bar. But it does possess a beautiful melty quality. I let the chocolate sit on my tongue and dissolve slowly so I could thoroughly enjoy the moment. Just as advertised, the Dulce de Tres Leches chocolate was more like eating dessert than a chocolate!
Patagonia Murta Berry by Obolo
The Patagonia Murta Berry is also produced by Obolo. However, the taste was completely different. Normally, I avoid eating chocolate with berries or fruit. I prefer plain chocolate. But I decided to keep an open mind when trying this one. I am glad that I did because I was blown away by the energy and tang of this chocolate bar. Murta berries, also known as Chilean guava, are small fruit with a grainy texture and tropical taste. In this chocolate, they really pack a punch! There is also the addition of some raspberry powder which adds to the overall tartness.
Obolo not only take pride in its chocolate-making process. They care about the packaging too. Obolo chocolates are encased in an environmentally-friendly compostable wrapper with bold typeface and colourful label. The chocolate batch number and best by date are written on the back by hand. These small details make opening each bar feel as special as a unwrapping a Christmas gift.
Vanilla Bean Toasted White by Fruition
Of all the white chocolates I sampled, the Vanilla Bean Toasted White by Fruition was my favourite. I never knew white chocolate could taste so incredible! In order to be called “white chocolate” a bar must consist of at least 20% cocoa butter. This bar contains 38% cocoa butter and possesses an indulgent and velvety texture. From the first bite I was overwhelmed by memories of my childhood. The chocolate tasted just like toasted marshmallow with hint of butterscotch. There was no design or imprint on the bar so it was a little difficult to eat in an elegant fashion. I literally took a bite from the block! However, each chomp melted seductively and quickly in my mouth.
Fruition Chocolate Works is based in North America and is committed to fair and direct trade. They source fine cocoa beans from all around the world and all their chocolate is handcrafted. The founder, Bryan Graham, has always been a massive dessert fan. His grandma was an outstanding baker who instilled in him a passion for food from an early age. Bryan is revered within the chocolate-making industry and wins prestigious awards year after year.
I prefer bean-to-bar chocolate for two reasons. Firstly, because bean-to-bar makers produce small batches of chocolate that are made with devotion and good quality ingredients. These chocolate-makers are focused on showcasing the beautiful and complex flavours derived from a cocoa bean. Just like wine and grapes, the climate and conditions of where cocoa beans are grown can really impact the taste of the chocolate. There was zero comparisons to be had between the bean-to-bar white chocolates I sampled and regular Nestle or Lindt white chocolate. The Obolo and Fruition chocolates possessed a deluxe quality and each had its own unique flavour profile. Supermarket white chocolate tastes like a mouthful of white sugar.
Secondly, and more importantly, bean-to-bar chocolates are ethically produced. The makers do not undercut farmers or turn a blind eye to child labour. These are unfortunately common practices in the chocolate-making business.
Bean-to-bar chocolate is obviously more expensive than what you get on supermarkets shelves. But it is a win-win situation for all involved. Everyone in the chocolate-making cycle is compensated for their efforts and the consumer can enjoy more delicious chocolate.
Where do I get this amazing chocolate from?
I buy my chocolate from Hello Chocolate. In addition to bean-to-bar white chocolate, they also have an exciting range of dark and milk chocolates, sugar-free chocolates, pralines, and chocolate-covered nuts. Hello Chocolate ships internationally. If you are based in Singapore, you can also get same-day delivery. Woo!
The best thing about Hello Chocolate is their seductive descriptions. I end up salivating just browsing the home page.