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Gentastic

You win this round, white chocolate

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First, hi all.  I'm a new to posting, but I've browsed the site on and off for a long time.  All of your candy is way beyond my level of experience and I hope one day mine will be that pretty. :)

 

Secondly, I hate white chocolate.  But I understand people lurrrrveeee it, so I try to use it in at least one or two chocolates that I make.  It gives me headaches.

 

My problem is this -how do you get the flavor into the white chocolate without the white chocolate overpowering the flavor added?

 

I've tried infusing the cream for days, reduced purées, extracts, jams...it all just has that gross white chocolate taste and barely any flavor.  The only semi-success I've had was by adding an entire block of guava paste.  I don't mind experimenting and throwing stuff away, if someone could point me in the right direction that would be so very helpful.

 

**right now I have a giant block of Callebaut white chocolate that I'm using.  I've tried raspberry, key lime, black raspberry, passionfruit, chai and mango (indivually..not a combination).  Maybe those are just bad flavors to use.

 

 

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Welcome Gentastic! 

 

You may also want to try some other white chocolates. I use Valrhona Ivoire and it is less sweet. I tried a few of the eGuittard white chocolates and there is a least one from their line that I like that is a less sweet white chocolate.  

 

It also helps to pair white chocolate with tart fruits, salty items, or spicy items. Also, like Kerry said, layer the flavors.

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I will have to work on my layering technique.  I'm not entirely sure how it's done, but I have books and Google.  And egullet. :) I've tried other white chocolates..not many since I hate it, but out of necessity I've tried finding the least objectionable one.  Ghirardelli chips were the worst tasting things I've ever had.   

 

Can I mute the flavor of the white chocolate by adding cocoa butter?

 

I welcome any flavor suggestions.  I'm curious about "salty" being added to white chocolate.

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Salty for white chocolate...

  • peanut butter filling - up the salt in your filling
  • pretzels
  • smokehouse almonds
  • salted caramel
  • fish sauce, combined with other flavors
  • soy sauce, combined with other flavors
  • ganache with smoked salt
  • black licorice (Mette has made some items like this that she brought to an eGullet workshop that were very tasty)

 


Edited by curls (log)
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Hi Gentastic,

 

I've been using Callebaut white chocolate for years and while it is pretty sweet and does not perform as well when old, I still love the fluidity and the taste of it. I've been successful in making mint ganache by infusing the cream with mint then adding to the chocolate.  I've also used fruit compounds such as orange or raspberry and I've found that crushing up freeze dried fruit also gives it a nice flavor.

 

Good luck to you!

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Curls, those are some interesting flavors you have there.  Never would I have thought of fish and white chocolate.  Wow.  There are some adventurous eaters out there!

 

I am going to try the smoked salt now.  That sounds like it could mute the white chocolate flavor some.  

 

I'm also going to use the freeze dried blueberry I have on hand until I can get out to the store to get some more raspberry.  I rolled one batch of guava in freeze dried mango and it turned out pretty nicely.  Kinda ugly though.  

 

Thank all all of you for your suggestions!

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Have you read through the threads on ganache?  There is lots of discussion of white chocolate and what can be done about its issues.  Another thread was started just a few days ago on getting flavor into ganaches.  In that thread I mentioned substituting cocoa butter for some of the white chocolate (to mute the taste of the latter).  I don't know which books you have, but Ewald Notter's Art of the Chocolatier has lots of good (and successful) recipes using white chocolate.  I have used his recipes (and Peter Greweling's) for lemon, lime, yuzu, passion fruit, strawberry, raspberry, mint, cherry, eggnog, cranberry, vanilla, etc.  A basic white chocolate ganache is my default method for making nearly all fruit ganaches (and I used the basic recipe for making an "interesting" lavender ganache recently).  You will also find many threads on this forum discussing failed efforts at more subtle flavors (pear, rhubarb, peach, etc.).

 

My favorite white chocolate is Valrhona's Opalys.  It's sometimes difficult to work with and it's expensive, but--in my opinion--it has the best taste (I believe it was Pastrygirl on this forum who referred to its taste as "lovely" not long ago).

 

 

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It can work, but you do need intense flavors.  And as Jim D mentioned, Valrhona Opalys is very good and probably the least sweet white chocolate out there.  Recently to save a few $$ I bought a bag of Callebaut Zephyr instead (Zephyr was only $7/# instead of $12!).  It's a little more opaque and less sweet than a lot of white chocolates but not to the extreme of the Opalys.  It's 34% cocoa butter, so I think that helps.

 

You do want to concentrate your flavors to stand up to the sweetness.  I make a passion fruit white chocolate ganache using Perfect Puree - their passion fruit flavor is already concentrated.  And today I made an orange caramel ganache using white chocolate for which I infused the caramel with orange zest, then added reduced orange and tangerine juice and a little cointreau.  I think that is what Kerry means by layers of flavor - not necessarily making different layers of fillings, but using different forms of the same flavor.  Both of those ganaches go in a 60% dark shell.

 

Also, I would have to disagree with the "people love white chocolate" idea.  I mean, I know a few, but I almost always combine white chocolate with dark so the whole experience is not too sweet.  I only have one regular item that is all white chocolate, and even that is Valrhona's Dulcey "blond" chocolate, and I add salt to it. 


Edited by pastrygirl spelling (log)
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and I'm not sure if I missed it but, no, do not just add cocoa butter to cut the sweetness. Won't work and will really screw with the texture. 

 

There are plenty if people who like white chocolate and so no need to bash it. Plenty of flavor pairings listed above - I like tart citrus like passionfruit with mine. Another brand option is El Rey, who's white continues to win top awards. I also have played more with the Caramelia and Valhrona Dulce (mentioned above). The Dulce is very chemical tasting to me, but the idea of a caramelized white offers new avenues to go down.


Edited by gfron1 (log)

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Since I'm still experimenting, I don't want to get super expensive chocolate.  There are a lot of screwups in the gentastic kitchen.  Callebaut is affordable and I don't feel as badly when I pour a pound of it in the trash.  So a mid-range, non-revolting white chocolate is what I'm after.  I think I just named my next candy!

 

"Mid-range, non-revolting white chocolate ganache enrobed in an slightly less abhorrent shell."  :D

 

 

pastrygirl, your explanation of layering was more detailed than I've seen so far.  Most recipes I've seen have layers of multiple types of fruits and flavors.  Now I understand that to achieve the maximum effect, I need to use a variety of the one flavor I'm after (similar to using orange juice and orange zest).

 

Regarding white chocolate preferences, I think it's just a matter of the people you're making things for.  When I make candy, I get requests for "ooohhh..white chocolate this or that" before any thing else.  And the commercials are always touting something fancy and romantical with white chocolate.  So in my current, slightly limited user group, people love it.  

 

 

Flavors or I tried tonight:

smoked sea salt (both dissolved and just stirred in) - this was a white chocolate I would lick off the spoon.  Mmm.   Thank you curls!

 

Lemongrass w/ginger, ancho pepper & lime zest (rolled in coconut flakes) - kinda weird, but it did cover up the white chocolate taste.

 

Caramel Rum - TBD  

 

I'm intrigued by the salty flavors curls told me.  I want to try soy sauce tomorrow.  

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I like white chocolate. I like milk chocolate. I don't care if adults are supposed to be too sophisticated for them. I fully respect people's right to their own opinion but honestly, just in my personal opinion, I've grown a little bored with the whole "it's sweet" complaint. It's dessert. It's candy. It's supposed to be sweet. I went through the dainty and savory dessert thing for a while and I've returned to a point where I just don't really care about that anymore. I want my sweets to be sweet and decadent and leaving people feeling slightly guilty about eating them. But off the soapbox and back to the subject at hand... I'm not sure I understand the difficulty in getting good flavor in white chocolate. I find that to be the easiest chocolate medium to get flavors to stand out in. Unless we're only talking about the sweetness level. In which case, I've got nothing. It doesn't bother me.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Tri2Cook, I totally hear you.  I have no problem sucking down a Hershey bar when the mood hits.  I'm not ashamed.  I don't think anyone should be ashamed of anything they eat.  I know that people have different taste preferences.  I'm just trying to get a gauge on the best balance to suit an unknown variety of people.

 

My personal grievence with the "it's too sweet/it's too rich" trend is the persons need to announce on a blog somewhere how rich the dessert was and how they could only eat one bite.  I wish.

 

The sweetness of the white chocolate doesn't bother me...it's that it is overpowering the flavors I'm putting into it.  Kerry & pastry cook have pointed me in the right direction with layering and concentrated purees.

 

 

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Hi all,

 

This is my first post except for my intro in the New Members section.  Just wanted to say that salt can help sweet preparations in very small amounts.  Not enough to make it taste salty, but enough to help amplify other tastes.  Sometimes a taste won't stand out unless it has a contrasting taste to push back against (sweet/sour, salty/bitter, salty/sweet, etc.). 

 

Great stuff here, it's gonna take me a long time to catch up!

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On 2/5/2016 at 8:56 PM, gfron1 said:

and I'm not sure if I missed it but, no, do not just add cocoa butter to cut the sweetness. Won't work and will really screw with the texture. 

 

There are plenty if people who like white chocolate and so no need to bash it. Plenty of flavor pairings listed above - I like tart citrus like passionfruit with mine. Another brand option is El Rey, who's white continues to win top awards. I also have played more with the Caramelia and Valhrona Dulce (mentioned above). The Dulce is very chemical tasting to me, but the idea of a caramelized white offers new avenues to go down.

 

FWIW (probably not much), I'm definitely not a white chocolate fan, but El Rey is the only one I've been able to actually enjoy without reservation.


Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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23 minutes ago, Alex said:

 

FWIW (probably not much), I'm definitely not a white chocolate fan, but El Rey is the only one I've been able to actually enjoy without reservation.

Have you tried the Askinosie white bar? That's a knockout! Not one you'd make bonbons with however.

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On 2/6/2016 at 1:41 PM, gfron1 said:

Have you tried the Askinosie white bar? That's a knockout! Not one you'd make bonbons with however.

 

Thanks, Rob. I haven't yet, but I will. Their website says they're available at a store not far from me. In fact, I was shopping there just a few hours before you posted.

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Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Sounds like the El Rey and the Askinosie need to be on the next chocolate order.  Mmmmm.

 

FWIW, the Guittard Soie Blanche 35% is my workhorse -white chocolate. I've used it in conjunction with Notter's Key Lime, and my own takes on Passionfruit/Mango, French Silk, Strawberry Cream, and Irish Cream.  (Sometimes for the shell, sometimes for the ganache.)   Pectin is called for in the Key Lime, along with an ample amount of lime juice and zest. I've not had anyone tell me it's too sweet. A bit tart, in fact. 

 

I've found that espresso powder (in ganache) is also effective in cutting or balancing the sweetness of white chocolate.

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-Andrea

 

A 'balanced diet' means chocolate in BOTH hands. :biggrin:

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