Written by Jill Ettinger
Chocolate has no season (thank the lord). It's earned its year-round status for quite a few reasons in both the healthy and pleasurable realms. But it can be a bit heavy for summer desserts -- not to mention a stain hazard to your summer outfits. Enter white chocolate -- the creamy, chocolaty but notably more summery version.
While white chocolate is void of the potent antioxidant-rich cacao powder that gives chocolate its superfood status, it still contains the healthy and delicious cacao (or cocoa) butter -- worthy of acknowledgment in its own right.
Unlike the dark stuff, for vegans, there aren't too many commercial white chocolate products available. Good thing you can make your own fairly easy.
Use this vegan white chocolate for a creamy coating on berries and other seasonal fruits, or make them into "chips" for baking up other seasonal desserts.
Makes about 12 small molds
1 1/2 cup raw cocoa butter, grated or finely chopped
3/4 cup coconut refined coconut oil (if you want a more coconutty flavor, use the unrefined coconut oil)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
In a double boiler, gently melt the cacao butter over medium-low heat. Make sure to stir frequently. Mix in the coconut oil until both oils are uniform in texture. Add in the sugar and vanilla and use a whisk to help the sugar dissolve.
Pour into molds while still warm (you can use an ice cube tray if you don't have chocolate molds. Muffin tins work as well).
Let the mixture cool until hard. Put in the freezer for about half an hour to make sure they're solid all the way through before popping out of the molds.
If you're going to do a white-chocolate dipped strawberry, for example, when the mixture is still warm, just off of the stove, dip your fruits up to the stem and set on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet. Let cool and store in refrigerator until serving.
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Image: Ting Ting Huang