Milky bars are on me!
You either dig white chocolate or you don’t. I totally dig it. Especially with added cardamom, slathered over clementines and a finishing crunch of pistachio nuts.
I don’t really eat white chocolate all that often, favouring dark or homemade chocolate for the cocoa antioxidant hit and lower sugar content. However the idea of making my own white chocolate has been bugging me for a while. Perhaps since this time last year when for a mass wedding truffle order I started playing around with using cocoa butter in my bliss balls instead of coconut oil for a richer taste, a taste that was reminiscent of white chocolate!
The ingredients of your average white bar are; sugar, cocoa butter, skimmed (or whole) milk powder and vanilla. I’ve seen milk powder on ingredients lists for years but never cared to try it until I worked on a food fortification project earlier this year. This was possibly the most intriguing work I have done this year; challenging and informing chefs and workers of care homes how to naturally enrich their meals with calories rather than using expensive tasteless supplement drinks. Skimmed milk powder was one of the ingredients we used to enrich porridge, milkshake and soup. It is high in protein and won’t increase the size of a meal when added; a key message of food fortification. Totally digressing here, but this is how I came to have some skimmed milk powder in my cupboards, and so led me to try making my own white chocolate.
So, I tried, I tried and I tried again. All the while studying every white chocolate bar on the market, trying to understand a secret ratio for the correct mix of cacao butter, milk powder and sugar. All I ended up discovering was that homemade white chocolate just doesn’t taste right. So I gave up, and bought some instead from one of my favourite organic chocolate brands in the UK – Montezuma’s. I’ve felt a bit defeated by this, but think its a good way to end a fab year of blogging with my current happy philosophy on food and nutrition; If it doesn’t taste phenomenal, and if the different in nutrition is minimal (lets be clear either way white chocolate is full of dairy and sugar) go for the better tasting option.
I was initially going to make a bar of white chocolate studded with pistachios and cranberries for a festive feel, but then I saw the clementines lurking in my fruit bowl at the same time I saw an idea for dipping citrus fruit in chocolate by My Fussy Eater, who did this last year with darker chocolate. Such a wonderful idea because; the clementine to chocolate ratio swings way in clementines favour and fruit = healthy.
Clementines love white chocolate, cardamom with its citrus notes and also pistachios; the burst of sweetness you get from the clementines at the same time as the creamy cardamom chocolate coats your mouth is just simply wonderful.
- 75g organic white chocolate bar or buttons (I like Montezumas)
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- 3 clementines, peeled, and as much pith as possible removed.
- 20g pistachio nuts, finely chopped
- Melt the chocolate along with the coconut oil in a bain marie, stir through the cardamom.
- When the chocolate has melted pour it into a small deep glass, it will be easier to dip the clementines in a smaller glass than in the large bain marie bowl.
- Dip in half of a clementine segment into the white chocolate, pull it out and allow the excess to drip off. Place on a parchment lined sheet or tray, when all segments are done move to the fridge to allow the chocolate to set for around 10 minutes. Place the white chocolate back in the bain marie to keep warm (don't allow to over heat).
- After 10 minutes remove the clementines from the fridge, put the white chocolate back in the glass and dip the SAME end of the clementine in to repeat the process. Place back on the tray and sprinkle with pistachios. When all are done place back in the fridge to set for a final 30 minutes.
- Transfer to a tub with a lid and eat within a couple of days.
OK so this is the final of the sugary recipes for a bit – it is Christmas after all, and I’ll be back in 2016 for some more savoury, nourishing yet comforting meals to liven up your January. Thanks for following me on my natural kitchen adventures this year. Have a good one, one and all! 0