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I found this blog I wrote last year on this day. I’m sharing it again for anyone who may have missed it and would like to hear about a recongized day that’s close to my heart.

Happy National White Chocolate Day!

I'm not exactly sure how this unofficial holiday actually came about but I'm happy that we have a day dedicated to paying homage to white chocolate. White chocolate often gets a bad rap, in my opinion. It's not taken seriously; it's a dreamer, a wannabe, a fake.

No so!

As a chocolatier I happen to like white chocolate. It's versatile, sweet, creamy and very amenable to work with; it's the miss congeniality of the chocolate world. It's a natural blonde!

So, while white chocolate isn't exactly "chocolate" it does come from the cacao tree. When the pods are harvested from the cacao, the beans inside are removed, fermented, dried and then roasted. Afterward, in the process of crushing and grinding the beans, the fat separates and surrounds the solid cacao particles. This fat is then separated from the solids. We now have a warm fluid known as cocoa butter. Add some sugar, lecithin, milk solids and vanilla, allow it to cool to room temperature where it will harden and you've got something smooth as silk melting velvety and creamy on your tongue. You've got white chocolate.

So, in honor of National White Chocolate Day, here's a recipe for:

WHITE CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA NUT TRUFFLES  

8 oz. Good quality white chocolate

1 vanilla bean

1/4 C. heavy cream

Toasted and finely chopped macadamia nuts

Nutella, Optional

In a bowl over gently simmering water, melt together the cream and the white chocolate. Be careful not to let the chocolate get too hot or it will separate. Slit the vanilla bean down the center and scrape the “caviar” into the mixture. Whisk until smooth, pour into a shallow bowl and allow to sit at room temperature for about an hour.  Place in the refrigerator until set; this could take several hours. Using a small cookie scoop or a teaspoon, scoop out small balls of the mixture and place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. Allow to refrigerate for another hour. Working quickly, roll each ball between your palms and drop into a small bowl of toasted, chopped macadamia nuts. Roll each one around until coated and gently lift out and drop into glassine candy cups. If the mixture becomes too soft to work with, put it back in the refrigerator for a few minutes. Makes a dozen large truffles with a little left over to taste

And if you like Nutella:

Melt some nutella with a little cream in the microwave for just a few seconds; until fluid. Save along the side as a dipping sauce for the truffles.

Serve with a strong cup of espresso or a glass of chilled champagne.



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