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National White Chocolate Day! September 22

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 MOCHA CREAM LATTE TRUFFLES

8 oz. Good quality white chocolate

1/4 C. heavy cream

1 tsp. instant espresso or coffee

Cocoa powder for dusting

In a bowl over gently simmering water, dissolve the coffee into the cream. Don’t worry if all of the espresso powder doesn’t dissolve completely, leaving tiny little specks. As long as there are no large undissolved clumps, you‘re ok. Add the white chocolate and melt, whisking gently until smooth. Place in the refrigerator and allow to set for at least an hour. 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 cocoa powder. Using a spoon, roll each one around until lightly 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.  



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