Thursday, May 26, 2011

Raw Vegan White Chocolate

I'll kindly spare you all of the versions of white chocolate cake pop coating that didn't work :) Multiple attempts. I do think adding 1Tbsp coconut oil to the coating would have worked wonders for making a smooth coating that solidified well. However, I am currently avoiding coconut, and wanted to create a coconut-free coating for this recipe.

After several trials and failures, I finally went online and found this raw vegan white chocolate recipe. That recipe saved my cake pops!

You can follow the actual recipe from the link above. I'll share here what I learned in my trials and errors, and hopefully it will help you avoid the frustrations I encountered :)

One recipe I tried suggested shaving the cacao butter before melting. It sounded like a good idea, but was an utter mess. I had cacao butter everywhere. (I still have raw cacao in the texture pattern on my glass cutting board). But hey, my hands were smooth and soft, and my cutting board is nice and slippery (rolling my eyes). 

Grated cacao butter
In retrospect, I could have tried freezing the cacao butter first. That might have made it easier to grate, but would have taken even longer to melt. Which would have been a nightmare- it took long enough to melt at room temperature.

Since this is a raw dish (no ingredient heated above 118 degrees), it is not possible to use the microwave or a double boiler to melt the cacao butter. You need to place a bowl of cacao butter inside another bowl filled with warm water to melt the cacao. This... takes... forever. Seriously, find something else to do (wash dishes, make dinner, remodel the house) while you're waiting for the cacao butter to melt. Because you will get frustrated, and your arm will get very, very tired, if you just stand there and stir... and stir... and stir.

Note: you may also have to re-heat the warm water bath once, or twice, three times during the whole melting process.

First attempt. This did not work well at all. First, there was the grated cacao (messy). The shape of the measuring cup (deep and narrow) did not make the thick, half-melted cacao butter easy to stir. And, come to think of it, Pyrex is probably somewhat heat resistant, so no wonder this took forever to melt (the large white bowl is the warm water bath). Utter frustration.
Second attempt. This time I used a shallow bowl with a wide mouth. It did help the cacao melt faster and was much easier to stir. Also, chopping the cacao with a knife was much easier (and faster) than using the grater. Do it this way! :) I also recommend chopping the cacao butter on a paper plate on top of your cutting board. It will prevent your cutting board from getting slippery, and the paper plate makes it much easier to simply scoop and pour the tiny shavings into the bowl.
Also note it takes about twice as much solid cacao for a given measure of melted cacao. Keep that in mind when reading your recipe. If the recipe calls for "1/4 cup melted cacao butter", shave off 1/2 cup of the solid stuff to melt.

This is what the raw white chocolate recipe looked like after I mixed in the other ingredients:
It's not as smooth as I expected, but I think next time I can adjust that by using cashew flour instead of quickly processing the cashews in the food processor. It still tasted great, though.

If using for cake pops, spoon the white chocolate over the cake pops and put them back in the freezer to harden. Although it may be tempting to just dip the frozen cake pops in the melted white chocolate mixture, the cold from the frozen pops makes the white chocolate harden, and then you're back to the whole melting saga again. Trust me ;)

After coating all of the cake pops, I had some leftover white chocolate, so I poured it in little unbleached parchment cupcake liners and made teeny white chocolate candies.


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