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No longer purely the preserve of sweet-toothed children, the world of white chocolate has come along way since the Milky Bar Kid stormed onto televisions in 1961. Traditionally a blend of cocoa butter, milk solids and sugar, it has long been dismissed by chocolate connoisseurs – who believed that it wasn’t actually chocolate as it contains no cocoa solids – but times and opinions are changing. Conventional white chocolate, especially when mass-produced and cheaply-made, too often contained fillers such as soy lecithin (which makes the chocolate easier to work with) and palm oil, as well as too-high quantities of sugar. While that kind of white chocolate is undoubtedly still out there, chocolate makers are fighting against this reputation by producing options which are satisfyingly creamy without being overly sweet. Willie’s Cacao, for example, sells El Blanco which is made using just cocoa butter, milk powder and raw cane sugar – and resolutely no vanilla or soy lecithin. Pump Street Chocolate have played with convention when creating their white chocolate offering, too – which includes a 44% white chocolate sourced from Madagascar and Brown Bread 40%, a 40% white chocolate blended with pieces of bread from Pump Street’s much-loved bakery. Also Suffolk-based are Harris & James, who have played with the taste notes of white chocolate to produce a deeper, toffee-ish flavour with their Caramelised White Chocolate.
Almost nothing beats the simple pleasure of a chocolate bar; fine and snappable or satisfyingly chunky, it’s all out there. We’ve moved on from simply white, milk and dark options to see an an array of tasty new flavour combinations hitting the shelves – even some boasting superfood and ‘functional’ credentials, such as Benefit Chocolate’s Vitamins, Protein and Energy bars.
Whether they’re attractively lined up in a glass counter display or stacked in luxurious-looking boxes, truffles and other loose chocolates are a classic – with good reason. Available in a kaleidoscope of options, from classics like salted caramel, Champagne and chocolate to innovative flavours like Chococo’s recent launch, Blueberry & Lavender, there’s a whole, indulgent world to be discovered when it comes to individual truffles.
Dark chocolate is having a moment. Applauded for its intense flavours as well as apparent health benefits, shoppers are looking for more than a bar of Bournville these days – especially from their speciality food retailer. When looking into what to stock in your chocolate selection, don’t forget about the versatility of dark chocolate; its high cocoa content means it’s great for cooking and baking as well as sweet snacking.
For the full article head to p.14 of our Confectionery & Chocolate Buyer 2019 edition.
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