By Claire Saffitz | December 2, 2015
Caramelized white chocolate is a mind-blowingly simple and delicious technique that will silence all the alleged white-chocolate haters out there. The process, which we use in these Coconut-Lime Snowballs, involves melting white chocolate in the oven on a rimmed baking sheet and cooking it at a low temperature (between 200° and 250°) until the sugars caramelize. The final flavor is surprisingly complex and nutty, somewhere between dulce de leche, butterscotch, and caramel.
For the best flavor and texture, use a good-quality white chocolate that’s at least 30 percent cocoa butter (we like Valrhona). A low-quality white chocolate tends to have more stabilizers that can seize in the oven and taste waxy. To achieve a silky-smooth texture, add a tablespoon of fat like vegetable oil or virgin coconut oil to the chocolate. Stir the mixture every 15 minutes or so with an offset spatula, and don’t be afraid to take it dark—you really want those sugars to caramelize and develop some complexity. You’re looking for something the color of strong espresso mixed with a splash of cream.
Even though caramelized white chocolate is great in a ton of different applications—truffles, frosting, fudge, and ice cream are only the beginning—it tends to disappear off the end of a spoon pretty quickly. We recommend making a double batch.
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