Starbucks newest holiday beverage is a doozy. The toasted white chocolate mocha — with espresso, steamed milk and the brand’s newest flavoured syrup — lends a sweet, burnt marshmallow flavour profile to the coffee shop’s seasonal beverage roster. But Starbucks isn’t the first to discover the magic of toasted white chocolate — it’s simply bringing it to the masses.
Like pumpkin spice, white chocolate is a pretty divisive dessert — folks either love or hate this saccharine chocolate derivative. But even 70 percent cocoa dark chocolate purists might be converted once they try a piece of white chocolate that’s gotten a toasty makeover. In some applications, chocolate makers roast white chocolate until it turns a beautiful caramel colour while others torch to the chocolate, roasting it like a marshmallow. The result leaves the chocolate light brown, giving it a rich, almost dulce de leche-like taste.
You can replicate the process at home with good-quality white chocolate and a cool oven —pastry chef David Lebovitz has a recipe for caramelized white chocolate on his website. He
says it would be great with ice cream or in scones (yes, please).
Candy makers are also jumping on the toasty trend: toasted white chocolate bars have been slowly starting to hit the market and in the most recent sign of a tipping point Hershey’s Gold (the company’s first new candy bar in 20 years), is made with a caramelized crème that looks an awfully lot like toasted white chocolate. This Olympics-themed bar also features peanuts and pretzels, but unfortunately, it’s not yet available in Canada.
And Licia Ruby, a company based out of Windsor, Ont., makes roasted white chocolate bars and ships them all over Canada. Chatelaine staffers couldn’t get enough of these creamy bars, which elevate simple white chocolate to a much more nuanced treat.
Toronto’s Soma Chocolatemakers also sell a roasted white chocolate bar. This one clearly resembles a toasted marshmallow — and tastes like one, too. It’s more like a crème brulée bar, which still makes for an indulgent snack or perfect stocking stuffer for the chocoholic in your life. Those who prefer their white chocolate with coffee, milk and a generous dollop of whipped cream can get their fix at Starbucks, but only over the holidays.