|In the days before air conditioning, it wasn’t easy to sell fine chocolates in the summer. Cocoa butter, one of the major components of chocolate (the one that provides the creamy, luscious mouthfeel), melts at 93.4°F to 98°F.
Hot weather can make a mess of a chocolatier’s hard work.
To beat the heat, many chocolatiers made special “summer chocolates” out of what consumers called “white chocolate,” but was actually a product called confectionary coating, a product that substitutes vegetable oil for the cocoa butter.
Confectionary coating is melt-resistant, but without the cocoa butter it doesn’t taste like chocolate—in fact, if you have a good palate, it may not taste good to you at all. Some chocolatiers still use it. It’s easier to work with and it’s much less expensive than real chocolate.
A beguiling summer bonbon, the Blood
|If you like milk chocolate but don’t like white chocolate, chances are you may have been eating confectionary coating instead of the real deal. Tip #1: Confectionary coating is stark white in color (like a piece of white paper); real white chocolate has a creamy color with a hint of beige. Tip #2: The ingredients list includes the words “chocolate-flavored” and/or “vegetable oil.”
In today’s air-conditioned world, which includes overnight shipping in ice packs, you can enjoy your chocolate even when it’s too darn hot outside.
One of our favorite pieces is this Blood Orange “Creamsicle” Bonbon from Bespoke Chocolates: a creamy, top-quality white chocolate shell with a tart-sweet blood orange ganache.
It’s available for a limited time only, so don’t dawdle. But the company’s spectacular Pretzel-Covered Sea-Salted Caramel, which gets our vote for one of the top 10 bonbons in America, is available year-round. Order as many as you can afford.
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