Cocoa butter, sugar and milk are the ingredients in white chocolate, with vanilla and lecithin as common additions. Unlike dark or bittersweet chocolate, white chocolate does not contain cacao ground beans, and thus it is technically not chocolate.
Without the cacao mass, white chocolate gets it characteristics from cocoa butter, which is a soft and fat-rich butter that chocolate-makers extract from chocolate liquor when they make cocoa powder. Heavy with cocoa butter, white chocolate has an ivory or off-white color and a smooth and creamy taste.
Because of its subtle taste, white chocolate often complements dark chocolate and bold-flavored foods, and pastry chefs use it in many dessert recipes that include ice creams, sorbets, cakes, cookies and fruits. Some recipes that use white chocolate include white chocolate gingerbread blondies, white chocolate clusters with fruit and nuts, and white chocolate and fresh ginger ice cream. The gingerbread blondies contain chunks of white chocolate that contrast the spice and molasses flavors of the gingerbread, while the white chocolate clusters are candies that balance the sweetness of the white chocolate with fruit and nut flavors. The white chocolate and fresh ginger ice cream contains nectarines and cherry compote, and the spicy kick of the fresh ginger pairs well with the sweet and creamy white chocolate.