White chocolate has always been something that has divided opinion. One of the questions I get asked regularly is ‘Is white chocolate really chocolate?‘, and it’s a question I can’t easily answer.
In reality, it doesn’t matter whether you consider it chocolate or not. The question you should really ask is ‘Does it taste good?‘, and the unfortunate fact is that most white chocolates don’t taste of anything at all. That’s because more often than not, they’re made with cheap, bulk ingredients and lots of sugar.
Like most foods, it turns out that if you make white chocolate with the best ingredients it can taste amazing and if you look hard enough there are some truly wonderful white chocolates out there. La Pâtisserie De Rêves is aiming to showcase some of them with this beautiful themed collection of white chocolates from around the world.
Presented in a stylish (if maybe a little over the top) chest of drawers, it’s a curated collection from some of the world’s best known chocolate makers and chocolatiers, including La Pâtisserie De Rêves’ own Philippe Conticini. The chocolates are:
Philippe Conticini / France
Vanilla White Chocolate With Verbena And Crunchy Pastry
Es Koyama / Japan
White Chocolate With Matcha Tea And Puffed Rice
Galvan / Mexico
White Chocolate With Almond And Figs
Amaz / Peru
White Chocolate With Coffee Bean Pieces
Oberweis / Luxembourg
White Chocolate With Cinnamon
Beschle / Switzerland
White Chocolate With Lemon And Cardamom
Vanderparre / Belgium
White Chocolate With Speculoos
Rózsavölgyi / Hungary
White Chocolate With Fresh Herbs
Domori / Italy
White Chocolate With Mint Leaves
Willie’s Cacao / UK
El Blano White Chocolate
The only unflavoured bar is the El Blanco from Willie’s Cacao. It makes me smile that a personality as strong as Willie would want his chocolate to stand on its own, but it really is very good indeed. When I reviewed it back in 2012 it was probably my favourite white chocolate, and it’s still very high on the list.
The other chocolates were notable for their different approaches, but there were a couple of firm favourites. I liked the freshness of the Rózsavölgyi white chocolate with herbs and the citrus sweetness of Beschle’s Lemon & Cardamom bar. Es Koyama’s matcha tea with puffed rice also proved to be a hit.
At £50 La Pâtisserie De Rêves isn’t exactly cheap, but it is both beautiful and eye opening. If that’s a bit beyond your budget, you can pick up the individual bars for £3.50 each (sans presentation box of course).
White chocolate is always going to appeal more to those with a sweeter tooth, but if you’ve never considered yourself a fan, these bars might just change your mind.