The Tip For Making Sure Your White Chocolate Doesn't Overbake

When chocolate is made, according to Science of Cooking, the cocoa butter is separated from the cocoa solids. Those two things get added back to each other, with sugar, in various proportions to yield dark chocolate. Add some dairy and you've got milk chocolate. White chocolate just skips the cocoa solids, which makes for a light, almost white color, and a simple, creamy flavor that's perfect for desserts like white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies or white chocolate pots de creme

White chocolate has a sweet, creamy richness that is versatile enough to be used in a multitude of dishes. White chocolate represents a full ten percent of the overall chocolate market (per Candy & Snack TODAY). It's a popular choice in cookies, cakes, by itself, or even added to cocktails for a creamy finish.

While undeniably delicious, white chocolate can be a surprisingly difficult treat to bake with. After all, white chocolate has a lower burn point than other forms of chocolate. And once chocolate burns, there's really no coming back. So how can you keep your white chocolate from overbaking? It isn't actually too hard.

White chocolate prefers white glove treatment

Valrhona points out that white chocolate has a lower melting point than other chocolates because of the high proportion of cocoa butter. That, along with a large amount of dairy product, makes it susceptible to burning, according to Embassy Chocolates. So, white chocolate is best used with a gentle hand. This is especially true if you're using bars of white chocolate. Bars usually lack the ingredients that help them to survive higher heat (per Valrhona).

Chocolate chips are different. Mental Floss explains how chips usually contain stabilizers and emulsifiers to let them keep their shape at baking temperatures. That's led to some bakers wondering if chocolate chips don't melt in the oven. They do melt, but those additions allow them to keep their shape in a cookie or blondie as the temperature goes above the melting point. By the time they do melt, the dough, or batter, has solidified enough to support their shape at the highest temperatures. Out of the oven, they cool off into the original shape.

Even so, white chocolate chips will still burn faster than darker varieties, so be extra cautious.

White chocolate is done baking before you think

Even if a milk chocolate chip will keep its shape, it can still burn, and that goes doubly for white chocolate. If left in the oven long enough, white chocolate will start to turn brown.

To avoid this, pastry chef John Martinez, in Food&Wine Magazine, explains how to avoid this pitfall. He reminds bakers that even though something has come out of the oven, the pan and goods retain plenty of heat. That leftover heat can be enough to have white chocolate take on a caramel hue, meaning it has burned. According to Chef Martinez, "You want to pull your cookies out at least two minutes early, and let them finish 'baking' on the cookie sheet while they cool. This way, your white chocolate will stay perfectly white and delicious."

White chocolate baked in something like pots de creme won't suffer from this possible browning. Those are baked in a water bath, or bain-marie, which tempers the oven's high temperatures into a stable, gentle heat, per Martha Stewart. That will keep white chocolate as white as possible. 

So, to keep your white chocolate perfectly perfect, pull your baked goods out early.