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White chocolate is a bit of a misnomer since it doesn't have the traditional components of chocolate. Here's the process of how it's made:

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  1. It Starts With Cocoa Beans: Like other chocolates, white chocolate's journey starts with cocoa beans. These beans are fermented, dried, and roasted to develop their flavors.

  2. Cocoa Butter Extraction: The roasted beans are pressed to separate the fatty part, called cocoa butter, from the darker cocoa solids (the part that makes milk and dark chocolate brown).

  3. The Sweet Mix: The extracted cocoa butter is mixed with:

    • Sugar: For sweetness and balance.
    • Milk: Milk powder or milk solids create a creamy texture and a milky flavor.
    • Vanilla: Often added for flavor complexity.
    • Other Flavorings: Sometimes other flavorings like lecithin (an emulsifier) are added.
  4. Conching and Tempering: The mixture is then conched, a long process of kneading and refining, to create a smooth texture. Lastly, the chocolate is tempered (precisely heated and cooled) to help it set correctly with a glossy finish and a satisfying snap.

  5. Molding and Packing: The final mixture is poured into molds, cooled, and packaged.

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