Compound chocolates differ from regular chocolates in that cocoa butter is replaced with vegetable fats, creating a chocolate coating that will melt and turn into a hard shell at room temperature. Compound chocolates have many uses and are available in dark, milk and white varieties. Although white compound chocolate does not contain cocoa solids, it can be just as useful in compound form in baking and confectionery applications.
White compound chocolates are less expensive than regular chocolate, because they do not use cocoa butter, the main expense in regular chocolate. Generally sold in chip or disc form, white compound chocolate is composed of sugar, vegetable fats, milk and whey, in addition to emulsifiers and flavorings. Vegetable fats are hard fats, meaning that they are semisolid at room temperature, allowing them to harden within a few minutes of being removed from a heat source, without tempering. Sugar provides sweetness, texture and body. Full cream or milk powder is the primary ingredient in white compound chocolate, giving it a smooth, creamy flavor.
White compound chocolates melt at 103 to 108 degrees Fahrenheit, which is higher than regular chocolates, which melt at approximately 98 degrees Fahrenheit. Light and creamy-white in color, white compound chocolates compare in taste to regular white chocolate, differing only in that they do not have the same "melt in your mouth" quality as regular chocolate.
White compound chocolate is also referred to as coating chocolate, compound chocolate coating, decorator's chocolate, confectioner's chocolate or confectionary coating. White compound chocolate is easily molded for candies, but also used for baking, dipping and white chocolate fountains. Although available in disc and chip form, white compound chocolate is not designed to hold a chip shape during baking like other baking white chocolates. White compound chocolates offer endless possibilities, as any item may be dipped to create a delicious white chocolate coating. Other uses include moldings, decorations and ice cream toppings.
Humidity causes white compound chocolate to become grainy and coarse when melted. For this reason, you should never store white compound chocolate in the refrigerator or freezer. Always store white compound chocolates in a cool, dry place away from heat or humidity. Airtight containers will ensure that the chocolate does not take on the odors or flavors of surrounding products in the pantry.
Because white compound chocolate is primarily composed of dairy, it has the potential to burn during the melting process. During melting, stir the chocolate often to prevent burning, unless it is part of a chocolate fountain. White compound chocolate will not have the same shiny surface as white chocolate that has been tempered. If additional cloudiness persists, the chocolate may have been exposed to humidity during hardening. This can be avoided by making sure that the chocolate is dried in a cool, dry place. Other common problems during formation include greasiness or waxiness due to the higher melting point of white compound chocolate.