Sometimes, you need chocolate. Ok, I’m kidding. You always need chocolate. That’s probably true if you replace “you” with “me” or “I” — as I always need chocolate. Some of my favorite cocktails, treats, candies, cookies or pretty much anything you can name are chocolate based. However, sometimes, especially when we’re talking cocktails, you don’t want a dark crème de cacao. Sometimes, you need a light one. Dissatisfied with sugary sweet store versions, we set out to create our own Homemade White Crème de Cacao!
After some quick searching, I discovered that most Homemade Crème de Cacao recipes (including our own!) made the dark version — and let’s be perfectly straight, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. When you’re making an extra dark chocolate cocktail (say the Extreme Chocolate Martini), you want an extra dark chocolate crème de cacao.
For those times when you’re making a more delicate cocktail, you want a more delicate crème de cacao. Those recipes will call for a white crème de cacao, giving you that light chocolate kiss, but without the extra fun character that darker chocolate brings.
I like to think of white crème de cacao like white chocolate, it adds some chocolate character without taking over everything. Apparently, as my buddy Eric always insists, white chocolate is awesome, while dark chocolate is just too funky (but come on, this is the same guy who thinks Batman is better than Wolverine, so take his advice with a grain of salt). When your cocktail calls for a delicate chocolate flavor, say the Grasshopper or White Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Martini, it calls for white crème de cacao.
If you’re going to take the time to go through the effort of making a quality cocktail, sourcing the best ingredients that you can, prepping, shaking, straining and enjoying, then you’ve earned the right to make your own Homemade White Crème de Cacao. Heck, even if you don’t, you still owe it to yourself to make your own. Why? It’s awesome, you control the sweetness and it makes for great gifts if you’re feeling crafty.
Now, let’s get down to the Homemade White Crème de Cacao!
White Crème de Cacao
- 750ml of vodka
- 8 oz. cocoa butter (this is almost exclusively used for cosmetics, but you can find some fit for eating — here’s the one we used from Amazon)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- Mixing: Beginning at the beginning, take your 8 oz. of cocoa butter and break it up into small bits. The extra surface area will help the alcohol bind, combine and take on that great chocolate flavor. Put those cocoa butter bits into a vessel for storage (we used a Pyrex container, but anything nonreactive works great, heck, a mason jar!) and add your vodka.
- Waiting: Yup, you need to give it time, sadly. Feel free to wait as little as a week or up to a month (if you’re really sadistic). We gave it two weeks and are plenty satisfied with the chocolate flavor.
- Straining: After waiting your allotted time, strain your mixture. We used a cheesecloth lined strainer. If you want to get super granular, feel free to use a coffee filter. Not drinking coffee myself and Alice always using a French press, we don’t have any around the house.
- Sweetening: Now that you have your white chocolate vodka (sans any sugar in there, it’s just chocolate vodka, which is very nice, but not white crème de cacao), it’s time to sweeten it. Make your simple syrup by combining your one cup of sugar to one cup of water and boiling, then cooling. You now have two cups of simple syrup. How much do you use? Oh no, that’s up to you to decide! If you want it super-duper sweet, add it all. How much did we use? I started adding a 1/4 cup at a time and ended at just a smidge over 3/4 of a cup. How do you tell how much you should add? It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it: taste it along the way. I’m confident you’re up to the task.
- Bottling: You’re done! You have your Homemade White Crème de Cacao, now all you need to so is bottle it. At this point, set it aside, let it mature for a day or three and then make your favorite cocktail. Or drink it straight. This is a judgement free zone friends.
Go forth and enjoy your Homemade Crème de Cacao!
Oh, yeah, so we left this a pure (white) chocolate flavor. Can you add flavorings? Of course you can! Want some vanilla? Add it! Think a little cinnamon would taste great in your Homemade White Chocolate Crème de Cacao? You bet it would, add some! Starting with a solid base opens up a world of possibilities for you.
Don’t mind me, I’m going to go enjoy a cocktail with our newfound glorious white crème de cacao.