White chocolate doesn’t actually fall in the chocolate category at all. Chocolate is defined as something that’s made out of cocoa solids or chocolate liquor, and the white version contains neither. In fact, it is a type of butter.
The formation of chocolate involves beautifully flavored cocoa beans that are fermented, dried, roasted and cracked open. The nibs are ground into a paste which is called chocolate liquor—a combination of cocoa solids and cocoa butters. Although white chocolate does contain cocoa butter, it has no cocoa solids (which give chocolate its signature bitter-sweet taste). Technically, it’s just creamy butter with milk, vanilla, and a fatty ingredient called lecithin.
Patisseries and marketing minds have termed this buttery treat ‘white chocolate’, and it continues to be used in cakes and desserts around the world.