These days, it seems like all chocophiles flock to the fanciest-wrapped, highest cacao bars of dark chocolate they can find—while milk chocolate languishes in the holiday candy aisle.
But we think it’s well past time for milk chocolate to shake its “just for kids” reputation. While we appreciate the complex bitterness of dark in applications like our Vegan Chocolate Mousse and Ultimate Flourless Chocolate Cake, there’s no substitute for creamier bars of milk—which owe their texture to milk fat and cocoa butter—when we want extra silkiness and more delicate chocolate flavor. What’s more, the world of milk chocolate has expanded significantly in recent years, such that there is now a wide variety of artisanal bars available, in addition to the sweet, creamy confections you’ll remember from childhood.
Ready to get reacquainted? Here are four of our favorite milk chocolate recipes.
Milk Chocolate Tart
This tart’s thin pâte sucrée crust is perfect for cradling a silky chocolatey filling—like milk chocolate cremeux, a more satiny custard than the usual tart filling. We developed our recipe using Endangered Species Smooth + Creamy Milk Chocolate, but since brands very widely in their sugar and cacao content, we added an optional touch of cocoa powder to the filling to cut the sweetness of lower-cacao bars.
Milk Chocolate Pots de Crème
There is perhaps no better way to enjoy milk chocolate’s silkiness and creaminess than through these decadent, individually-portioned custards. Our original recipe is the classic version made with dark chocolate, and to adapt it for milk chocolate and ensure plenty of assertive flavor, we increased the chocolate from 10 ounces to 12. Decreasing the sugar from 5 tablespoons to 2 guarded against excessive sweetness.
Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies with Milk Chocolate Filling
Classic peanut butter sandwich cookies have a peanut butter filling, and subbing in a creamy milk chocolatey center pleases lovers of both flavors. To give the filling just the right smooth and not overly dense texture, we cut back the peanut butter in the original cookie from ¾ cup to ½ cup and eliminated the butter, while 6 ounces of milk chocolate contributed delicate but still pronounced chocolate flavor.
Chocolate Sheet Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting
A chocolate cake made extra-dark from cocoa powder and bar chocolate, topped with a lighter, sweeter, milk chocolate ganache, makes for a middle ground all chocolate lovers can enjoy. To make the ganache thick, rich, and creamy, we added plenty of softened butter to the warm chocolate-cream mixture, refrigerated the frosting to cool it quickly so that it would spread nicely, and gave it a quick whisk to smooth it out and lighten its texture.
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