I was trying to make white chocolate truffle.....but when I melted my white chocolate and added lemon juice to it, it curdled and there was huge chocolate butter floating on top of my mixture...can anyboody help with this.

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    What temperature was the white chocolate? How much was there and how much lemon juice did you add? – SAJ14SAJ Apr 1 '14 at 14:50
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    I am very surprised that you got a recipe which requires you to add small amounts of liquid to chocolate. With dark chocolate, this would have guaranteed seizing. Can you post the ingredients of the white chocolate you used? – rumtscho Apr 1 '14 at 15:45
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    Since you mention truffles, I'm wondering if you left out the most important ingredient... cream. You can add lemon juice (or other flavourings) to the ganache (chocolate + cream), but you cannot add it directly to melted chocolate. – Aaronut Apr 1 '14 at 23:54
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    I don't think white chocolate can sieze the same way real chocolate does, as it has no cocoa powder elements with the starches and proteins; but it will lose its emulsion quite easily, especially if overheated. And it scorches from being looked at funny. – SAJ14SAJ Apr 2 '14 at 10:32
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    related : cooking.stackexchange.com/q/6299/67 (note that it's likely seizing, not curdling) – Joe May 13 '14 at 19:20

Lemon juice is still mostly ... water.

Water to molten chocolate (white or not - there is cocoa butter in either), unless in the form of cream and in a sufficient amount that completely changes texture (giving you a ganache), is generally known to do exactly what happened in your case - seize the chocolate.


When heated, the lemon will badly curdle the molten mixture of cocoa fat and milk solids (lemon is used to curdle milk into cottage cheese, for example).

To avoid this, you should add a bit of molten butter and cream, and add a drop of lemon at the very end after taking the mixture off the flame and after cooling it a bit (but before it solidifies).

Optionally, you can use lemon zest.

  • The process by which milk is curdled into cottage cheese cannot happen in chocolate. Curdling involves physically changing the milk proteins. In chocolate, the proteins should have been changed during processing already, but if they haven't been, there is too much fat in the chocolate for them to clump as in cottage cheese. – rumtscho May 13 '14 at 22:13
  • @rumtscho : I agree that curdling, which can mean different things, including denaturing of proteins. It can also happen when an emulsion of protein and fat (milk, for example, is an emulsion of casein and fat) de-emulsifies. Curdling of milk mainly refers to the latter. – Dhruva Ghosh May 14 '14 at 7:32
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    In chocolate, milk-solids are present. Here, too, protein is present in close proximity of fat. The way chocolate is made does not cause the protein to separate out from the fat. However, the finely divided structure of protein and fat can and does separate under the suitable conditions, and those conditions are high acidity and high heat. The problem described by @allzz is a problem of protein and fat separating out, and can be solved by preventing such conditions. – Dhruva Ghosh May 14 '14 at 7:37
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    My point is that the milk solids in chocolate are already denatured (they don't use raw milk in chocolate), and won't curdle again. Besides, there is very little protein in chocolate, and lots of fat, even if it were raw, it would need way too much acid to curdle. See for example mayonnaise: it will indeed curdle if you heat it too much, but I have (by mistake) made mayonnaise which had enough acid to taste like pickle juice, and it showed no curdling. For both reasons, I don't think that a protein based curdling is a realistic scenario here. – rumtscho May 14 '14 at 10:27
  • It seems to me that for some reason that the curdling described here seems analogous to de-emulsification (one kind of curdling), which occurs at elevated acid levels, and perhaps heat, which encourages protein molecules to unfold and clump together (denature; another kind of curdling). Outside of these I cannot think of a third way it could curdle. – Dhruva Ghosh May 14 '14 at 11:54

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