Blonde chocolate is still a fairly recent discovery in the chocolate world and has yet to storm the mainstream market. Unlike ruby chocolate that burst into the scene in the early 2010s, blonde chocolate remains the little-known secret of pastry chefs and artisan chocolatiers.
It was discovered, accidentally by pastry chef Frédéric Bau who reportedly mistakenly left some white chocolate to roast in a bain-marie for a few hours. When he returned, the white chocolate had gone through a Maillard reaction. This is a biochemical reaction between an amino acid (in chocolate this comes from the milk content) and a reducing sugar, usually requiring something like heat to get the process going. The Maillard reaction is very much like Caramelisation, both are forms non-enzymatic browning, but Caramelisation only occurs with sugars whereas the Maillard reaction relies on amino acids too. This newly browned white chocolate had a distinctive flavour profile, unlike any chocolate he’d tasted before with unmistakable notes of shortbread, toffee and butterscotch, forming the delicious blonde chocolate we know and love today.
It was then up to the food engineers at beloved French chocolate brand Valrhona who spent 8 years trying to reproduce and master the incredible flavour profile of that accidental first batch! To make it, chocolatiers roast chips or drops of white chocolate at between 90 and 130C and stir it constantly to keep it from burning. The heat eventually turns the white chocolate a gorgeous golden blonde colour and coaxes out the beautiful flavour profile that we now recognise as blonde.
As a result, you’re left with a white chocolate that tastes as if it’s been gently caramelised. We choose to scatter Halen Mon Sea Salt crystals over our blonde chocolate to perfectly offset the caramel sweetness which is decadently moreish and almost definitely our best-selling bar, ever!
If you haven’t tried it already, it’s available here!