What is blonde chocolate?

Was ist blonde Schokolade?
We have known for a long time that manufacturers of fine chocolate often outdo each other with their creativity and inventiveness. There are always new exciting chocolates coming onto the market and sometimes it is difficult to keep track. An even more recent and less well-known variety, which some even celebrate as the fourth chocolate type alongside milk, dark and white chocolate , is blonde chocolate. But blond chocolate isn't really that new. Nevertheless, many do not know what is actually behind it. It's a shame, because this chocolate really packs a punch. In this article we will tell you everything important about blonde chocolate and clarify the question of whether it can really become the fourth type of chocolate.

What is blonde chocolate?

So what's behind this blonde "newcomer" in the chocolate world? Blonde chocolate, also known as caramelized chocolate or toasted white chocolate , is baked white chocolate.
The trick behind it: As with the roasting of the beans, the chocolate undergoes a so-called Maillard reaction during baking. Due to the Maillard reaction, its color changes and becomes a few shades darker, giving this chocolate its name. In terms of taste, the chocolate gets a caramel note and is reminiscent of shortbread and sugar syrup. The Maillard reaction is very similar to classic caramelizing, but in addition to sugar, it also needs amino acids, which in this case come from the milk powder in the chocolate. In addition to white chocolate, milk chocolate can also caramelize in the oven. The chocolate color would then just not be blonde anymore, but more of a dark brunette. Because of the lack of milk, dark chocolate cannot be caramelized in the oven.
However, the laborious process of caramelizing all the chocolate can be bypassed by adding caramelized milk powder to the milk powder that is added to white chocolate.
Unfortunately, the term blonde chocolate is not protected and many chocolate manufacturers now incorrectly call their white chocolate blonde chocolate. So as always: keep your eyes open when buying chocolate , check the ingredients and pay attention to the small print.
As already mentioned, blond chocolate is still relatively unknown. However, it is not particularly new to the chocolate market, because it was invented in France back in 2004, by accident, as legend has it...

The invention of blond chocolate

The first blond chocolate was invented almost 20 years ago. Credit for this goes to the creative director Frédéric Bau of the French chocolate manufacturer Valrhona.
According to legend, one evening after a chocolate presentation, he forgot some white chocolate in a water bath. The chocolate continued to be heated throughout the night and when the confectioner found it the next morning, the originally white chocolate had turned dark. Despite the color change, it was still edible. Not only that, the constant heat overnight had added an interesting flavor to the chocolate.
However, the company did not launch a chocolate inspired by this experience until 2012, 8 years later. Because the recreation of this special aroma that Bau accidentally created at that time and what the goal of the re-creation was, turned out to be more complicated than expected.
In 2012, when the product came onto the market after much tinkering, there was no big bang. This may be due to the fact that the company's chocolate creations are actually aimed more at confectioners who process them. Nevertheless, the new invention became a short trend on the chocolate market and was also copied by some large chocolate manufacturers such as Dove or Hershey. But the original, the prototype of the blond chocolate, was Valrhona Dulcey.

What is Valrhona Dulcey?

Valrhona Dulcey was the first blonde chocolate to hit the market.
The first version of blond chocolate from Valrhona had 32% cocoa content, but is currently not available in any online shops, either from the manufacturer or elsewhere. The current variant has 35% cocoa content and, according to Valrhona, stands out with "intense, delicate and slightly sweet biscuit notes" that transition into "lush notes of shortbread with a pinch of salt". Sounds good right? Many critics are also very enthusiastic about the new variety. They rave about aromas of toasted bread, butter and a slight acidity all over - we can definitely agree with this assessment.
If you're now curious about how blond chocolate tastes but don't know how to get hold of the Valrhona Original, don't worry. This and this chocolate come very, very close to the idea. In addition, the chocolates from Latitude and Auro are not only tastier ;-) , but above all they are produced more sustainably and fairly. You can also easily make blond chocolate yourself. We have explained how to do this in this post about DIY blonde chocolate making .

So is blonde chocolate the new "fourth type of chocolate"?

It is difficult to estimate whether blonde chocolate will actually become the new fourth type of chocolate. Even though it has now gained some notoriety and a large fan base in the world of fine chocolate, unlike Ruby Chocolate , which was launched in 2017, it has not really made it into the public eye.
But whether fourth type of chocolate or not, we love blonde chocolate! We recommend: Be sure to try blonde chocolate and make up your own mind! :)

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