Blonde Chocolate Recipe

Blonde Chocolate Recipe

Blonde chocolate may look like a whole new variety of chocolate, but it starts out as all-too-familiar white chocolate. Chopped white chocolate is heated and stirred until it caramelizes, turning it a golden color and giving it a toasty, almost graham cracker-like flavor. Legend has it, blonde chocolate was discovered by accident in 2006 by a chocolate maker at Valrhona. Years later, the company began selling blonde chocolate, which has proven popular with pastry chefs.

Blonde chocolate has been all the rage the last few years, with how-to videos popping up all over social media, chocolate companies releasing blonde chocolate bars and chips, and even Hershey's releasing its own version called Hershey's Gold. But, you don't need to buy a bar to enjoy it—it's just as easy to make at home.

You don’t need any special equipment, just a rimmed baking sheet, a rubber spatula, and some patience. The caramelization process is best done at a low heat to avoid scorching, and can take anywhere from 1 hour to 3 hours depending on your oven and the brand of chocolate. The only work you really need to do comes down to stirring the chocolate every 10 minutes.

The resulting blonde chocolate can be used right away in its melted form or left to cool and harden. Use it in any recipes that calls for white chocolate for a more complex flavor and color, or you can even swap it for milk or dark chocolate for a different experience.

“Blonde chocolate is easy to make and so hard to resist! Adding salt brings out the toasted notes beautifully and balances out the sweetness. You can spread the melted chocolate on a piece of parchment paper and when set, break into smaller pieces. I added a square into my morning coffee. It was so delicious!”—Bahareh Niati

Blonde Chocolate Recipe / Tester Image A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 8 to 12 ounces high-quality white chocolate, at least 30% cocoa

  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make blonde chocolate

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 250 F. Finely chop the white chocolate.

    Chopped white chocolate on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  3. Place the chocolate on a rimmed baking sheet. Make sure there is enough room to spread out the chocolate into a single layer.

    Chopped white chocolate on a baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  4. Transfer to the oven and bake until the chocolate is melted, about 10 minutes. Spread the chocolate evenly in a single layer with a dry rubber spatula. Don’t worry if at any point in this process the chocolate seems crumbly and dry. Just keep baking, mixing, and spreading as directed until it is melty and smooth.

    Melted white chocolate on baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  5. Return to the oven and bake until the chocolate turns the color of unroasted peanut butter (slightly darker than tahini), stirring and spreading evenly every 10 minutes. This can take from 45 minutes up to 2 1/2 hours depending on your oven.

    Melted blonde chocolate on baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  6. Give the blonde chocolate one last stir. If using, add salt to taste. This amplifies the flavor of the chocolate.

    Melted blonde chocolate on baking sheet with salt

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  7. Use right away in a recipe that calls for melted chocolate (see below), or cool, then transfer to an airtight container. A dull, sometimes white finish on top of the hardened chocolate is normal since it has not been tempered. You can remelt the chocolate and temper it, if desired.

    Melted blonde chocolate in a jar

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

Tips

  • Be sure to use high-quality white chocolate that is at least 30% cacao and free of preservatives and unnecessary ingredients. Low-quality chocolate will not work well for this technique.
  • Be careful not to get any water on the chocolate before, during, or after cooking. Even a drop could cause the chocolate to seize and become an unpleasant texture.
  • A metal pan works best since it heats very evenly, but you can also use a glass or ceramic pan. Just make sure to use a pan big enough for the chocolate to spread out and stir well every 10 minutes.
  • For ease of clean up, you can line the baking pan with parchment paper if desired.
  • You can make more or less blonde chocolate at a time as long as your baking pan allows the chocolate to spread out into a thin layer.
  • The cook time will vary greatly depending on your oven, the pan, and the chocolate used. Keep stirring it every 10 minutes and remove it from the oven when it is golden in color.
  • If your blonde chocolate isn’t perfectly smooth or has separated after cooking, you can add it to a blender and process until smooth and creamy.

How to Use Blonde Chocolate

Use blonde chocolate anywhere you would white chocolate or even milk or dark chocolate for a uniquely sweet, toasty flavor. Try swapping it for the chocolate it in these recipes:

  • Smooth Chocolate Ganache
  • White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
  • Old-Fashioned Hot Chocolate With Variations
  • White Chocolate Citrus Truffles
  • White Chocolate Fudge With Marshmallow and Nuts
  • White Chocolate Martini
  • Two-Ingredient White Almond Bark Candy
  • 20-Minute Homemade Chocolate Sauce
  • White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
  • Hollow Chocolate Easter Egg
  • Chocolate Mousse

How to Store and Freeze

  • Store blonde chocolate in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
  • You can freeze blonde chocolate, but it won't add significantly to its shelf life. Store in a freezer-safe, airtight container for up to a year. Thaw in its container in the refrigerator overnight before using.

Where can I buy white chocolate?

You can find quality blonde chocolate from a number of gourmet chocolate makers. One of the best sources is Valrhona, the believed originator of blonde chocolate. They offer it in a small puck for baking called feve, bars, and more in 32 and 35% cocoa varieties. Valrhona chocolate can be purchased on their website or at various online retailers.

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