Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

What is blonde chocolate? Food’s sweetest new trend

21/02/2023

Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman

05m read

Article saved!Article saved!

Blonde chocolate is having a bit of a moment, whether you’re talking about blonde chocolate bars, blonde chocolate liqueur or blonde chocolate Easter eggs.

But what is blonde chocolate? Before you ask, it’s not just another type of white chocolate, and it isn’t food colouring which gives it that unique hue, either.

Also known as gold chocolate, blonde is the snazziest new flavour around, and you only have to look at it to know why it’s starting to populate all our shelves.

Here’s everything you need to know…

what is blonde chocolate

Blonde chocolate is one of the hottest new food trends (Credit: Alamy)

What is blonde chocolate?

Blonde chocolate is basically white chocolate cooked at a lower temperature and for a longer period of time.

This cooking method results in the Maillard reaction – a chemical reaction that takes place between sugars and amino acids.

READ MORE: Try Twisted’s chocolate fudge brownie recipe

Whilst people often describe blonde chocolate as caramelised – it’s not *just* caramelised. Although both are non-enzymatic browning techniques, the Maillard reaction differs from caramelisation because it manipulates the flavour of the amino acids in the milk as well as the sugar.

Also known as the browning reaction, this gives a distinctive toasty caramelised flavour and creates the beige colour that the chocolate is famous for.

Blonde chocolate has garnered so much hype because the product is less sweet than your standard white chocolate, meaning it can be used as an alternative for milk or dark chocolate in most recipes without being too sickening.

It’s not just to cook with, either. Blonde chocolate is also damn tasty to eat as it is. If you haven’t tried it, what are you waiting for?

Where did blonde chocolate come from?

Blonde chocolate was discovered in 2006 by complete accident thanks to chocolatiers at the French premium chocolate manufacturer Valrhona.

The story goes that pastry chef, Frédéric Bau, left some white chocolate in a bain-marie and then after a few hours it underwent the Maillard reaction, resulting in a new variety of chocolate nobody had seen before.

READ MORE: Twisted’s Saucy Vegan Chocolate Pudding recipe

After that, it took chocolatiers a whopping eight years to reproduce blonde chocolate because it wasn’t created in a controlled setting and they had to emulate the first mistake batch.

That’s why we’re only starting to see blonde chocolate hit the mainstream in the last five years or so.

A happy accident is finally getting its time to shine.

what is blonde chocolate

Today, blonde chocolate is even being used in Easter eggs (Credit: Alamy)

How to make blonde chocolate

So, we know about the Maillard reaction and the fact that it started as an accident, but how is blonde chocolate actually made?

Here’s how you can recreate the sweet treat for yourself at home.

Ingredients: 

  • 500g good quality white chocolate

Method:

  1. Break your white chocolate into small, even chunks and lay them across a lined baking tray.
  2. Place in the oven at a 100C heat and roast it low and slow, stirring every 10 minutes with a spatula so the chocolate doesn’t burn.
  3. Repeat this four more times, until the chocolate has been cooking for 50 minutes and is a rich brown in colour. If your chocolate has now sufficiently browned, keep it in the oven a little longer, mixing more regularly if necessary.
  4. Once the chocolate is the colour of peanut butter, remove it from the oven and either use immediately if you need melted chocolate, or cool in an airtight container.
  5. You can then temper this cooled chocolate back into a harder form which can then be eaten as it is or cooked with, just as you would dark, milk, or white chocolate.

Where can you buy blonde chocolate?

The popularity of blonde chocolate isn’t to be sniffed at. In fact, it soared by 597% in 2022, according to Mars Wrigley.

READ MORE: Twisted’s Apple Pie Galette recipe

There are now loads of places you can buy blonde chocolate on the high-street. Here are some of the stand-outs:

ASDA blonde chocolate range

what is blonde chocolate asda range

ASDA has a whole blonde chocolate range (Credit: ASDA)

If you’re looking for blonde chocolate, ASDA should be your first port of call.

The supermarket has a whole range of blonde chocolate food including a cake (£14.50), sea salted caramel and blonde chocolate chouxnuts (£3) and a bog standard blonde chocolate bar (£2), to name just a few of the items on offer.

There’s also a rather exciting tipple on offer (more on that below).

Check out the ASDA blonde chocolate range here. 

READ MORE: Try Twisted’s Mars Bar Cookies recipe

Waitrose blonde chocolate Easter egg

what is blonde chocolate waitrose easter egg

Waitrose has created a blonde chocolate Easter egg (Credit: Waitrose)

Waitrose is getting in on the blonde chocolate hype by offering up an Easter egg made of the stuff this year.

Their fancy No1 range is not only made of blonde chocolate but it has a hidden box of salted caramel truffles hidden inside it. Win, win.

It’ll set you back £11 and you can find it here.

Fortnum and Mason blonde chocolate gifts and Easter egg

what is blonde chocolate fortnum and mason

Fortnum and Mason also have some blonde choccy options (Credit: Fortnum and Mason)

Fortnum and Mason have a number of blonde chocolate options, too.

You can buy an array of luxury gifts like salted caramel blonde chocolate almonds (£11.95) and hazelnut and blonde chocolate shortbread (£8.95).

Oh, and they also have a blonde chocolate Easter egg (£35) if you’re willing to fork out almost forty bucks –hey, it is Fortnum and Mason, what did you expect?

Find all of these products on the Fortnum and Mason website.

Sainsbury’s blonde chocolate snacks and bar

what is blonde chocolate sainsburys

Sainsbury’s also sells blonde chocolate (Credit: Sainsbury’s)

Sainsbury’s have a few blonde chocolate bits in stores, including shortbread filled with chunks of the caramelised treat (£2.25) and bars of blonde chocolate, too (£1.65).

They’ve dabbled with other blonde chocolate bits in the past, like blonde chocolate spread. Dreamy.

Find all the Sainsbury’s blonde chocolate goods here.

Valrhona blonde chocolate

what is blonde chocolate valrhona

Blonde chocolate was invented by Valrhona (Credit: Valrhona)

We can’t list blonde chocolate suppliers without including the ones that created it.

Valrhona blonde chocolate is available in drops on various cooking websites here in the UK, including Sous Chef (£9.60 for 250g) and The Chocolate Society (£29.50 for 1kg).

You can also get it in a bar from luxury websites like Selfridges (£4.99). It doesn’t get better than the OG blonde chocolate, does it?

READ MORE: Try Twisted’s Caramelised White Chocolate Brownies

What about a blonde chocolate drink?

Blonde chocolate is now such a phenomenon that you can get your hands on it in creme liqueur form, too.

Yep, blonde chocolate drink is officially a thing, and several supermarkets have dabbled with it in the last year or so.

ASDA blonde chocolate liqueur

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJhr_Nb7e1s&embeds_euri=https%3A%2F%2Ftwistedfood.co.uk%2F&source_ve_path=MjM4NTE&feature=emb_title

ASDA’s blonde chocolate liqueur is probably the most obvious example of a drink made of the trending ingredient.

It’s smooth a creamy, with sweet caramel notes and a mellow hit of Madagascan vanilla, too.

You can bag a 70cl bottle for £8 online (if you’re lucky enough to find it in stock). Plus, it’s selling in stores, too.

Marks and Spencer blonde chocolate liqueur

what is blonde chocolate marks and spencer

Marks and Spencer’s blonde chocolate drink is a favourite (Credit: Marks and Spencer)

Marks and Spencer is also offering a blonde chocolate liqueur of its own.

With a similar “irresistible caramelised toffee flavour” the blonde chocolate drink can be served chilled or turned into the ultimate hot chocolate.

Find your 70cl bottle for £10 here or source one in your local store.

saved! saved!