Earlier this year, Valrhona released what they’re calling the fourth chocolate (after dark, milk and white) and that is blond chocolate.
They’ve named it Dulcey, though I can’t tell you how that’s pronounced. At the London-based launch event, some Valrhona staff pronounced it with a soft “s” and others with a hard “ch“. “Dulsey” or “Dulchi“, take your pick.
Although home cooks and dessert chefs have been caramelising white chocolate for many years, Valrhona seem to be taking credit for inventing it, and even trot out the unlikely story of it being an accidental discovery on the part of a Valrhona chocolatier who forgot some white chocolate in an oven for a few hours. Who knows for certain, but came over as pure marketing story-weaving!
Regardless of the true origins, it’s definitely a fascinating product.
The sweet, butterscotch fudge flavours are reminiscent of childhood confectionery Caramac, though a side by side comparison by a friend makes it abundantly clear that the two products are nothing alike. As we all agreed, Caramac tastes of sugar and cheap fat, with a slightly grainy texture. Dulcey is silky smooth, with a far richer, more complex and delicious flavour.
You could eat it on its own, if you have a sweet tooth. It’ll probably appeal more to fans of white chocolate than dark, of course. However, where it comes into its own is as an ingredient for desserts. At the launch, we tried a range of dainty treats such as panna cottas, tarts and chocolate truffles, all showcasing the Dulcey and all very good.
Leaving the launch, we were given a small sample to take home. Going through ideas for recipes, I considered making Cookies of Dreams, chocolate ice cream or a chocolate fondue, all of which I think would work very well.
In the end, I decided to make some quick and simple hot chocolate.
Caramelised White Hot Chocolate
40 grams of caramelised white chocolate
500 ml milk, whole, semi or skimmed as you prefer
Note: If you can’t readily find Valrhona Dulcey, you can caramelise white chocolate at home. Here’s a handy YouTube tutorial.
Heat the milk to just below boiling point. I used a microwave, but you could also use a small saucepan over a medium heat.
Whilst the milk is heating, break the chocolate into small pieces.
Remove the milk from the heat, add the chocolate and stir until all the chocolate is melted and completely combined.
Pour into mugs and serve.
Of course, this is the same way I make dark hot chocolate too, and you can ring the changes by making this with the many great flavoured chocolates available such as Green & Black’s Maya Gold, which works really well.