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
A Note From Our Recipe Tester
- 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
- 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.