What Is Blonde Chocolate?

This ingredient lends complex caramel flavor to baked treats. Swap it in for white chocolate or milk chocolate.

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January 28, 2022

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Dark, white and caramelized couverture chocolate callets background. Modern food concept.


Dark, white and caramelized couverture chocolate callets background. Modern food concept.

Photo by: Alla Machutt

Alla Machutt

By Fraya Berg for Food Network Kitchen

Fraya is a chef and a contributing writer at Food Network.

There are several kinds of chocolate with which we're all familiar: unsweetened chocolate, dark chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, semisweet chocolate and milk chocolate (to learn more about these chocolates, check out our Chocolate Guide). White chocolate is made from cocoa butter, without any cocoa solids, so it's technically not chocolate, but c’mon: everyone who likes it will argue that point. And blonde chocolate is a variety of white chocolate. Read on to learn more.

Image taken indoors during the preparation of chocolate figures at home.


Image taken indoors during the preparation of chocolate figures at home.

Photo by: Núria Talavera

Núria Talavera

What Is Blonde Chocolate?

Blonde chocolate is white chocolate that has been cooked at a low temperature for a fairly long time to caramelize the sugars and milk solids in it. One way to describe blonde chocolate is with this analogy: blonde chocolate is to white chocolate as dulce de leche is to sweetened condensed milk. In both cases, you start with a less complex flavor, and with the magic of heat and time, transform it into a richer, more flavorful form that enhances whatever you’re making.

What Does Blonde Chocolate Taste Like?

Blonde chocolate has the flavor of lightly caramelized sugar and milk. While not as strong as the flavor of dulce de leche, the flavors are similar. White chocolate has a lower sugar and milk content than sweetened condensed milk, so there isn’t as much to caramelize in an ounce-for-ounce comparison.

What Is Blonde Chocolate Used For?

Blonde chocolate can be used in any recipe that calls for white chocolate, just remember that it will have a stronger flavor and a darker color due to the caramelization process it goes through. Frosting made with blonde chocolate will have a caramel-chocolate flavor and would be a delicious coating for any chocolate cake—dark, milk or white.

It also of course can be enjoyed like any chocolate bar - straight from the package!

How to Make Blonde Chocolate

Making your own blonde chocolate isn’t hard at all, you just need to take care of it when it’s in the oven. One very important factor is the quality of the white chocolate you start with: it needs to be as close to (or more than) 30% cocoa butter and more than 10% milk solids. Valrhona and Callebaut are excellent choices. White chocolate chips will not work, nor will white melting wafers. You have to start with real, high-quality white chocolate, then follow these simple steps:

  1. Preheat the oven. Heat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Chop the white chocolate. Chop white chocolate if you’re using bars; oval discs (feves) don’t need to be chopped. Sprinkle it evenly on a silpat-lined sheet tray.
  3. Roast and stir. Roast white chocolate in oven for 10 minutes. Remove and stir white chocolate with a dry silicon spatula, metal spatula or a spoon. Don’t be surprised or worried by lots of lumps: you’ll fix that at the end.
  4. Roast and stir to reach toasted perfection. Roast the chocolate 10 more minutes, remove from the oven and stir. Repeat the 10-minute roasting and stirring steps until the white chocolate is as toasted as you like. It can be pale tan with milk caramel flavor or darker, with a more pronounced flavor, depending on how many 10-minute cycles you do. Typically, 5 to 7 10-minute trips to the oven are what it takes.
  5. Smooth out the chocolate. At this point, you have options. You can use your spatula to stir and apply pressure to the chocolate on the sheet pan or you can pour it into a food processor bowl with a metal blade and pulse until smooth. Just be sure the bowl and blade are dry.
  6. Set the chocolate. Line a loaf pan or an 8” x 8” cake pan with parchment paper and pour the smooth chocolate into the pan. Let rest at room temperature to firm up.

At this point you can chop it up and use the pieces as you would any chocolate. Follow the steps outlined in How to Chop and Melt Chocolate: A Step-by-Step Guide if you’ll be using it melted. Or just break off chunks and enjoy it as it is.

Blonde Chocolate Recipes

Yep, these recipes call for white chocolate or milk chocolate, but we think they'd be even tastier made with blonde chocolate.


Photo by: Ryan Dausch

Ryan Dausch

We guarantee that using blonde chocolate will take this cheesecake to a new level of flavor. The cranberry is the perfect complement to the caramel notes in the filling.

Right this way for luscious parfaits laced with creamy caramel-flavored mousse (thanks blonde chocolate).

Use blonde chocolate in place of white when making the frosting for these cupcakes, then toast the coconut before sprinkling it on top. You’re welcome.

Milk Chocolate Mascarpone Cups

Milk Chocolate Mascarpone Cups

Photo by: Teri Lyn Fisher

Teri Lyn Fisher

Cardamom is an assertive flavor and blonde chocolate can stand up to it and be noticed. The mini-marshmallows are the perfect topping.

We’re advocating for blonde chocolate as a stand-in for milk chocolate in this recipe: you’ll get a totally different experience but it will be a good one.

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