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Stone Ground Blonde Chocolate

Blonde chocolate is a delicious, creamy chocolate that can be made at home or for your business. It’s caramel flavour really sets it apart from its white chocolate counterpart.

What is Blonde Chocolate?

Blonde Chocolate wasn’t something I knew much about before I started working for The Raw Chocolate Company in 2006. I was familiar with white chocolate, but didn’t realise that white chocolate is any form of chocolate that doesn’t contain the “dark matter”, that being cacao beans, nibs or paste/mass.

The definition of ‘what blonde chocolate is’ tends to vary from chocolate maker to chocolate maker. My blonde chocolate is not heated above 45c, my chocolate is dairy free and I don’t tend to use refined sugars (only in my white chocolate – I use raw cane sugar for that) so the blonde in my chocolate comes from coconut sugar. That’s what gives it the caramel colour and flavour profile which makes it distinctly different from white chocolate, which has a rather neutral flavour profile. 

How is Traditional Blonde Chocolate Made?

Companies like Hersheys and Valrhona also make a blonde chocolate, but it’s made in a very different way to mine. Where I use coconut sugar in order to attain that blonde colour and deeper flavour profile, cooked, non vegan chocolate makers roast their white chocolate at low temps of 200f. This caramelises the white sugar and creates the blonde colour and flavour.

Getting Started at Home 

In this post, I provide two recipes and processing techniques for making blonde chocolate at home. One requires a high speed blender and the other uses a stone grinder. 

Regardless of how you choose to make it, this chocolate has a great shelf life of up to 1 year and, when tempered, doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge.

Tools, Equipment & Ingredients Needed 

High Speed Blender 

Vitamix 5200 TNC Model

My favourite blender is the Vitamix. It’s a fantastic machine for many uses, but where chocolate is concerned, this blender allows you to grind and heat the chocolate at the same time. The downside is that the sugar will not grind down small enough to result in a silky smooth finish. If you’re most interested in making professional quality chocolate, then the Stone Grinder is the way to go and it’s half the price of the Vitamix. That said, if you already have a Vitamix, then you can start there and, if you get into it, you can upgrade to a SG.

Stone Grinder 

Premier Chocolate Refiner

Stone Grinders are the traditional way of making chocolate. In large commercial environments, the grinders can be up to a tonne in capacity. The way it works is by slowly grinding the chocolate over 24-100 hours. The grinding time will depend on the recipe you’re making and ingredients you’re using. Two granite rollers grind the chocolate against a granite base. The result is super fine, very smooth chocolate. Grinding the chocolate over a long period of time also increases its viscosity, which is to say it makes it much thicker than the blender method.

Thermometer 

A vital element to making chocolate is temperature. The tempering process means heating and cooling the chocolate at specific temperatures. You can use any kitchen thermometer that you like, but the one I like the most is linked below. You might be tempted by infrared thermometers, but they only take the surface temperature, so best to have a probe thermometer. Infrared thermometers do come in handy for chocolate making and work, so having both is a bonus.

Ingredients 

Making chocolate requires very few ingredients, as you can see below. But the quality of those ingredients is paramount to the outcome of the chocolate. Cacao butter is the fat extracted from the bean and the base of blonde and white chocolates. I stick to using natural sweeteners as unprocessed as possible, but occasionally I’ll use raw cane sugar, primarily when making white chocolate in order to retain the white colour. Coconut sugar is a fantastic sweetener for blonde chocolate as it has those lovely caramel notes we want.

Moulds 

Stone Ground Blonde Chocolate in Polycarbonate Mould

When first starting to make chocolate, you might want to opt for using silicone moulds. They are much more forgiving than polycarbonate moulds as the chocolate can be pushed out, whether it’s well tempered or not. Poly or professional moulds require the chocolate to be well tempered in order for it to contract and release from the mould. Using poly moulds also results in a beautiful shine. Silicone moulds will not yield a shiny finish. Both companies below sell poly and silicone moulds.

How to Make Blonde Chocolate

There are two ways you can make blonde chocolate at home; in a high speed blender or a stone grinder. The benefit of using a high speed blender is that a lot of people own one already so there’s no initial investment needed. It’s a good way to give it a go and see if you enjoy making chocolate before investing in a machine that will make it a professional quality product. The downside to using a blender is that it will always result in a somewhat grainy texture in the chocolate because there’s simply not enough grinding time. High speed blenders like the Vitamix heat as you blend. In this case, that’s a bonus because we need to heat the chocolate anyway in order to temper it. However, it also means that the chocolate doesn’t get enough grinding time to break the sugar down into a fine consistency.

The stone grinder, on the other hand, heats the chocolate very gently and runs for 24, 36, 72 hours, depending on the chocolate you’re making. It gets the microns of the chocolate very very small over that time and results in a super fine, very smooth finish. It also increases the thickness of the chocolate and therefore makes it much easier to work with. You’ll notice when you use the blender method, the chocolate is very thin, almost like milk consistency. This means it’s difficult to use for things like, making chocolate shells.

You’ll find detailed instructions for each method in the full recipe below. Here’s an overview of how to make blonde chocolate at home.

How Can I Make Blonde Chocolate Myself?

There are two different ways to make blonde chocolate;

Stone Grinder (SG)

  • The first thing we need to do is pre grind the sugar. This will reduce the amount of grinding time the machine needs to do. 
  • Simply add 1 cup of sugar to a HSB or ¼ cup to a coffee grinder and blend for the least amount of time possible, but to break down the sugar. The longer you blend it, the more it will heat and then moisture can accumulate.
  • Next, melt down the butter on a stovetop over low heat. 
  • Turn the grinder on and add the butter. 
  • Next, add the dry ingredients. I tend to add it all in one go, but you can also go little by little. Everyone does this differently. 
  • Put the lid on and let her go for 24-100 hours. For a batch of chocolate like this, I do 24-36 hours as all we need to grind is the flour and sugar and then get a good viscosity. 
  • Once the chocolate is done grinding, you can store it in an airtight container for up to a year. Each time you want to use it, you’ll just need to temper it. Click here for a video on how to temper.
  • When chocolate is tempered it contracts away from the mould, which is why you can set chocolate in poly moulds without difficulties getting them out.
Tempered Blonde Chocolate Contracting From The Mould

NOTES

  • A stone grinder is the traditional way chocolate is made, but using a domestic machine. The commercial ones range from 30kg – 1 tonne capacity.
  • The chocolate is ground for a long period of time, between 24-120 hours, to get it as smooth as possible.
  • With a chocolate like this, or any that doesn’t use beans or nibs, the grinding time is short – about 24 hours.
  • You can also use the grinder to make nut butters, which is far less expensive than buying them.

High Speed Blender (HSB)

  • The first thing we need to do is pre grind the sugar. This will reduce the amount of grinding time the machine needs to do. 
  • Simply add 1 cup of sugar to a HSB or ¼ cup to a coffee grinder and blend for the least amount of time possible, but to break down the sugar. The longer you blend it, the more it will heat and then moisture can accumulate. 
  • Shave the butter down so it’s rather fine, this will take pressure off the blender. 
  • Add all ingredients except the flour to the blender. Turn on and move straight away to high speed. 
  • Use the tamper stick to push the contents down into the blades, otherwise it won’t blend. 
  • Once the consistency is like whipped cream, take the lid off and scrape down the blender. 
  • Put the lid on and just blend to melt the butter down. When it turns liquid, add the flour and blend just to incorporate and bring the temperature to 42c. 
  • From here, you can store it in an airtight container for up to a year. Each time you want to use it, you’ll just need to temper it. 

    NOTES
  • This option isn’t nearly as smooth and well incorporated as the “grinding” time is limited to about 1 – 1 ½  minutes. That said, you can still make a lovely chocolate using the blender, it’s the way we did it at The Raw Chocolate Company for a long time until he upscaled the equipment.
  • With both methods, but more so with this one, it’s best to pre-grind the sugar as it helps the overall consistency a lot. We want those sugar crystals as fine as possible. Chocolate is measured in microns and 1 micron is 1/1000 of a mm. So, we’re talking small! 
  • If this is a new method for you, click here to see how I use a high speed blender to make chocolate.
Before Grinding Sugar
After Grinding Sugar
Rate This Recipe
5 from 7 votes

Blonde Chocolate

Blonde chocolate is a delicious, creamy chocolate that can be made at home or for your business. It’s caramel flavour really sets it apart from its white chocolate counterpart.

Ingredients

Blonde Chocolate

Instructions

HSB Method

  • When using the HSB, reduce the flour content to 50g.
  • Halve the remaining ingredients listed above or process it in two batches.
  • Combine all ingredients in a Vitamix and, using the tamper stick, push the ingredients down into the corners of the blender. Click here to see this process being demonstrated.
  • Keep doing this until the mixture is liquid. You’ll need to scrape the sides of the jug and the tamper as you go so it all gets heated and blended together.
  • This should take about 1 ½ -2 mins, take the temperature every 30 seconds or so to be sure it’s not exceeding 50c or it can burn.
  • Transfer to a mixing bowl and temper.
  • Pour into moulds and set in the fridge for 5-10 minutes and then at room temp for an additional 20 mins – 12 hours to full set and crystallise.
  • When chocolate tempers it contracts away from the mould, so there's no need to bang them out. If that's the case, something went awry during tempering and you'll need to re-temper it.

SG Method

  • Add the melted butter to the grinder first to lubricate the stones a little bit.
  • Add the remaining ingredients about ½ cup at a time.
  • Grind for 24-36 hours and then store or temper and use.
  • Pour into moulds and set in the fridge for 5-10 minutes and then at room temp for an additional 20 mins – 12 hours to full set and crystallise.
  • When chocolate tempers it contracts away from the mould, so there's no need to bang them out. If that's the case, something went awry during tempering and you'll need to re-temper it.
  • They should come out without sticking to the mould and with limited streaking or spots.
Rate This Recipe
5 from 7 votes

Blonde Chocolate Q&A’s 

What is blonde chocolate? 
This question will have a different answer depending on the chocolate maker you talk to. Cooked chocolate companies roast their white chocolate, which caramelises the sugars, and makes it blonde in colour and changes the flavour profile. I use coconut sugar, which is already blonde in colour, as my sweetener and that creates the blonde colour and caramel flavour profile. 

Is Caramac blonde chocolate?
Interestingly, Caramac doesn’t actually contain any cocoa products. Check out this ingredient list…Vegetable fats (Palm, Shea), Sugar, Lactose (from Milk), Sweetened Condensed Skimmed Milk, Skimmed Milk Powder, Butterfat (from Milk), Emulsifier (Sunflower Lecithin), Treacle, Flavouring, Salt. So, no, Caramac is not chocolate. It’s more like a fudge.

Where can I buy high quality blonde chocolate in the U.K?
Cocoa Runners carry a huge selection of chocolate bars of different qualities and percentages. Here’s a bar of Dirty Blonde Chocolate by Omnom Chocolate company, for example.

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