Valrhona Blond Dulcey 32% 86/100

DSC_0483

This bar is made from cocoa butter and is absent of cocoa powder or solids, presenting itself as a new style of chocolate, blond, as opposed to white. This bar is produced by Valrhona at their factory in Tain-l’Hermitage, part of the Rhone Valley, an area particularly famous for growing wine.

DSC_0621

I’ve tried some white chocolate, but not a lot and not a lot of the single origin variety either. This bar isn’t even white chocolate though, it’s blond chocolate and so I have very little experience with this kind of chocolate at all. I have used cocoa butter in cooking a lot and tasted plenty of it unsweetened, but I have a feeling this will be a different experience entirely. My general expectations are for something similar to white chocolate, but with more caramel tones owing to its colour, some darker more complex sugars possibly. Opening the bar it’s the familiar crazy paving slab of Valrhona’s and breaking a piece off reveals smooth creamy vanilla aromas with hints of caramel, so far in line with my expectations. Placing a piece in my mouth there’s butter, cream and crème patisserie in the mouthfeel, but with fatty textures like those in cream or cheese. To taste this bar begins as caramel and crème caramel, offering a light exploration of slightly more complex sugar notes, but during the course of the melt it changes and becomes altogether more refined, rounded and interesting. It begins to display roasted notes of honey toasted cereals and caramel biscuits, that are both subtly complex as well as being of fine expression. Looking over the tasting notes at the end, Valrhona mention freshly baked shortbread and they’re not wrong there, it’s an interesting mix of fats, developed sugars and these baked/toasted/roasted notes that express themselves well in balance. It’s like taking a white chocolate bar with its sweetness and lactic acidity, but darkening it a little to provide better development of the sugars. All in all this seems to offer something interesting and original in comparison to white chocolate, it’s reminiscent of the flavours in a Milky Way just in a much more adult way. Best paired with citric and sweet white wines like Riesling.

Ingredients: Cocoa butter, sugar, whole milk powder, dried skimmed milk, whey (milk), butter (milk), emulsifier (soya lecithin), natural vanilla extract.

Appearance 8.5/10

Colour: Caramel white Texture: Soft butter fudge Mould: Valrhona crazy paving segments Snap: Soft thick crisp Temp/Shine: Consistent matte

Aroma 8/10

Intensity(0-10): 8 Notes: Milky, creamy, vanilla, caramel Quality: Smooth, refined, simple

Melt/Mouthfeel 8.5/10

Length: Medium to long Evenness: Even Texture: Butter, cream, crème patisserie Quality: Smooth, fatty

Acidity 8/10

Intensity(0-10): 2 Notes: Buttermilk Quality: Light, balancing

Sweetness 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8 Notes: Caramel, toasted cereal, honey Quality: Developed, roasted

Flavour 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8 Type: Sweet Notes: Caramel, crème caramel, buttermilk, honey toasted cereal, caramel biscuit Quality: Rounded, subtly complex, roasted

Length 8.5/10

Flavours get longer throughout the melt, stretching out with rounds stretching further and further

Finish 9/10

Notes: Honey toasted cereal, caramel biscuit Quality: Sweet buttermilk tones make their way to the end where honey toasted cereal notes and caramel biscuits fill the finish with complex roasted notes that leave creamy notes to linger

Balance 8.5/10

Bar starts off subtly balanced, but then becomes more complexly balanced, with complementary flavours and tones, medium structure helps to anchor flavour

Overall 9/10

Bar has depth and a good degree of dimension, complexities are well balanced, structure is a little weak, but consistent, expression is true of cocoa butter content and roasting

Valrhona’s Tasting Notes: Creamy and Toasty: The first notes of dulcey chocolate are buttery, toasty and not too sweet, gradually giving way to the flavours of freshly baked shortbread with a pinch of salt.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s