Call it blond ambition for Ruth Kendrick of South Ogden.
The owner of Chocolot Artisan Chocolates has been experimenting with a new blond-colored chocolate called Dulcey. This caramelized white chocolate was recently launched by French luxury chocolate manufacturer Valhrona. The flavor is similar to the South American dulce de leche, the sweetened milk that is slowly caramelized.
“Caramelized white chocolate is something we have been doing for a while, but it is hit and miss when you do it at home,” said Kendrick. “Valrhona took eight years to perfect it.”
The Valhrona folks are calling it the “fourth type of chocolate,” with the other three types being dark, milk and white chocolate.
“Legally, they have to call it white chocolate,” Kendrick said.
(And speaking of “legal” and “blond” in the same story, what’s the difference between “blond” and “blonde?” My grammar guru friend tells me that “blond” is a color, and “blonde” is a female whose hair is blond. So despite all the jokes, being a blonde denotes hair color, not intelligence.)
The Valhrona website describes Dulcey as “a smooth and creamy chocolate with a velvety, enveloping texture and a warm, blond color. The first notes are buttery, toasty and not too sweet, gradually giving way to the flavors of shortbread with a pinch of salt.”
Dulcey contains 32 percent cocoa butter. It melts like chocolate and has a chocolate-like snap when broken.
But considering the cost, it’s more of a special indulgence than an everyday treat. A 2.99-ounce bar retails for $7.99 on the Valhrona website. (For a size comparison, a king-size Hershey bar is 2.6 ounces.)
“It is a very expensive chocolate and you can’t afford to use it for everything, nor would you want to,” said Kendrick. “It pairs well with caramel, coffee and nuts.”
Kendrick is using it in the ganache filling of one of her chocolates, called Dulcey de Leche. The rich centers are topped with a drop of dulce de leche, and enrobed in dark, gold-flecked chocolate.
These confections became a surprise hit at a “Battle Blond” competition staged last month by Caputo’s, a specialty food store in Salt Lake City. A representative from Valhrona came for the event, which was judged by Viet Pham, winner of the Food Network’s “Iron Chef”; Ryan Lowder of The Copper Onion; and Takashi Gibo of Takashi.
Three Salt Lake City pastry chefs created decadent treats that showcased Dulcey chocolate, such as a layered mousse, flavored popcorn and gelato topped with a homemade marshmallow.
Although Kendrick wasn’t competing, she came to watch and shared samples of her Dulcey de leche chocolates. Courtney McDowell, of the restaurants Pago and Finca, won the contest, but Mary Malouf, food editor at Salt Lake Magazine, wrote in her “On the Table” blog (www.saltlakemagazine.com/blog/2013/04/09/battle-blonds-chocolate-wars-ha...) that as far as she was concerned, Kendrick was the “wild card” winner.
Kendrick is also toying with a Dulcey-caramel combo, where the caramel centers are coated with an outer shell of Dulcey chocolate.
“I think Dulcey is something that is new and very tasty,” said Kendrick. “Whether or not it becomes a standard, only time will tell. I don’t think I would use it for a lot of chocolates, maybe one or two.”
You can find Kendrick’s chocolates at The Queen Bee gift shop on Ogden’s Historic 25th Street, and by mail order at Chocolot.com.
Valerie Phillips blogs at www.chewandchat.blogspot.com.