I think it was a few weeks ago when I first heard about Valrhona’s Blond Dulcey chocolate. Somebody on Instagram was talking about it; raving about its deep and sweet caramel notes. Having used Valrhona’s Caramelia chocolate in a few bakes (and nibbled a few morsels along the way) I was intrigued.
Like all Valrhona chocolate, it does not come cheap, and I kept putting off ordering it and trying it out. Then I saw a couple of stunning creations on Instagram that were made with Dulcey and illustrated the rich colour of this confection. The images screamed “eat me!” So I bit the bullet and ordered a 250g bar.
I knew what I wanted to make with this caramelised white chocolate in order to test its taste and its qualities in a simple form, and that was to make a ganache. And not in or on a cake but between two macarons. Macarons are the perfect carriage for ganache, creams and sweet butters.
I was expecting the ganache to be very sweet (and I was correct) so I sprinkled the wet macarons with some cocoa nibs to counter balance this. In hindsight, I wouldn’t bother: the cocoa nibs are OK but serve as a distraction to the soft, giving texture of the finished macaron and I don’t think that they added much in the way of taste. But I am glad I tried out this new ingredient to me.
And if you want to know what Macarons recipe I use, it is the ever reliable one from http://www.thepinkwhisk.co.uk On this occasion I coloured the mixture very slightly with cream food colouring paste.
For some reason my macarons feet have been a little feeble but I was happy enough with the overall result, and got on with making the chocolate ganache.
I heated up 150g of double (heavy) cream until almost boiling and simply added in 200g of finely chopped Valrhona Blond Dulcey chocolate. I mixed well until the chocolate was completely melted in to the cream then set it aside to cool and firm up (it will be pretty runny when hot). I like my macarons filling to be quite soft, so if you want a much firmer ganache, reduce the cream to 100g.
Once the macarons were paired up with matching sizes (because they all seem to vary just a little and need a matching partner: there *is* someone for everyone out there you see) and filled with piped ganache I chilled them overnight. Remember to bring them back to room temperature for serving so that all the flavours come through.
So, would I splash the cash and buy this chocolate again? Yes, I would. It’s not for every day baking but an absolutely beautiful, rich and decadent ingredient to use for special cakes and bakes. I think it will be a beautiful addition to a caramel and chocolate celebration cake and have every intention of finding an excuse to make one soon.