Emily Carrus, our super food intern, has made a great discovery on the white-chocolate front. Here’s her report:
Last month, I was lucky enough to attend a demonstration hosted by Valrhona Chocolate led by two adorable pastry chefs, Phillipe Givre and Derek Poirer. Days later, I was still thinking about one concept from it that was totally new to me: roasting white chocolate. Phillipe and Derek had cooked Valrhona Ivoire (Valrhona’s white chocolate) in the oven until it darkened in color and its sugars caramelized, much like the conversion of sweetened milk into dulce de leche. The chefs then incorporated it into a mousse-like dessert and told us that with proper handling, you can use it as you would “normal" chocolate: for flavoring creams or baked goods, or making bars and bonbon shells. (Also important to note: The chefs said roasting works only with high-quality white chocolate.)
Fortunately, F&W Senior Editor Kate Heddings was as intrigued by roasted white chocolate as I was, and she gave me the go-ahead to experiment in our Test Kitchen. Following instructions from Valrhona, I put one pound of white chocolate in a roasting pan and set it in a 300-degree oven. After about 40 minutes, stirring every 5 or 10 minutes, the chocolate turned a beautiful golden-brown color. I let it sit on the counter overnight to cool.
The next day, the roasted white chocolate had a peanut butter–like texture; it loosened up after a zap in the microwave. I swirled some of it into a basic brownie batter, and the results were fantastic: The white-chocolate flavor was pleasantly intense, resulting in superrich, caramelly brownies. Some of F&W’s editors and I brainstormed other great uses for roasted white chocolate. It would also be great in a buttercream piled on top of cupcakes, sandwiched between two buttery cookies, made into pudding or drizzled over vanilla ice cream. I, for one, am excited to see if this becomes a new chocolate trend.