For all of my adult life, I’ve been a dark chocolate fan. I love shelling out absurd amounts of money for small bars of artisan small batch chocolates. I’ll read the flavor notes profile on the back and be like, hey, I totally got a hint of the tanned leather and cranberry. Oh and I think I’m getting the hit of citrus! Oh man, these beans from (some obscure town in a country far far away) have such a great flavor!
That changed for 9 months while I was pregnant with my third baby. Pregnancy does weird things to your taste buds, and suddenly dark chocolate did not sound or taste that great at ALL. On the flip side, I was buying milk chocolate and… dare I even say it… white chocolate! I was never a white chocolate fan but suddenly I craved it. Every time I went to the grocery store I would buy a bar or two of the Hershey’s cookies’n’creme bars. During my white chocolate binge, I came across something that I knew even my pre-pregnancy taste buds would have loved. Valrhona’s Dulcey bar. Apparently it was invented on accident when a chocolatier forgot he was melting white chocolate in a bain-marie (hot water bath type thing) and left it for ten (!!!) hours and voila! had blonde chocolate. Great things can come from mistakes huh? Anyways it’s amazing and I went back and bought like, two more bars. Expensive though. Pregnancy means I can do stuff like that sometimes, but… I can’t just go out and buy expensive bars of chocolate all the time or my husband will tell me he should be able to buy the things he wants too. And by “things” he would mean a nice new mountain bike. So, no, I had to figure out a way to get my caramelized white chocolate fix another way. Turns out it’s not even that hard. Thanks Google, for showing me a hundred different sites with recipes on how to do this! I guess it was a thing, and I never knew it until about a year ago. Thank goodness I have been enlightened. Now it’s your turn!
Basically, you bake white chocolate low and slow in the oven, occasionally stirring, and it will turn this niiiice tan/blonde/light brown color. It can throw you off, because it becomes solid and a little grainy and NOT like melted chocolate, but just trust the magic and keep going. Once you are done baking it, you vigorously stir it all together and it becomes more like what you might have expected it to look like.
So now that you have caramelized white chocolate, what do you do with it? I decided to make blondies. Blondies are sometimes known to be boring, but these are anything but! I love how the caramelized taste comes through and pairs so well with the brown sugar and pecans. And look at those pretty swirls. I don’t think you will be disappointed with these, even if you are a die-hard brownie fan (like I used to be)… even if you are anti-white chocolate! Give it a try and find out how good blondies can be!
Caramelized White Chocolate Blondies
- 4-16 oz good quality white chocolate
- 12 T unsalted butter melted
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 T vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 t baking powder
- 1 cup pecan pieces toasted
Caramelize the white chocolate: Preheat oven to 265 F and pour chocolate into a rimmed baking sheet or pan (I used a 4 oz. and placed it in a small glass container). Place in oven and stir every 5-10 minutes until it has a golden brown hue, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and place in a bowl. The chocolate should be lumpy/grainy/gross looking, but once you stir it, it should become smooth. Set aside.
Make blondies: Preheat oven to 350 F and line a 9x13" baking pan with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, mix together butter and sugar until combined well. Add eggs and vanilla extract and stir in. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder, and sift into the butter mixture. Fold in and be careful not to overmix. Fold in pecans, and pour into the pan. Drizzle/spoon the melted caramelized white chocolate on the top of the batter and swirl. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until set and baked through. Cool to room temperature and cut into squares.
Adapted from: Glazed and Confused