Thursday, April 30, 2009

Caramelized White Chocolate

After reading David Lebovitz's fantastic blog post about Valrhona, I knew I needed to have some carmelized white chocolate. Immediately. David did not describe the caramlization procedure, but a quick google search came up with a few hits. One blogger said to chop the white chocolate and bake it at 265 degrees, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes. So, I dutifully chopped up some Callebaut white chocolate, put it in the preheated oven (without checking the thermometer at the back of the oven), stirred a couple times, and in 20 minutes had this: Not exactly what I was going for. I guessed that maybe the oven was too hot. So today I preheated the oven to 250, and before putting in the chocolate, checked the thermometer: 300 degrees. That could be the problem. So after lowering the temp to 250, I put in the chocolate. I used Ghirardelli this time, and melted it in the microwave first for good measure. I started stirring at 5 minutes. Not much happened for awhile, when I realized the temp was now at 200, so I increased the oven temp again. 7 minutes later the chocolate had gotten brown and a little crunchy on the bottom. Too much heat when it was warming up, I guess, but the color was right. I kept on baking and stirring it for quite awhile, maybe 30-45 minutes. But it never got much browner than after that initial heat burst. Comparing it to David's picture, I think it needed quite a bit more baking. I guess it's a balancing act to get the right temperature to caramelize it, but not burn it. But it was tasty nonetheless, and would probably make a nice ganache. But I ate all of it plain while it was still warm! I'll need to try one more time to see if I can get it browner.