FAQ

 

 

How Do I create a Customer Account?

  • I am a professional. How do I get a personal account on Valrhona.com? 

Please click on this link to create your account.

  • I am a consumer. Can I have an account on Valrhona.com?

You can create an account here, but we recommend checking out our Retail Shop at valrhona-chocolate.com and creating an account there instead. This site is specifically designed for professionals looking for technical products and information. Our Retail Shop is designed for home consumers just like you who are looking for baking products, chocolate bars, and gifts.  

 

How Do I place an order?

  • I am a professional, where can I buy your products?

Our products are sold through distributors. To find out which local distributors in your area sell Valrhona products, please contact us here, and let us know your name, business, and location so that we can properly direct you.

  • I am a consumer, where can I buy your products?

We sell our retail products directly to customers in the U.S. through our Retail Shop at valrhona-chocolate.com.

 

 How can I receive product and marketing materials?

  • I would like to receive marketing materials.

Please contact our customer service department by clicking the "Need Help?" button. Please provide information about yourself, your business, and what materials you are looking for.
 

I want to learn more about Cocoa?

  • When does a cocoa tree start producing?

Trees start bearing fruit when they are around 3 or 4 years old.

  • In what climates do cocoa trees grow?

Cacao trees grow in tropical climates between 20° latitude North and South of the Equator.

  • How many flowers does a cocoa tree have?

Cocoa trees can have thousands of flowers, but only 1 out of every 1,000 flowers becomes a fruit, or cocoa pod.

  • How long do cocoa trees live?

Cocoa trees reach maturity at 7 or 8 years old and their production starts to decline after the age of 25.

  • What color are mature cocoa pods, and what color are the beans inside?

Pods are usually green or red. When ripe, red pods turn orange and green pods turn yellow. The beans inside can range from dark purple to white or cream-colored.

  • What does a cocoa tree look like?

  • How tall are cocoa trees?

Farmed cocoa trees are pruned to about 10 feet high.

  • How often are they harvested?

Cocoa trees can produce year-round and may be harvested once or twice a year after the rainy seasons.
Harvest times vary by region.

 

How are our products manufactured?

  • What is the process for making chocolate?

  • What do you do with the shells after roasting the beans?

The waste is given to local farmers in France to be recycled as garden mulch for improving planting soil.

  • I would like to find out about a product's ingredients.

Once you are logged in to your personal account, you can access this information on each of the product pages.

  • Does Valrhona use ionizing radiation?

No. Valrhona does not use the ionization process. Irradiation (ionization) happens when food is exposed to ionizing radiation (ionization process). This process is sometimes used to sterilize certain foods.

  • What is cocoa butter and what is it used for?

Cocoa butter is the fat from the cocoa bean. It is a texturing agent that gives chocolate a certain degree of flexibility.

  • How do you make cocoa butter?

Cocoa beans are selected for their cocoa butter content. We use a hydraulic press to extract the cocoa butter from the cocoa liquor. The liquor is pressed between two screens at very high pressure. The cocoa butter passes through the screens and what is left is a non-fat disk called a press cake.

  • What are pralinés and how do they differ from each other?

Pralinés are a paste made from nuts and sugar. Pralines contain at least 50% nuts and sugar.
At Valrhona, we also add natural vanilla extract to our recipes.
Pralinés differ based on the blend of nuts used, the percentage of nuts, and the baking process. Pralinés range from powerful and nutty to soft caramelized in taste.

  • What is the double fermentation process?

Valrhona chocolates are made according to a very elaborated process where fermentation is a key step before the cocoa beans leave the plantation. Fermentation is a natural process that enhances the initial flavor profiles in the cocoa beans when the yeasts turn the sugars into alcohol (anaerobic alcoholic fermentation). Then the beans are rotated for several days to accelerate aeration, which helps the development of bacteria (acetic fermentation).

Double fermentation occurs after conventional fermentation is complete. A new raw material is added to start the second fermentation phase. The experts at Valrhona figured out that adding fruit pulp, which is naturally rich in sugar, activates the second fermentation, a process that gives the chocolates all their unique flavor character.

 

What are Valrhona Products Made out of?

  • What is Gianduja?

Gianduja is dark or milk chocolate that contains up to 60% nuts, of which 20-40% are hazelnuts.

  • Why do you use powdered milk to make milk chocolate?

Water cannot be added to chocolate because the finished product has to be dry. Milk contains water but powdered milk is dry, which is why we use powdered milk.

  • What are nibs?

Nibs are pieces of roasted cocoa beans.

 

How do I use Valrhona products?

  • What do I do if my chocolate thickens when coating?

It probably means that the chocolate couverture is too crystallized. The ambient temperature is too cold, so it needs warming up. If the surface of the chocolate becomes shiny, immediately add a little chocolate at 50°C (122°F) for dark chocolate or 40-45°C (104-113°F) for milk chocolate.
If the chocolate couverture is just too cold, it needs to be tempered again after keeping the chocolate melted for at least 3-4 hours.

  • I’m having a hard time removing molded products from the molds.

If this happens, the tempering did not follow the right sequence. Check the temperatures again. The chocolate couverture used should be well formed to the mold (good fluidity). Make sure the molds have been cooled sufficiently.

  • Why do you have to temper chocolate?

Tempering stabilizes the cocoa butter and evenly distributes the crystals. It stops the crystals from moving toward the edges of the chocolate, which would result in white spots. That is why it is important to carefully follow the recommended temperature curve so the chocolate becomes smooth and shiny without any white spots.

  • How should Valrhona chocolate be stored?

Solid chocolate (bars, feves, squares, etc.) and gift boxes
Keep cool (below 18°C/64°F) and tightly closed in a dark place to prevent fat content from going rancid. Milk chocolate, white chocolate, pralinés and nut-based decorations are particularly sensitive.

2kg boxes of chocolate bonbons (bulk)
Like all chocolate bonbons, you can store these products at 16°C (61°F). However, Valrhona recommends this method for conserving them at 4°C (39°F):

  • As soon as they arrive, these chocolate bonbons have to be kept at 4°C (39°F) in their original box with the protective film intact.
  • Before placing in a showcase at 16°C (61°F), let the box of chocolate bonbons sit under the plastic film in its original packaging for a period of about 3 hours so that they reach ambient temperature.

 

  • Can I eat the chocolate after the best before date stated on the packaging?

We guarantee that when products are stored according to our guidelines, they maintain their optimum sensory properties (appearance, flavor, texture) and do not undergo any microbiological changes before the Best Before Date.
We cannot guarantee that our products will keep their sensory properties after that date.
However, under recommended storage conditions, there is no danger of microbiological deterioration for solid chocolate products because of their physical and chemical properties.

  • What do I do if the chocolates I molded have cracks?

The molds have been subjected to thermal shock. Wait before putting the molds in the refrigerator. Do not chill at very low temperatures. For molded bonbons, chill at 10-12°C (50-54°F). For coated bonbons, chill at 15-18°C (59-64°F).

  • Why does the chocolate have a whitish coating or white marks on it?

If the chocolate has been tempered, this problem is caused by molding conditions (molds too hot), storage conditions (ambient temperature too high), temperature shock or too much humidity.

  • What is chocolate bloom (whitening)?

The cocoa butter has crystallized on the surface of the chocolate resulting in white spots.
This would happen if a melted chocolate bar was put back in a refrigerator for instance.

  • When the pieces come out of the molds, they have matte spots on them.

The molds are too cold. They should be at room temperature during shaping (20-25°C/68-77°F).

 

Other questions

  • What is the C3 competition?

The C3 competition stands for Chocolate Chef Competition. Created by Valrhona in 2008, it is the only international restaurant dessert competition. 
It recognizes all the complex aspects of the Restaurant Pastry Chef profession by looking at the technical and artistic aspects of working with chocolate.

  • What is CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)?

Click on this link to read our CSR documents.

  • What is the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie (World Pastry Cup)?

Valrhona has been an official partner of this prestigious culinary event since 1989 and continues to show its commitment as an ambassador and partner of top-level gastronomy around the world.
The finale of the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie is held every other year at the SIRHA trade show in Lyon, France. During a two-year cycle, a number of national and continental championships are held worldwide to select the best pastry chefs of their generation.

You can also visit this website for more information: www.cmpatisserie.com.

  • I'm a professional and would like some advice from one of L’École Valrhona's pastry chefs.

You can fill out the form using the link below.

 

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