FAQ

 

 

How to become a customer

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

Please click on this link to create your personal account.

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

You may contact our customer service department and place your order by clicking the “Need Help?” button

 

 

About your orders

  • I would like to receive marketing materials.

You may contact our customer service department and place your order by clicking the “Need Help?” button

  • I am a professional and want to know when my order will be delivered..

You can find this information in the “My Orders” section of your corporate account page.
 

Cocoa

  • When does a cocoa tree start producing??

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

  • What climate do cocoa trees grow in?

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

  • How many flowers does a tree have?

Thousands, 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 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.

 

Manufacturing of our products

  • 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).

It takes ten years to create a new flavor signature by working closely with Valrhona partner producers. 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 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 couverture chocolate a certain degree of flexibility.

  • Does Valrhona make pure cocoa butter chocolate?

Yes. Valrhona has always been committed to only making "pure cocoa butter" chocolate. Traditionally, chocolate is made from cacao beans and cocoa butter is the vegetable fat used in making this chocolate.

  • How do you make cocoa butter?

Beans are selected for their 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% hazelnuts and/or almonds and sugar.
At Valrhona, we also add natural vanilla extract to our recipes.
We have three different praliné recipes in our product range: nuts (blend of almonds and hazelnuts), the percentage of nuts, the process (including caramelization)

Composition of our products

  • Is chocolate an allergen?

Current European regulations do not list chocolate (cocoa beans) as an allergen. However, chocolate contains ingredients (like milk and soy) that can cause allergies.
The official list of allergens fixed under EU legislation is occasionally revised. We always indicate any allergy-causing ingredients in our list of finished products.

  • What is the composition of gianduja?

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

  • Does Valrhona use GMO lecithin?

Valrhona pledges never to use any GMO raw materials.
The soy lecithin we use does not contain any GMOs. As a matter of fact, our suppliers must follow very stringent specifications. Every batch we use undergoes a certified inspection (PCR method) to verify it does not contain any traces of GMO soybean DNA.

  • Why do you use soy lecithin?

Valrhona uses soy lecithin as an emulsifier in its chocolate manufacturing process. Lecithin is added to make the chocolate breakable, meltable, crisp and to help release flavors.
Lecithin acts as a binder that must be used to make the chocolate stable and fluid, which results in a consistent product.

  • 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.

Use of our products

  • Couverture thickens when coating

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

  • It's hard, if not impossible, to remove molded products from the molds.

The tempering did not follow the right sequence. Check the temperatures again. The 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's important to carefully follow the recommended temperature curve so the chocolate becomes smooth and shiny without any white spots.

  • How do you make a filled Easter egg?

1/ Fill ½ egg molds with chocolate
2/ Move the mold around to pour out excess chocolate so it only covers the inside of the mold
3/ Chill. The chocolate forms a shell
4/ Put the filling (praliné, ganache, etc.) into the shell
5/ Chill again to firm up the filling
6/ Cover the filling with chocolate to seal the ½ egg "shell"
7/ Make a whole egg by putting two ½ egg molds together

  • How should Valrhona chocolate be stored?

Solid chocolate (bars, feves, squares, etc.) and gift boxes
Storage condition on arrival: 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.

2 kg boxes of chocolate bonbons (bulk)
Like all chocolate bonbons, you can also 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 get to 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 organoleptic 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 organoleptic 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.

  • My chocolates 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: - molded bonbons: chill at 10-12°C (50-54°F)
- coated bonbons: chill at 15-18°C (59-64°F).

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

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 fridge 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).

Certifications for our products

  • Do you have a Health & Safety Certificate number?

No. We do not need a Health & Safety Certificate because we do not process animal products.

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 Ecole Valrhona's pastry chefs.

You can fill out the form using the link below.

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