A sweet treat from la Loire, le Blanc de sable

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Le Blanc de Sable… A chocolate treat named after its inspiration: la Loire. Meaning the white of the sand, this chocolate is an image of the sandbank you can see in the Loire river.

I discovered this chocolate during my last visit in my region in France a few weeks ago. It was developed by four chocolatiers from an area called the “Communauté de communes de la Vallée Loire Authion” located between Angers and Saumur (This is an administrative villages group to explain everything). This area is particularly renown for the beautiful villages and the Loire river ( a very charming area to spend your holidays if you haven’t been there yet). You should have a look at the following villages: La Mémitré, la Daguenière, St Mathurin Sur Loire.

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The Blanc de Sable has been created to represent the Area of the Loire Authion Valley and to pay tribute to the Loire River and the agriculture taking place in the Valley. During my visit, I spent a few hours discovering the making process with M. Tomy, one of the four bakers involved in the creation of this chocolate.

This cute little white chocolate is the fruit (figuratively and literally) of the hard work of 4 bakers during 4 years. It takes time and 2 recipes to achieve the final product. I do like particularly the design of the bonbon. The chocolate looks like a wave or a sandbank in the river Loire.

The bakers have been lucky enough to work in collaboration with the chocolate brand Valrhona to help sophisticate the bonbon. Valrhona helped them to find the perfect balance between the chocolate and the berry filling thanks to their experimentation laboratory. The development of chocolate is not easy even more when you are using different ingredients with different moisture levels and temperature reactions.

Here is the Blanc de Sable:

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All the Blanc de Sable sold at the moment are prepared by hand by the bakers of the Valley. They use chocolates from Valrhona that add to the quality of the product! The different steps of the making process are relatively straightforward, but they have to respect some “chocolate” rules to obtain the perfect final product! They have to follow the tempering technique to obtain in the end a beautiful shiny aspect and consistency.

To fill up 15 moulds of 20 bonbons, the makers need 3 hours of work! When you think about it: it is much work for 20 seconds in your mouth! 😉

Here are the different making process steps (of course I don’t give all the secrets to the making otherwise it would be to easy to replicate :P)

1. The moulds especially created for the Blanc de Sable is coated with white chocolate 2 times and put in the fridge to solidify the white chocolate before adding the filling.

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2. Then the baker adds the berry filling which is a mix of strawberry, blackcurrant and redcurrant, caramel and milk chocolate. He fills approximately half of the chocolate shell and put the moulds back in the fridge.

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3. The praline is added on top of the berry filling and the moulds are going back to the fridge again!
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4. Finally, chocolates are closed up with some white chocolate and put back in the fridge for a while.

If you buy some, make sure to taste them chilled for an optimised tasting ;). They apparently don’t like to stay in your handbag for a while before being eaten.

I prepared you a quick video to illustrate the making process (very simplistic video but hey, it does the job). This one of my first video, so please, be indulgent with my movie making skills (I promise to improve) 😛

The Blanc de Sable are available from some bakeries of the area (specifically from la Ménitré, Saint Mathurin Sur Loire, Cornée and la Daguenière), and the Tourist Office located in St Mathurin. This is a confidential product at the moment, but it just needs a bit of time to be discovered by most! 🙂

You can by them during your next holidays in here :

  • M. Leriche’s Bakery 15 rue Ligerienne – 49800 La Daguenière
  • Fabien Thomy’s Bakery 10 place de l’église – 49250 Saint MatHUrin-SUr-Loire
  • M. Duhamel’s Bakery 17 rue royale – 49630 Corné
  • Pierre Maugin’s Bakery 11 rue Marc Leclerc – 49250 La Ménitré
  • Loire-Authion Tourist Office place du port Charles Sigogne 49250 Saint Mathurin-Sur-Loire

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