It’s a question every foodie contemplates when stuck in the chocolate aisle, and, trust us, we’ve been there, too. There’s an even bigger confusion about what’s the difference between a chocolate truffle and a praline, and we’re ready to shed light on it! Chocolate truffles are soft-centered, made with ganache, and covered with cocoa powder, while pralines are a bit more complex. They have various types of confection-filled centers enclosed with hard chocolate shells. While concepts might seem similar, with pralines, it’s always a mystery about what you get when biting into one. The classic chocolate praline hailing from Europe is usually made with pieces of roasted or caramelized nuts, soft, creamy centers, and chocolate layers coating it into a luscious entirety. Now you know exactly what pralines mean in chocolate language!
Photo by Salah Ait Mokhtar on Unsplash
Little More About Chocolate Pralines
For those who’d like to indulge themselves in the moreish goodness of chocolate truffles, we have created a brief and addictively tasty guide on what exactly chocolate truffles are. However, unfortunately for all of us, we have kept chocolate praline enjoyers waiting for too long, but don’t worry. Today we will go over chocolate praline 101 and finish off with some of the must-tries, waiting patiently for you, stocked on our digital shelves. So, whether it’s a chocolate truffle you’re determined to get to know closer or a praline, our field guide blogs can definitely help with that.
Chocolate pralines are on the complicated side of the chocolate category, and the reason is, ironically, simple - they are almost impossible to define. Surprisingly for many, pralines are a morass of a chocolate world - while some know them as caramelized nut confections, others adore them for their chocolate shells. The truth is, they are both. There are three main types of pralines, and they look and taste nothing alike.
We’re sure you’re familiar with New Orleans pralines - melt-in-your-mouth, nutty cookie-shaped confections made with sugar, milk, pecans, and other nuts - resembling French variety, made with syrup and almonds. Yet, French pralines are firmer than American ones. While we adore the moreish crunchiness of nuts, it's the Belgian variety we’re all here gathered to talk about, right?! The chocolate outer shell encloses a soft, sometimes even liquid-like center. That’s not all - the insides of the Belgian pralines, or bonbons, are often enriched with nut pieces or even whole hazelnuts. It’s a celebration of flavors and textures hiding underneath the delicious shell!
It’s pretty much impossible for us to imagine the time when pralines didn’t exist; however, unfortunately for us, none of the types grow on trees, despite how bad we wish for that to be a thing. Nut pralines, just like chocolate truffles, were invented by the French in the 17th century. Some speculate that they were created by the personal chef of César, Duc de Choiseul, Comte du Plessis-Praslin (and, yes, there was no shorter way to spell that), a diplomat and marshall of France. So, you get how they got their name, right?!
However, after Europe got the hang of grinding aromatic cocoa beans and making what soon would be known as the most delicious thing in the world, aka chocolate, the concept of pralines was revolutionized. It was Belgian Jean Neuhaus Jr. in 1912 who first had the idea of creating chocolate pralines with the outer shell and creamy filling inside. This kind of chocolatey experimentation shouldn’t come as a surprise since Belgium has a long-standing chocolate-making tradition!
Photo by eniko kis on Unsplash
Whether you are trying to treat yourself to the lusciousness of chocolate pralines or someone dear to your heart, you can find myriads of unique chocolate truffles & pralines with us! However, to save you some time, we have included some of our favorite truffles in the blog mentioned above, and we’re delighted to share with you a few of our superstar pralines, too. So, if it’s an early Valentine’s Day research you’re up to, or a casual restock, here are some of the must-tries.
A Quick Look Into Our Collection
Dona Jimena has created perfectly delicious classic chocolate pralines for those looking for different ways to indulge in chocolatey goodness. If nutty chocolate bars are your ultimate favorites, then these bonbons are just for you. The renowned Spanish brand has combined light, chocolate mousse filling with bits of hazelnuts for an exciting crunch. The delicate center is enclosed in a luscious milk chocolate coat to satisfy all of your sweet cravings with just a single bite. We think it’s a perfect way to savor Spanish chocolate-making traditions dating back to the 16th century. The simple yet indulgent flavor mood makes Dona Jimena’s creation the ideal addition to your cuppa, coffee, or quick dessert option during the meetings-filled days.
However, if you’re already familiar with classic chocolate pralines, there’s a delicious breeze of fresh air coming your way. Trifulot chocolate pralines are more than ordinary chocolate confections, as you can already see for yourself. Tartuflanghe, an exquisite Italian brand, has revolutionized the market by combining chocolate with truffles, and, no, we don’t mean the chocolate kind. Tartuflanghe is famous for a marvelous melding of juxtaposing flavors - chocolate & truffles - ambrosial fungi famous worldwide for its unmatched aroma. The Trifulot pralines are one-of-a-kind indulgences made with IGP (the Indication of Geographic Protection denomination) preserved Piedmont hazelnuts and freeze-dried summer truffles. Unlike black truffles, they have a delicate flavor and nuttier aroma, unexpectedly resembling hazelnuts. So, one thing to expect you do need to expect from these delights is a delicious ride to the gourmet side of the chocolate world.
And, if you’re, by any chance, searching for the best gift for chocolate lovers, then we might as well introduce you to Perugina’s glamorous white chocolate Baci in Dolce & Gabbana tin while we are at it. Baci chocolate indeed classifies as a praline, but we can’t help but feel bad about putting it in a box since it’s much more than, well, just a praline. Baci was born out of the culinary virtuosity of Luisa Spagnoli, a co-founder of the Perugina brand. It was designed as a sweet symbol of love - that’s why every Baci chocolate is wrapped in a feel-good message. However, what awaits you under the eye-catching tin designed by D&G is secondary to the looks the delightful product is adorned with. The soft chocolate center of each Baci is studded with nut pieces and coated with mesmerizing white chocolate. However, that’s not all that Perugina has to offer - a whole hazelnut inside is the ultimate guarantee of satisfaction. So, if you’re looking for ways to dazzle your chocolate-loving friends, white chocolate Baci by Perugina is the perfect choice for you.
To finish with a bang, we have saved an elegant assorted treat for the last. Venchi has packed a gift box with various pralines - hazelnut, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate-filled bonbons are elegantly wrapped for our indecisive foodies! Sounds too good to be true? You can see it all for yourself. With more than a century of experience under its belt, the careful virtuosity of the brand comes as no surprise. Perfectly round and smooth chocolate pralines in the bag are filled with every possible choco-choice to uplift your day and your taste buds along the way. We pair carefully delicate milk chocolate pralines with our morning coffee and use dark chocolate ones to combat afternoon cravings. For something sweet after dinner, hazelnut pralines are our all-time favorite go-to treats. So, if you want to jazz up your celebrations or me-time treat collection with Italian flavors, we have no better idea than Venchi’s assorted pralines!
Now you’re almost fluent in choco-language. We hope we’ve made your journey to our extensive digital aisle of gourmet chocolate a bit easier. At least, now you know exactly what to expect from chocolate truffles and pralines, so that’s a fantastic start, too. While you’ll be busy choosing your new favorite, we’ll be here ready to spill all the secrets of the fine food world!