Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hotel Chocolate Christmas Selection: Gianduja Truffle and Praline Pancake

That cute little holiday selection from Hotel Chocolat had four chocolates in it, and I only got around to discussing two of them yesterday. Not one to leave y’all hanging, here’s the lowdown on the gianduja truffle, which features a thick, dark chocolate shell.

The whole creation is rolled in coarse sugar and cocoa powder; this offers an interesting flavor and texture contrast to the smooth dark chocolate, which has a great melt and is about as sweet as a semi-sweet chocolate.

The gianduja inside is thick, and actually a tad dry, but has a pleasing sweet flavor. The shell takes up most of this confection, and I would prefer a higher gianduja to couverture ratio, even with the slightly dry gianduja. That aside, the juxtaposition of the sweet gianduja interior, dark chocolate shell, and coarse sugar coating offers a good balance of sweetness and chocolate. While I had no difficulties finishing this truffle and enjoyed it, the flavor simply isn’t anything outstanding, and I would have preferred another cinnamon praline instead of this truffle.

The last creation in the box was a praline pancake, which is garnished with a cute little dark and white chocolate Santa hat.

The exterior features a soft, creamy milk chocolate that is sweet, but simple in flavor.

Fortunately, that coating yields seamlessly to the interior praline, making the treat easy to bite into and enjoy. The praline features sparsely scattered bits of pancake (cookie), which intriguingly remain quite crisp in the creamy praline, which also features a sweet, nutty flavor. The entire confection is nice and tender, with the crispy pancake bits offering just the right amount of texture contrast. While the chocolate flavor is not very intense, those who love their sweets, like me, will want more of this treat.

Do you prefer thick or thin shells on truffles and pralines?

14 comments:

  1. That praline chocolate looks delicious! I'm not sure I'm enough of a truffle or praline connoisseur to know exactly what I prefer. I like to mix it up. Haha.

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  2. I like thin shells because that way you can taste more of the truffle filling....but I'll eat any truffle you give me! =D

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  3. @Anna S. I like to mix it up, too - and by "mix it up" I mean "eat all varieties of chocolate." Pralines are usually a little nuttier, and I tend to favor those just a little bit.

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  4. I prefer thicker shells, I like the contrast of textures. Both of these sounds like something I need to try!

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  5. Depends on the filling :))

    In this case, I think I'd rather leave it as it is. I'm not a hazelnut fan (I'm usually OK with gianduja if the hazelnut taste isn't too strong) and I usually like to feel the cocoa in my chocolate. So more of the dark chocolate shell and less of the gianduja for me. Of course, if the filling is something that I'm crazy about, like something with Marc de Champagne or orange or a dark chocolate cream... things change :)) I want a thin shell in this case.

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  6. @Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having I am also big on texture contrast in truffles. But usually I like the filling so much that I want more of it :D.

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  7. @Ana Have you ever tried an almond-based gianduja, Ana? Just wondering if you'd go for that more. And I'm with you on the "gimme more of that rocking filling!"

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  8. Praline Pancake has got to be the cutest name for a truffle ever! Hmm, thick or thin... I don't really eat enough truffles to have made a decision in that regard!

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  9. Yes, that's more to my liking :)

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  10. @Hannah Hannah, do you have a new year's resolution yet? Maybe yours can be to eat more truffles and pralines :).

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  11. @Ana Teuscher has an almond-based gianduja that is amazing. It also has very thin slivers of almond scattered throughout.

    And now I feel the need to call up their Philadelphia store and place and order...

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  12. i think i prefer thin shells, but i'm not one to turn down any truffle :)

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