Having been a bit let down by the just-a-bit-too-buttery ganaches in my box of assorted Valrhona chocolates, I was ready to move on to something new: their nut-based creations. First up was the almond-hazelnut praline, which was only adorned with couverture on the top to allow a peak at the nutty filling.
The milk chocolate layer topping the chocolate had a hint of a nutty flavor, and was fairly soft.
The praline, which composed most of the piece, offers a bit of a nutty crunch, and to accompany the nutty flavor, hints of vanilla and added sugar. The two chocolates mesh together well texturally, and the nutty crunch adds a bit of complexity. The combination of sweetness, nuttiness, and chocolate is blended well, and I enjoyed the taste and texture of this chocolate much more than the too-buttery ganaches.
My box offered a similar chocolate, an almond hazelnut praline with chopped almonds, which was a little more, well, rustic looking.
The shell is a soft milk chocolate that is texturally well-matched to the interior filling. No collapsing or breaking here.
That interior resembles a chocolate caramel more than a nutty praline, and though there was a hint of a nutty flavor, the caramel flavor dominated. To make matters worse, the nuts were soggy and lacked flavor. I was expecting to enjoy this based on the other praline, but was quite disappointed.
Do you expect nuts in chocolate to be flavorful, or is texture enhancement enough?