Sunday, March 13, 2011

Valrhona Chocolate Assortment: Almond-Hazelnut Pralines

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?


  1. Oh i love pralines, for me there has to be the flavour and the texture! Sorry you didnt enjoy these loads.

  2. You gotta have the flavor! Why else are we here?

  3. I'm definitely disappointed when the nuts don't add both texture, crunch and flavor. The first one sounds divine though.

  4. Gosh, how disappointing! I'm saddened that Valrhona put out such a lacklustre piece.