You are probably familiar with both of these products. You’ve seen one of them inside a chocolate box and the other replacing regular bar nuts at Hotel Crillon.
But what is really the difference between the two? (Hint: it’s more than just an accent).
Praline’s origins date back to the 1600s, when Clément Jaluzot, the personal cook of the Duke of Plessis-Praslin, started roasting almonds in sugar as a treat for him.
The candy soon became popular within the court of King Louis XIII and Monsieur Jaluzot named it « Praslin » in honour of the Duke.
The earlier versions of praline consisted of whole nuts, such as almonds and hazelnuts, coated in caramelised sugar.
In France, we see the evolution of this treat into a mixture of ground up caramelised nuts that chefs started including in cakes, pastries and even ice cream. Once this powder is combined with chocolate, it’s known as praliné: this is the one you find inside our Cavaletti! Except, our chef and creator Sophie Basselier has added new ingredients such as coconut flakes, fleur de sel, orange zest and even quinoa puffs to make for a more exciting tasting experience.
Even though praliné was originally conceived in France, it has gained popularity all over the world, but not all praliné is created the same.
The Belgian praline actually refers to chocolate truffles with filling. The mixture inside could be made of nuts and sugar, marzipan, caramel, liqueur and even fruit. This is the protagonist of a box of chocolates you might buy at Leonidas, Neuhaus or Godiva.
French Pink Praline
This is the same original recipe, except that the sugar has been dyed pink with food coloring. We normally see them sold in small quantities or as an ingredient in pastries or in chef Auguste Pralus’s famous “Praluline”.
North American Praline
Praline crossed the Atlantic and made it to the new world when French settlers made the recipe popular in Louisiana, USA. This is a region where pecan trees and sugar cane are found in abundance. It was actually emancipated black women who made the call to substitute almonds for pecans and to add cream to thicken the mixture.
After it would cool, praline would have a texture similar to fudge and it became an ingredient in a typical flavour of ice cream: Pralines and Cream.
As you’re able to tell, praline has changed a lot since its origins and everyone has given to this classic recipe their own secret twist.
At Cavaletti, we’re proud to work with ethically sourced, high quality ingredients to create fine bars that take an enormous amount of skill to make, mainly due to the fragility of the final product. It’s that daily challenge that makes things interesting.