Oxfordshire's Aurosó Chocolate has developed a new indulgent hazelnut honey praline that contains a mere 1.1 grams of sugar per bonbon.
The recipe came about when founder Catrin's daughter, Nia, married in June. Catrin offered to create the wedding favours and Nia's desire was for a praline.
Pralines are notorious for being laden with sugar, which isn't compatible with Aurosó Chocolate's DNA. Cast your eyes over their Honey Ganache Chocolates, Albino Flamingo Gin Bonbons, Somerset Cider Brandy Bar, or their Launch Collection and you'll see the common thread that stitches all these treats together is a low sugar, high satisfaction recipe.
So, how do you go about creating a seemingly-impossible low sugar luxury praline recipe?
Catrin tells me it took several attempts to nail the recipe, which stays true to her vision. Building on the foundation of her existing range of Honey Ganache bonbons, this recipe features local Spring Honey from Honeys of Henley. It's used in place of sugar, and is caramelised to add depth of flavour.
The honey bees feast on wild plum and cherry blossom, and this imparts flavour into the Spring Honey, which is produced a short hop from the Aurosó Chocolate kitchen.
Next comes a helping of Piedmont Tonda Gentile hazelnuts, chosen for their intense and nutty flavour, from nut specialist, Food and Forest. These are complimented by Marcona Almonds from Spanish food specialist, Brindisa. Considered creamy, smooth, sweet, and almost buttery, the almonds work in harmony with the characteristics of the Italian hazelnuts.
The bonbons went down a treat at the wedding and have now become part of the collection. Catrin kindly sent over a box of them so I could take a bite.
Aurosó Chocolate Hazelnut Honey Praline Review
The crisp white linen-textured box returns once again, proudly displaying the large gold-foiled Aurosó Chocolate logo on the lid. A soft pink ribbon with the text 'honey pralines' overlays the top right hand corner.
The rear of the box features a large sticker, detailing the ingredients and nutritional information. The label states that Aurosó uses reduced sugar recipes that are dairy-free, free from soy lecithin, and free from artificial colourings. The recipes may include traces of other nuts (besides hazelnuts and almonds), fish, seeds, sesame, eggs, dairy, soya, celery and mustard as these ingredients are used in the same kitchen.
Aurosó Chocolate Hazelnut Honey Praline ingredients:
Praline ganache (53%) (Madagascan cocoa beans, hazelnut butter, cocoa butter, Anglesey sea salt), Praline (Honey, hazelnuts, almonds, hazelnut oil), Coating (47%) (Madagascan cocoa beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter, natural colourings). Cocoa solids: 85%/100% minimum (dark chocolates).
On average, sugars account for just 9.5% of the recipe. Per 11.5g bonbon, you're looking at 72kcal and just 1.1g of sugar. Perfect as an indulgent treat, don't you think?
Lift the lid to reveal a handy flavour notes guide and six dark chocolate domes, with subtle cosmic orange swirls capping each bonbon. The dark chocolate aroma that is released as you life upwards is sublime too. It's a heady cocktail of tobacco, smoke, toasted and leathery notes.
Biting into this delicacy reveals that this is something very special indeed - this isn't your average hazelnut praline. Rich, toasted hazelnut flavours coat the palate, along with a divinely creamy texture. The intense dark chocolate shell adds cocoa depth and a bitterness that seems to coax the hazelnut flavours to dance around more.
Tiny flecks of hazelnut add bite to the ganache, which I like a lot.
There's a subtle sweetness from the honey, but it sits in the background, waiting for lulls in between the waves of bitterness from the chocolate and delicious toasted flavours from the hazelnuts. There's a delicate floral aspect that pokes its head in towards the end before quietly sneaking away, allowing the rich chocolate and roasted hazelnut flavours to linger long into the aftertaste.
As I said, this isn't your average hazelnut praline. Aurosó Chocolate has successfully created a luxurious and decadent interpretation of it, with the bare minimum of sugar, meanwhile extracting maximum flavour from the premium ingredients used in this recipe. You'll only need one bonbon at a time, but you'll be counting down the time until your next one. Serve alongside an Italian espresso or a glass of vino for the perfect indulgent treat this Autumn.
Aurosó Chocolate Hazelnut Honey Praline Review
RRP: £10.00 | Aurosó Chocolate | Shop now
Ideal for savouring (or serving as a treat alongside coffee or a glass of wine), these indulgent and deeply satisfying bites pack a powerful punch. Delicious toasted hazelnut flavours intermingle with rich dark chocolate to create a pick-me-up that delivers every time. The fact that each bite contains a mere 1.1g of sugar and that local Oxfordshire honey replaces the refined sugars you'd normally expect to see in a praline is the cherry on top.
Where to Buy Online
You can buy the Honey Praline bonbons on the Aurosó Chocolate website here. Boxes of six, 12 and 24 pieces are available for £10, £19.50 and £38 respectively.
Top tip: The larger box is perfect for Christmas entertaining and family get-togethers this year, restrictions permitting, of course.
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What's your favourite type of hazelnut chocolate? Let me know in the comments below.