And now for another bar that Kate dropped over after her recent visit State-side. To set the scene: I just love Pralus chocolate – the Pralus Chuao 75% is quite possibly the best bar of chocolate I’ve ever tasted – and seeing as I’ve put on 2st this year from eating too much chocolate (and not having enough exercise), I can say that I’ve tried my fair share. Also I naturally gravitate to dark chocolate over milk so I thought it’d be an interesting experience to see what Pralus can offer in the milk chocolate arena given their wonderful dark chocolate.
Of course the packaging looks fantastic. Pralus usually do simple, but effective product designs and even though the Chuao bar was as sophisticated as I’ve seen them get, this bar was more in the Askinosie mould with its simple brown paper wrapper entwined by some raffia – if this didn’t signify ‘rustic’, I don’t know what would?!
The name mystifies – Pralus Barre Infernale Lait, which I think it means “hellish milk chocolate” which certain dose confuse this chocolate reivewer as this bar is as close to heaven as I’ve ever witnessed – other than a Paul A. Young chocolate brownie. Perhaps someone can enlighten me about the name as I must have missed something?
What I also love is the size of the thing. Its 160g of praline with whole almonds in and then coated in more milk chocolate – doesn’t that sound utterly delicious? Visually it looks stunning too. The appurtenance is of an ingot of chocolate gold, and metaphorically it’s just that. Aesthetically it’s more pleasant on the eye than any shiny jewellery I’ve seen (other than my wife’s wedding ring of course!). It leads you to want to just bite a huge chunk off and allow the chocolaty flakes to melt around your mouth – inducing the obligatory lip licking. At this point I realise why some women prefer chocolate to men. It’s utterly understandable. The sensuality of the appearance is divine.
And the flavour? I can’t actually remember liking anything containing as much praline as this. The secret is that the flavour is neither dominated by the almonds nor the hazelnut. There are whole hazelnut pieces which add a wonderful crunch, but that’s needed. I remember trying some Ouef Coquille (chocolate filled hen’s eggs) last year and was put off but the extremely gritty praline texture and it did actually put me off praline for a good while, but the texture with this Pralus creation was excellent. Eating it was like bathing in a pool of sweet milk chocolate.
At first when I was enjoying it I thought I had the temperature in the house too warm as it was almost melting before cutting into it. I then realised that I kept it in the cool room with the rest of my chocolate collection so it must be naturally this soft.
I’m not entirely sure how much of it I could eat as it is incredibly rich, but I believe we should take more of a Japanese approach to chocolate where a whole bar could last a couple of weeks as they just sneak off a piece and enjoy it one square at a time. Here I’d say it should be eaten in the same way. This evening I’ll cut it into 1cm slices and share with friends. Before that though, I think I best go for a jog to wear off the calorific overdose I’ve endured reviewing it!