FAQ – Chocolates

What are chocolate pralines?

The word praline traditionally refers to a mixture of caramelised nuts that has been ground to a paste and used in a wide variety of Belgian confections. These days the word praline refers to a thin chocolate shell encassing a variety of soft and textured fillings. This includes the original nut pralines but also caramels and a variety of flavoured ganaches.

Iso view of a praline with edible gold and a high gloss

What are Chocolate Drageés?
Drageé are layers of chocolate over a fruit or nut centre. Several layers can be applied in contrasting styles and flavours.
Check out our range of Drageé here.
Section view of a two layered drageé
What are chocolate bars?
Our chocolate bars are a fresh product, which are formed with contrasting textural layers that is then enrobed in tempered chocolate. The fillings may include biscuit bases, marshmallow or caramels. The options are endless.
 
Sectional view through pralines showing dark ganache
What is ganache?
A ganache is an emulsion of chocolate and fresh cream. The chocolate binds and preserves the cream. The type of chocolate and the proportions of the mix determine the character of the end product. So a ganache can be light and smooth to rich and sumptuous.
Sectional view through pralines showing dark ganache
What are cocoa solids?

Chocolate is made from cacao beans that have been fermented, roasted, husked and then ground into a smooth paste. If that was all you did, you would end up with 100% cacao solids and it would be bitter and unpleasant to most palates.

The broad appeal of chocolate comes from the addition of other products including sugar and milk solids in the case of milk chocolate. These reduce the bitterness and change the character of the chocolate to one that is more familiar. So for example a ‘60% cacao chocolate’ would have 60% of cacao solids and 40% of other ingredients.

The higher the proportion of cacao solids in the chocolate, the closer the product is to its origins and more of its real character is revealed. Next time you sample a dark chocolate, dwell on its flavours, texture and aromas and see what is revealed.

What ingredients are used to make pralines?

Our chocolate pralines are made from a variety of fresh and high quality ingredients. First and foremost –  couverture chocolate, then a filling to suit. This can be either fruit based, caramel or ganache. Most of our chocolates include dairy, sugar and sometimes nuts & alcohols.

There are options to suit all dietary requirements and they are stunningly delicious!

What about food allergies?

We cannot guarantee that our products exclude all traces of nuts (including peanuts and tree nuts), gluten and wheat products, milk and milk products, soy and if you have allergies to any of these we recommend you exercise due caution.

What is the shelf life?

We actively promote the unique chocolate experience that comes from freshly made chocolate.

We use fresh cream and fruit in our pralines and some bars and avoid the use of preservatives. Sadly they need to be eaten quickly – typically within four weeks of production.

Dragee have a longer shelf life, typically six months.

Eaten within the shelf life, you get to experience the full flavour, texture and aroma of our chocolate delights.

Can I store chocolates in a refrigerator?

Ideally, our chocolates are best stored at room temperature around 20ºC. The best place to keep them is in a cool dry spot away from heat, direct light and strong odours. However if it gets too hot, say 30ºC +, then we recommend that you put the box in a plastic container, wrap in clingfilm and then store in the fridge. When it comes to eating them, remove from the fridge and leave to warm to room temperature before unwrapping. This process will avoid any unwanted condensation forming on the top of the chocolates.

Are your chocolates gluten free?

Gluten is a general name for proteins that come principally from wheat and some other cereals. Chocolate is derived from the fruit of the cacao tree and contains no gluten. So chocolates and pralines are gluten free but composite products that use wheat products like a biscuit are not gluten free. Some of Little Cocoa’s chocolate bars are ‘biscuit like’ but in fact use a nut based foundation and are also gluten free. 

Are any of your chocolates vegan?

Yes, we have a range of chocolates that are strictly vegan. Selected pralines, bars and dragee are vegan.

Check them out our vegan range here.