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Sectional view of Mother's Day pralines showing luscious centres.

FAQ – Chocolate back story

Some of the terms used in the industry can be unfamiliar and even confusing so here is the chocolate back story for you.

What are chocolate pralines?

FAQ - Chocolate back story 1

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. Sometimes they are call ‘truffles’ (tick for the chocolate back story!)

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.

Check out our range of boxed pralines here.

What are chocolate drageés?

peanut coated with layers of dark and white chocolate revealed by section

Drageé are layers of chocolate over a core of fruit, nut or puff. Several layers can be applied in contrasting styles and flavours.

For the authentic Australian experience check out Caramelisisd Macadamia Nuts – honey roasted Australian macadamia nuts coated in a caramelised white chocolate, .

Check out our range of Drageé here.

What are chocolate bars?

A selection of chocolate bars that have been cut

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.
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Checkout our range of chocolate bars here.

What is a ganache?

FAQ - Chocolate back story 4

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.
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What are cocoa solids?

cacao tree

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 is the shelf life of fresh chocolates?

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, 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.

What about gluten free chocolates?

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 intrinsically 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. 

What about vegan chocolates?

icon representing 'vegan' food classification

Chocolates products can be made that are strictly vegan without missing out on the chocolate experience. For example, a rich creamy caramel can be created from plant based substitutes.

However the opportunity for vegan based chocolate products are substantial and openness to alternatives often leads to new and exciting flavours that might be non trditional. How about – Tahine and Black Sesame, Raspberry and Coconut flavours.
vegan chocolate bar with a raspberry and coconut fillingvegan chocolate bar with creamy hazelnut praline fillng
Check out our range of vegan chocolates here.

What allergens are in chocolate?

In its simplest form chocolate is composed of cocoa solids and sugar. Its the other ingredients that might be added to chocolate for flavour or taste that might pose an allergen risk.

Some individuals have a high sensitivity to particular allergens where cross contamination in the chocolate production process might be enough to trigger a reaction.

You can read more about allergens from the Australian Government web site here.

Little Cocoa cannot absolutely 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.

Contact us here to explore options. We’re here to help you have a great chocolate experience.

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