“ Brand: Thorntons / Type: Praline „
A brief history of chocolate may be found upon the Thornton's site at http://www.thorntons.co.uk/ThorntonsSite/category/History_of_chocolate/ It makes for very interesting reading. The site has so much information on it. I have just found out that although Thornton's main concern is food safety, they also review ethics, health and safety, employee pay, employment conditions and environmental policies and practices, when purchasing the products needed to make their chocolates. Good to know.
*Thornton's Continental - European inspired Praline Collection*
I purchased a packet of these during the week, and opened them last night. At £2.69 per 101g bag, they are affordable enough to treat yourself or they would make an ideal gift for someone. There are many to flavours to choose from in the range and I found myself drawn to these (oh, and the Summer Collection if the truth be told). If you buy two, the price you will be charged is £5, not a huge saving but every penny helps.
The packet is a peachy colour, and Continental by Thornton's is emblazoned at the top of the packet. Praline Collection also stands out, in dark brown, but the European Collection is only just visible in a creamy white font.
There is a see through viewing window at the front, and the sight of the contents is what made me decide upon my purchase - I originally went in to buy toffee.
The packet is not large, and only contains 8 chocolates, but they are of extremely high quality, and one or two at a time will suffice. There are five different varieties within.
1. Praline Feuilletine - is a soft praline with crispy waffle pieces, and it is covered in milk chocolate.
This has a very soft truffle textured inner, with a hint of nutty flavour. The crispy bits are indeed crispy and add a subtle crunch. The pieces are very small and will not get stuck in braces etc. The milk chocolate coating is smooth. It has been drizzled with dark chocolate and looks very luxurious.
2. Alpini - This is Thornton's most famous chocolate, and contains hazelnut and almond praline.
This once again is almost a truffle centre. There is a definite almond taste upon first nibble. The hazelnut chips within it at a crunchy texture. This is very thickly coated in milk chocolate and its design quite closely resembles a log. It is dusted with fine icing sugar, and it gives it a snowy appearance.
3. White Praline with Crepes - This one is surprising. It has a thick white chocolate coating and when you bite it, you are met with a milk chocolate inner.
The centre is the lightest and fluffiest mousse you ever did taste. I cannot see, or taste any of the pancakes, but there is a very slight crunch to it - may be this is to coat the mousse, almost like a liqueur has a sugary coating within.
4. Diplomat - Roasted almonds and hazelnuts wrapped in smooth milk chocolate.
The diplomat is the most expensive looking in the bag. Maybe because it's wrapped in gold foil.
I was going to eat this one first but I resisted. I bit into the luxuriously milky chocolate, and find this is the nuttiest of the ones I've tried so far. Its nutty pieces are very fine, but there are lots of them.
5. Hazelnut Croquant - A light hazelnut and chocolate mousse with a smooth praline centre and crispy pieces.
This mousse inside, is indeed, very soft and light. The outer coating of chocolate contains the hazelnut chips so it's the only one that has a nutty appearance. I think this one may be my favourite of all.
The list of ingredients doesn't make very easy reading, so I will omit it, if you don't mind. These are suitable for vegetarians. Warning! These are, however, unsuitable for anyone with allergies or intolerances to nuts, milk, soya, gluten wheat and barley.
In conclusion, I was well aware I was purchasing a nutty collection, but these are all a bit samey, mores the pity, due to the mousse like centres. A bit more variety, or a whole nut here and there, wouldn't have gone amiss. A Brazil one would have been nice too, to add an alternative flavour and texture. A fan of nutty chocolate will find them hard to resist though, just as I have done.