With their rich, creamy, nutty interiors and their smooth, crackly, crunchy exteriors, these almond praline chocolate rochers are pure bites of deliciousness.
I find myself particularly drawn to recipes that take the simplest of ingredients and transform them into something that’s more than the sum of their parts. Take these praline chocolate rochers for example; at their core they’re nothing more than almonds and chocolate, but that doesn’t even begin to describe their true charm.
With their rich, creamy, nutty interiors and their smooth, crackly, crunchy exteriors, they’re a perfect example of dressing up the everyday into something special and extraordinary.
So deceptively simple to make yet yielding results far greater than the effort involved in creating them, they make the perfect ending to a special meal. For chocolate lovers like me this is an ideal recipe for any special occasion or when a thoughtful homemade gift would be appreciated.
While here in the US most people think of pecans and the sugary Southern sweet when you say praline, the praline in these chocolates is of a different variety. This one is the kind made from ground caramelized nuts that’s commonly used to fill chocolates.
How to make chocolate rochers:
The caramelized nut paste is mixed with melted chocolate which is rolled into balls and then enrobed in a shell of dark chocolate studded with chunks of chopped roasted almonds to create little “rochers”. Rocher translates to rock or boulder in French and these chocolates are called rochers because of their craggy, bumpy exteriors. (Think Ferrero Rochers.)
The filling is toasty and subtly sweet with a pleasantly soft bite while the exterior shell offers a little crackly counterpoint that’s complimented by the crunch of bits of almonds. Of course if you’d prefer you can use hazelnuts or pistachios or whatever strikes your fancy instead of almonds. Just think of this as your starting point for experimentation. The only fiddly bit is tempering the chocolate casing so that your chocolates will set and can be stored at room temperature but I've got a shortcut that’s always worked for me that makes this less work than you may think and these bite-sized chocolate treats are definitely worth it.
With their rich, creamy, nutty interiors and their smooth, crackly, crunchy exteriors, these Almond Praline Chocolate Rochers are pure chocolate deliciousness.
For the Praline Filling:
- 100g/about 1 cup, unsalted toasted almonds
- 100g/about ½ cup maple syrup or coconut nectar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 150g/5.2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
For the Chocolate Coating:
- 200g/7 oz bittersweet chocolate (at least 70%), divided use
- 50g/ about 2 oz, unsalted toasted almonds , coarsely chopped
Make the Praline Filling:
- In a medium skillet, combine the nuts, maple syrup or coconut nectar, vanilla and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture darkens and is sticky and bubbly like caramel. (about 3 to 5 minutes).
- Pour the nuts onto a silpat or parchment lined pan and use a silicone spatula to quickly spread them out. Allow the nuts to cool and harden completely, at least 30 minutes. (You can place the nuts in the fridge to firm them faster.)
- When the caramelized nuts are cooled, place chopped chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl placed over a pot of just simmering water and stir gently until melted (or alternatively melt on medium in the microwave while stirring occasionally). Remove from heat when fully melted.
- Break the cooled caramelized nuts into pieces with your hands and place them in the bowl of a food processor or high speed blender and pulse into a paste (it will look like almond butter.)
- Add the praline paste to the melted chocolate and mix until fully incorporated. Pour into a heat-proof container and place into the fridge to cool (about 30 to 45 minutes.)
Make the Chocolate Rochers:
- Once the mixture has cooled remove the praline mixture from the refrigerator and using a melon baller or small scoop, scoop up a scant tablespoonful for each rocher. Roll each portion into a round in the palm of your hand and place onto a parchment lined sheet. Put the formed rochers back into the fridge while you make the chocolate coating.
- Set ¼ (about 50g) of the chocolate aside and finely chop the rest. Place the chopped chocolate in a microwave- safe bowl. With bowl uncovered, heat chocolate for 30 seconds at 50 percent power and then stir with a rubber spatula. Repeat, heating for 30 seconds and stirring, until almost all the chocolate in the bowl is melted.
- If you have an instant-read thermometer, check temperature of chocolate, it should be no more than 118°, (don’t worry if you don’t have one, I often don’t use mine and it still works.) Let sit for a minute or two to cool then add reserved un-chopped chocolate and stir slowly but constantly until completely melted, smooth and thickened (thermometer should read 88° to 90°). Your chocolate is now tempered and now ready to dip.
- Add the chopped almonds to the melted chocolate and stir until thoroughly combined.
- Using two forks, dip the formed rocher balls into the melted chocolate, coating them well on all sides.
- Transfer onto a parchment lined sheet pan. Let sit until the chocolates have set and store in an airtight container at room temperature.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 161Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 89mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 4g
Nutritional information for recipes contained on this website, such as calories, fat, carbs, etc. are only estimates and are not guaranteed to be accurate.
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Sylvie Shirazi is the recipe developer and food photographer behind Gourmande in the Kitchen. For the last 10 years she's been making eating more healthfully easy and accessible with gluten-free, grain-free, paleo and vegan recipes that are free from processed ingredients.