The 1st variety is Creamy Caramel praline, this is just one of several caramel varieties in this milk chocolate Cailler box. This looks a lot like a later piece but completely milk chocolate and covered in chocolate jimmies. This has a light cocoa scent with a tangy sweet edge to it even before I take a bite. The bottom of this measures about 7/8th of an inch across while the top is 1.25 inches across; it is 13/16th inch tall. I bite it and it makes a soft pop as the bottom caves in. Slightly salty but very buttery caramel floods over my tongue and into my mouth. The chocolate is very creamy and melts rapidly, coating my tongue so that the flavors all blend together. The jimmies provide a little bit of texture that makes it an interesting treat to just focus my sense of touch onto.
Avelotte Caramel is the 2nd type of praline in this box and the only one wrapped in silver foil. This is the lightest colored of the entire box and I wonder why it is wrapped up since it seems solid in my fingers. This is 15/16th of an inch across and a good 3/4th inch high. This is the first of many pralines with hazelnut in this box; tree nut allergy sufferers should NOT be given this box as a gift. I could smell the hazelnut and taste it when I took a bite into the semi-soft praline. There is a hint of sweetness that may indeed be caramel but it is mixed into the entire chocolate making it a creamy blended affair. Letting it melt in your mouth brings out the caramel tones and a roasted hazelnut essence but decreases the chocolate flavor.
The 3rd variety comes in the form of a cocoa pod called Velvet Bliss and it, too, has hazelnut. These are 1.5 inches long, 7/8th inches wide and 0.5 inches thick so a nice big praline. I take a bite and it makes a very soft crunch. Inside the milk chocolate shell is a more hazelnut butter like center that has a very roasted flavor that adds to the milk chocolate's intensity without curbing the creaminess. So far this is my favorite because the chocolate is strongest but I think I'd really like to try out darker Cailler creations to see if they can do those as well.
The fan shaped Triangle Crisps, are the 4th variety; they have crispy wafer and almonds in them but no hazelnuts, finally! There have an art deco feel to them from the etching on the top, don't you think? The top of the fan is 1.5 inches across and the praline is about 0.5 inches thick. These have a good milk chocolate fragrance to them. They make a crunch when I take a bite and continue to crunch with each chew. Inside pieces of almond and pieces of wafer can be seen though I can't take a clear photo of it. The almonds taste slightly roasted but the primarily flavor is the creamy milk chocolate displacing the previous praline from the top spot in my mouth. At this point, along with four pralines I've also drank 12 ounces of water to help clean my palate between pieces and take a break, continuing the testing another day. MODERATION, remember?
The 5th variety, Gianduja is shaped a bit like a steepled building to me; what do you think? It is 1.25 inches long, 5/8th inch wide, and 0.75 inches tall. This has a spicy hazelnut scent to it which is interesting because Gianduja generally means a chocolate spread made of 30% hazelnut. No sound is heard when I take a bite yet this is not as soft as some of the previous pieces. There is a harder outside milk chocolate shell and a semi-soft center. No spice in the flavor at all but it does does have a stronger hazelnut flavor that isn't roasted, it just blends into the milk chocolate. Letting half the praline melt in my mouth makes this chocolate even creamier and the hazelnut less noticeable. Again this is what I personally look for any chocolate -- more chocolate -- so I really liked these.
The 6th variety is the Creamy Cup praline which looks like it has white chocolate inside of a milk chocolate cup. These are the same size as the Creamy Caramel so I won't repeat that information here. Interestingly the white chocolate does not add to the creamy scent, nope, this is mostly the milk chocolate of the other pralines and I suspect there might be more hazelnut but I'll have to take a bite to find out. This makes a sound when I take a bite into a very solid chocolate make almost entirely of white chocolate with only the cup part made of milk chocolate. The white chocolate has a hint of vanilla and it creamy as I'd expect, a touch sweet as well, The milk chocolate is easily covered up by the white chocolate so consider this for your white chocolate lover.
The 7th type of praline is in the same of a nutty log called Milk Hazelnut Crush is 1.25 inches long, a touch more than 0.5 inches thick, and 5/8th inch tall. You can see that this is full of hazelnuts even on the surface and yet it barely makes a sound when I bite it in half. Inside it is smooth, semi-soft and has a strong hazelnut scent and flavor. The tiny pieces of hazelnuts make a very soft crunch as I chew but mostly this adds an interesting texture; the hazelnuts actually try to stick to my teeth a bit! The milk chocolate and the hazelnut blend very well but not as smoothly as with the Gianduja praline.
The 8th and final variety is along in the box, the Swiss Praline, with a white chocolate on top of a caramelized hazelnut body. This raises to 1 1/8th inch high and the bottom has a diameter of 1 1/8th inches. The milk chocolate part has a hazelnut scent to it but the white chocolate is merely a slightly creamier milk chocolate fragrance. I bite off the top and discover and very intensely hazelnut cream inside that the white chocolate tempers but the milk chocolate is barely present. Eating the bottom half lets more of the milk chocolate through but i also realize that the center had a nougat like texture, a touch chewy, almost like a marshmallow cream. This was not what I was expecting yet in hindsight the white chocolate topping does give a visual hint of this sort of flavor and texture. It was very interesting and I wonder why there is only praline of this time.
In terms of chocolate, if you love milk chocolate, white chocolate, and hazelnuts, this Cailler Milk Chocolate Pralines is a wonderful gift. I give it Sacramental Status for the quality of ingredients and for the Cailler traditions that embody Swiss chocolate.
Note: The external package from Cailler (not the oversized box from Amazon) says the packaging is "Certified Frustration-Free" so let's test that out. Basically cut the one seam on the external box and you can open it up. The slide the light blue fabric ribbon off (It has a strip of elastic making it easy to remove from and replace onto the box), tear the small piece of tape along the seam, use the side hole to push, and out comes another box.
Actually this is red wrapping paper over a box that does not have a lip so much as a soft black paper top like you often find just under the lid of boxes of chocolate. The paper unwraps easily and is fairly easy to rewrap around the box if you want to save chocolate.... Moderation, folks, Moderation. Under the black padded paper top the box is wrapped in clear plastic with a gold seam that you should be able to pull to open up the plastic... I had to start mine with scissors then it worked.
"Frustration Free"... certainly not as difficult as some boxes of chocolate I've opened but still if we include the Amazon packaging, it takes five steps to get to the pralines. Below are the four steps beyond the Amazon packaging.
|Actually Cailler Shipping Box|
|Cailler Gift Box inside Shipping Box|
|Slip Top Box and Ribbon to Reveal Red Wrapping Paper|
Other than the packaging, this small, 16 piece, box of Cailler Milk Chocolate would be good for milk chocolate lovers unless they are allergic to tree nuts, coconut, milk, or wheat. Do you think this is the sort of gift someone in your life would appreciate for the holidays? Who? leave us a comment and let us know.