The Equivocality of Chocolate

As the students at pastry school all enjoyed a much deserved one-week autumn holiday, the adult group diligently came to class and had a mini 3-day chocolate workshop! (We also have tomorrow and Friday off as a pseudo-holiday). I must admit that after around half a year in this program, chocolate work has truly been the highlight of my study!

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Triple threat chocolate (white chocolate shell, milk truffle filling and dark chocolate base) with crispy rice.

We made an assortment of different flavors of what is referred to in Finnish as konvehti, which I assumed were truffles or pralines… or maybe bonbons. And whenever I have a nagging question in my brain, here comes Google to the rescue! According to various websites (and my understanding of them, which may very well be wrong), there is a huge confusion about what these little chocolate bites are actually called. What is commonly called a truffle is a ball of ganache that is dipped in chocolate and rolled around in cocoa, nuts or coconut flakes. These can also be flavored or filled. Etymology lesson: truffle comes from the Latin tuber, which means ‘lump’.

On the other hand, a praline is also known as a Belgian truffle. And, still in the realm of pralines, there still seems to be some sort of confusion regarding what it actually is. In America, pralines are creamy and milky (like a truffle basically) and resemble fudge. But what is considered to a Belgian praline is what I made in school: a hard chocolate shell with liquid or cream fillings. In some parts of Europe, the only confections that qualify as pralines (aka French pralines) are those with nuts in them. Etymology: named after a French guy. Period.

In addition to this already confusing conundrum, let me introduce the bonbon. A bonbon is defined as ‘a sweet that is enrobed in chocolate.’ Basically, this could mean chocolate-covered gummies, caramels, dried fruit, etc. It should be no surprise that the word’s roots are also traced back to the French, wherein bon means good, so a bonbon is doubly good!

*Sidenote: In France, a Belgian praline is called a bonbon! And in Belgium, a bonbon is a cookie or candy, that is not made with chocolate! Plus, we all probably have Ricky Martin’s Shake Your Bonbon now playing in our heads right now. So, yeah. 😛 Is your mind spinning yet? Shall we continue with the fact that there is technically a difference between a praline and a praliné? Don’t ask me – I don’t know!

So let’s just keep it simple and call a spade a spade. It is what it is, and these delicious lumps of goodness are simply knows to me as chocolate. YUMMMMM.

Below is a sampling of my chocolate creations:

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My very first creation: a citrus (orange-lemon) flavored treat.

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These are both filled with coffee-hazelnut filling, but the white chocolate ones have actual chopped up hazelnuts on the inside.

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These are 2 different versions of cookies’n’cream. My little brother loves Oreos, so I decided to run with that theme as I chanced upon 2 leftover cookies on the shelf. They weren’t technically Oreos, they were Dominos, the Finnish version (which, honestly, just aren’t as satisfying as the real deal in my opinion.) The ones with little chocolate (okay, I google translated the word ‘rae’ because those are what those little balls are called in Finnish, and it claims they are ‘granules’ or ‘grains’. I beg to differ and will instead call them round sprinkles) on top are filled with cookies and cream only, while those cute little black and white lumps have layers of cookies and cream and milk chocolate truffle ganache.

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And of course, I had to make the classic mint filled bite. 

Today, I decided to change it up and step away from the little konvehti molds (I was beginning to get addicted) and went instead to these fun little shaped chocolate shell molds. The school has an assortment of easter eggs, bunnies and CHICKENS (Okay, I have literally NEVER had an Easter CHICKEN chocolate!!! Is this normal?!?!?!) and also some Christmas Santas. I wasn’t feeling very Christmassy (I may be a little bit of a grinch this year!) so I went with the cutest bunny I found and a couple of eggs! As seen in the picture below, I got a little messy with it. 😛 I’m extra happy with how the bunny turned out though – and they are still here sitting (standing?) in my apartment, with a handful of chocolate pralines/truffles/bonbons/whatever they are… waiting to be eaten. 😀

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XOXO R

2 thoughts on “The Equivocality of Chocolate

  1. For the chicken: it should be a hen, not a chicken. Why a hen, will you ask? Well, a hen lays eggs. A chocolate hen therefore lays chocolate eggs. As far as I know, rabbits don’t lay eggs at all, and chocolate rabbits hence cannot lay chocolate eggs. Source: am French.

    I will not join the debate on the praline/bonbon subject, as it is a very sensitive topic. You do not want to mess with that around the wrong persons. Source: am living in Belgium.

    • Hi M! 🙂 I instantly knew this had to be you… unless I am mistaken?

      I once saw this picture explaining where easter eggs came from. It was a cartoon then, but this is the only version I found of it on Google now:

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