Praline is a family of confections made from nuts and sugar syrup. As originally inspired in France at the Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte by the cook of the 17th-century sugar industrialist Marshal du Plessis-Praslin (1598–1675), early pralines were whole almonds individually coated in caramelized sugar, as opposed to dark nougat, where a sheet of caramelized sugar covers many nuts.
The Belgian praline, commonly known as "Belgian chocolates" or "chocolate bonbons" in English speaking countries, is a different kind of confection. It was invented and coined "praline" in 1912 in Brussels by Jean Neuhaus, a Belgian confisseur and entrepeneur of Swiss descent. His family had a tradition of making candy for pharmaceutical purposes (against coughing, or against stomachaches for example). The praline took it a little further, making it a piece of art.
There have always been many forms and shapes in Belgian pralines. They nearly always contain a hard chocolate shell with a softer (sometimes liquid) filling. The filling can be butter, liquor, nuts, marzipan, or even a different kind of chocolate. They are usually wrapped as a gift. Today, Belgian pralines are still very popular in Belgium as well as in other countries. The most important manufacturers are Neuhaus, Godiva, Leonidas and Guylian. These Belgian companies are well known on the international market.
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Belgian Pralines, www.chocolate-history.co.uk