I hear plenty of calls to pimp the well-loved Thornton’s chocolate, so after several months of research we present the thing of beauty!!
Close examination of the tasty, high-calorie treat reveals its inner secrets: the filling is in a round shape, meaning that the Alpini is made by extruding the semi-solid praline filling (i.e. pushing it a high pressure through a shaper. You may have a small version of this machine if you played with Play-doh.), cutting it into bite-size or bar-length chunks, then coating in chocolate.
We do not have this kind of high-tech conveyor belt machinery, so we have to make do with…a loaf tin. That’s approx 400%, right there.
According to the nice lady at said delicious choccy shop, the recipe for the inside of an Alpini is top-secret, and I’d certainly agree with that because it was so hard to find!! For months on end I scoured the web and could only come up with some stupid American caramel candy thing. Bleurgh. It was almost a lost cause and the Alpini would remain forever unpimped…until I found something interesting in a French supermarket.
It is a mix of ground hazelnuts, ground almonds and caramel, and it had a recipe on the back. After a bit of head-scratching, translation and long chats we decided to not go that way…as well as probably being completely the wrong texture, the multiples of egg yolk and white also went uncooked and it might be quite the poisonous pimp. So first of all we got some chocolate, double cream and chopped almonds (of course saving the delicious powder for the real thing!!) and began experimenting.
I’m sure you can see what we thought it looked like for yourself. Our first attempt went surprisingly well – four squares to 35ml cream and a sprinkle of nuts, and a capful of vanilla essence. I liked it though I thought something was definitely missing, though it was proclaimed both as ‘too sweet’ and ‘not sweet enough’ by others. The texture in the end was too gloopy, where an Alpini is kind of crumbly, and apparently all the nuts had settled to the bottom.
Our second attempt was MUUUCH better. We whipped it up in the blender, this time using decent chocolate – 2 rows of it to 40ml cream, enough nuts to cover the surface of the melted goo in the blender and dividing the vanilla in half between essence and vanilla sugar. A blind taste test revealed, apart from the difference in texture, that we had pretty much got our semblance!!