Monday, December 24, 2012

The Boys of Baking Volume IV: New Orleans Pralines

Hey everyone! In our latest edition of the Boys of Baking, Ryan joins his Grandmother and Aunt in New Orleans, Louisiana for some traditional holiday candy making.

Today's guest blog will trace the steps of making traditional New Orleans Pralines. Pralines are thought to have been a creation of a personal chef of 17th century French statesman César duc de Choiseul Comte du Plessis-Praslin. Some believe Plessis-Praslin would have the candies made for women he was courting. According to the story, he would put the sweets into individuals wrappings with his name "Praslin" on them and people eventually began to simply refer to the candies as Praslin's (Pralines). The original receipt used almonds, but when French settlers came to New Orleans, local Creole chefs began to substitute the almonds with the plentiful pecans that grew in southern Louisiana. Today's recipe is for Creole Pralines from a local New Orleans family.

New Orleans Pralines
1 cup sugar
1cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons of light Karo syrup
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons of butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of pecans

1) Place the white sugar, brown sugar, Karo syrup, and heavy whipping cream in a sauce pan.
2) Dissolve the sugars, Karo syrup and heavy whipping cream over medium heat until it boils.
3) Continue cooking until candy thermometer registers to 228 Fahrenheit - stirring occasionally.
4) Once the temperature reaches 228 Fahrenheit, add the butter, vanilla extract and pecans.
5) Continue cooking over medium heat until it reaches 236 Fahrenheit.
6) Remove from heat
7) Cool to 225 Fahrenheit
8) Beat until sauce thickens - happens very quickly
9) VERY QUICKLY, drop candy on wax paper into 10 or 15 individual portions
11) Let cool
10) Sit back under your closest Magnolia tree with a cup of chicory coffee and a plate of your delicious Creole pralines and enjoy!

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