Showing posts with label praline. Show all posts
Showing posts with label praline. Show all posts

18 December 2010


saturday06a perfect saturday consists of doing nothing.

having breakfast with friends at a very messy breakfast table, complete with drunk food eaten after a 2AM snowball fight.

but see, it’s these nothing moments that accumulate and becoming something truly special.

saturday01enjoying the snow that keeps falling.

saturday02letting a cheese sit out so it’ll be ready for a christmas dinner tonight.

saturday04jamie oliver to the rescue for last minute dinner potluck ideas.

saturday03a trip to the farmer’s market to buy ingredients for the sage and chestnut stuffing.

saturday05an inverse puff pastry that doesn’t look like it will be too successful. but we’ll see. 

saturday07adding some finishing touches to a pink praline tart that you aren’t 100% happy with.

saturday09so you whip up a pear and speculoos tart because you know that one is always good.

saturday08but in case you ever find yourself with a bag of those pink pralines from lyon here’s the recipe for a ganache.

pink praline ganache / ganache praline rose

200g pink pralines / praline rose, crushed

300g heavy cream

400g white chocolate, in pieces

80g butter, diced and at room temperature

simple: boil the pralines with the cream, and then pour it over the white chocolate. stir until everything is all melted together, and let it cool for about 15 min to reach 40C, then stir in the butter.

and it’s up to you for how’d you like to use the ganache. i decided to simply fill up some tart shells and top them with almonds. but i have a lot leftover in the freezer… so the pink praline ganache will make a comeback soon.

saturday10and if you ever find yourself wondering what to make for a christmas potluck, you can hang out with jamie oliver and i for a sage and chestnut stuffing.

750g sausage meat

2 onions

2 apples


250g chestnuts (from a jar)

1/2 bunch sage leaves (dried works)

1 egg

olive oil

simple as well: put the sausage meat in a bowl. finely chop in some onions and apples. add in the bread crumbs (but i used chunks of stale bread). add in the chestnuts. add in the sage. add the egg. mix it all with your hands. drizzle with olive oil, and pop it into the oven for 45 minutes at 200C.

a pre-christmas dinner soon. can’t wait for the night to begin.

happy holidays!

14 December 2009

i went to lyon for the lights but i came back with something sugary and red.

rosethis past weekend, i spent some good quality time with my best friend: the oven. we hadn’t hung out in over a month and i was just not feeling right.

soon, you’ll be able to meet all the new friends i made:

mango avocado pizza

pear and speculoos tart

cashew maple syrup golden raisin granola

spiced trail mix

but for right now, you get to meet tarte aux pralines roses.

lyon06 it started with my trip to lyon. i was enamored with all the specks of red i was seeing everywhere. the bikes, the flag, the lights, but most of all… the pralines roses that were in all the tarts, croissants, brioches, madeleines… every patisserie in lyon had something with these pralines, and i was on a tasting mission.

praline01a praline is simply a nut coated in sugar. and according to this blog, there are 3 types of pralines. 1. the brown one that is the most common. 2. the filling used in belgian chocolates. and last but not least 3. the pink praline, which unlike the brown, does not have the sugar caramelized* and has a very bumpy appearance. and while we’re at it, we can also add 4. american southern praline, which has cream added, and usually features pecans rather than almonds.

*but i am a little confused, because the book i have says the sugar is caramelized… so i don’t know who to believe… ?

rose02my original idea was to buy a pink praline tart to bring back and share with my friends, but:

1. that’s expensive

2. it wouldn’t be fresh since i’d have bought it the morning before.

3. the idea of navigating a 5 hour car ride + paris + train with a delicate tart terrifies me.

4. i could just buy the pralines in a pretty sachet and make it myself.

5. and that would give me an excuse to buy a book…

leshallwhich is exactly what i did. say hello to les halles de lyon by sonia ezgulian, jean-françois mesplède, and emmanuel auger.  i fell in love with a book that collected recipes from people who work in a market devoted only to regional and local products. and there are hints of their handwriting which makes the book so much more personal.

and on page 99, i found my recipe – with no photo, so the form was up to my imagination.

let’s get baking, shall we?

praline02 Ingredients:

1 sweet pie/tart dough

Part 1:

80g heavy cream

80g crushed pralines roses

Part 2:

50g soft butter

50g powdered sugar

2 egg yolks

125g all-purpose flour

pinch of salt

Part 3:

200g heavy cream

Part 4:

some more crushed pralines to decorate

Recipe from Bernard Mariller from les halles de lyon p. 99

praline03line your tart pan with your tart dough.

for part 1, bring 80g of heavy cream to a boil and then stir in 80g of the crushed pralines. stir vigorously so it doesn’t burn, and continue for a few minutes so it’s a bit thicker and not too runny. then set it aside and let it cool. (and worse to worse, if it is too thick, just reheat and add more cream, or if its too runny, just reheat and stir a bit longer to let the liquid evaporate. in the end you’ll be mixing this with some whipped cream.)

for part 2, cream your 50g of softened butter and then mix in 50g of powdered sugar as well as your 2 egg yolks. once all together, add in your 125g of flour and the pinch of salt. for me, the mixture was very crumbly, and i have no idea if that’s the way it was supposed to be, but it tasted fine so oh well! line your tart pan with this mixture, and bake in a 200C oven for 15 minutes.

for part 3, whisk your heavy cream into some thick whipped cream and then gently add in the cooked praline cream mix from part 1. you’ll have a most delicious whipped cream that will be hard to stop stealing licks from…

once your tart has spent 15 minutes in the oven for part 2, take it out and let it cool for a bit, then spread the whipped cream mix on top.

put the almost finished tart in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to let it cool.

and finally, for part 4, sprinkle with the crushed pralines and eat!

praline04mmm. if i don’t bake, i feel very unbalanced. so now, i’m back to normal!

ps, i can’t even buy those pralines here in normandy… i have to go to lyon. so i can’t even imagine how i would get them in america. it’s amazing how truly regional things are here in france. which only makes them more special!

18 February 2009

making praline powder - the non texan way

praline. sugar coated goodness. and i love how you can use it it so many different ways, from eating it by itself, as a topping, mixing it into a batter, etc, etc...

I decided to make hazelnut praline because it was one of the ingredients called for in the Monte-Carlo cake by Alain Ducasse in his Grand Livre Dessert book (I finally made it!). Initially I didn't know there was a difference between american praline and french praline.... but there is. American praline, or at least in texas, contains butter and milk, and always pecans. It's a good thing I couldn't find hazelnut praline in stores, or else I never would have researched it and made the French version.

The ingredients are so simple and hard to forget: a 1:1 nut:powdered sugar ratio.

So for me, I used 100g raw hazelnuts, and 100g of powdered sugar. But you can easily use 50g hazelnuts + 50g almonds, or 100g almonds, or 100g cashews, or anything your heart desires.

If your nuts are not already peeled, boil them in water for about a minute. Then you should have no problem slipping off the skin.

Weigh out your sugar to match your amount of nuts, and in my case, 100g. A nice even number, don't you agree?

Over medium heat, mix your powdered sugar and nuts together. And wait. Make sure to continuously stir, as you don't want to burn the sugar. Keep stirring and waiting until you begin to see the sugar melt and caramelize. It should turn a nice light brown color and smell oh so good.

Then, spread it over a sheet of parchment paper or a silicone bowl. And refrigerate it so it becomes hard and crunchy. Once it's cooled in the fridge, you should be able to lift it up as a single sheet and break it into pieces. At this point, you can just eat it like it is. I know I did. However, I needed to make it into a powder for a mousse, so I kept going.

I dumped it into a food processor and chopped it into a fine powder. YUM! and then it later became used in a cake, but that is for another time.