Thursday, 15 March 2012

French Pralines

Pralines are sweets made from nuts and sugar syrup. Sometimes the nuts are in whole pieces or grounded finely. It also refers to any chocolate candy that contains a whole nut or the grounded-nut-and-sugar-mixture. :)

Today, I'm going to teach you to make a really simple but really delicious praline! It's the most traditional kind, originating from France.

Although simple to make, it looks really classy when they are done and you put them in a glass container or wrap them up as gifts. Not only are they delightful to look at, they are also really addictive to pop into your mouth! So, I'd really recommend you to make these...and give them away!! Your friends will love you for it, and you won't become fat by eating too many! ^^

The ingredients are really simple!


- 2 1/2 cups (250g) pecans
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (200g) brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (120ml) soymilk
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt

1) First, let's toast the pecans! You can toast them using your toaster oven~

Spread them out like this.

Toast them at 100℃~120℃ for 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn them! I heard that nuts are really easy to burn, but I've toasted cashew nuts and pecans for a number of times, and have never burnt them! I'd like to think that I'm just lucky. Well, anyway, just watch your nuts ok? ^^"

2) In the meantime, prepare a big bowl of water and chill it in your fridge! ^^

3) Here are the rest of the ingredients. Measure them~~ ^^

Here's my 120ml of soymilk. You can use any kind of milk really. I'm making a vegan version, so I use soymilk. ^^

I always hate this part...measuring sugar and realising how much sugar is used in most desserts. :( But well, anyway, I've already lowered the amount of sugar needed by half from the original recipe...and the sweetness is quite perfect. If you want to further reduce it, reduce the amount of milk used too, or it will take forever for it to turn into syrup.

Here's my vegan butter. Feel free to use dairy butter if you can't find vegan butter. ^^ This is more for adding a fragrant buttery taste to your pralines~ ^^

4) Throw all of the ingredients into a medium-size saucepan (your pecans should be ready by now, right? ^^) and boil it over medium heat. If you have a thermometer, you can check...the ideal temperature to keep the mixture in is about 112℃ to 116℃.

It's a party in here!

When your mixture boils, just keep stirring it until it becomes syrupy (about 15 minutes). By this time, your kitchen will smell like Garrett's Popcorn!!! Haha! It's so awesome. Sugar smells soooo good! 

When it becomes syrupy, and you are a cinnamon fan like me, feel free to sprinkle some cinnamon all over it~! ^^

5) Transfer this mixture to a bowl. Take out your chilled bowl of water, and place your bowl of pralines in the water like this:

Keep stirring the mixture. The texture will become stickier and gooier like caramel!!! 

6) Once it's gooey like caramel, spread them out on a baking tray to completely cool it down.

These are sooo fun to make! The smell of caramel will make you giddy with happiness. ^^ 

Store them in an airtight container. Offer them to your family after dinner. They'll be so impressed with you!!! 

Or, you might want to give them to your girlfriends. 

For Gift Wrapping:

I searched around my house, and I found these...

Some sandwich bags, some nicely decorated plastic sheet bags, and some colourful threads.

So I just put the pralines on colourful little bento food trays and slid a tray into each plastic sheet bag. I also made some individual candies using the sandwich bags. Just cut them into squares, put a praline on it, roll it up, and twist the 2 ends.

I tried so much to take a nice picture with my camera, but I guess without photoshop, it's just urgh. Haha! Well, anyway, here's a clearer (but not cute) picture of what I mean.

I actually collect tags from my clothes purchase. So you can see this Hello Kitty tag on one of the bags. Haha! It actually looks cute on gift bags. Haha! 

I hope you enjoyed this post. Thank you for reading~~ ^^

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