Page 26 - NA_4_5_2011

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24 Pastry & Baking
North America
Sweet Spectrum
Publisher’s Note:
Peter Greweling knows
pralines. A professor in baking and pastry arts at
The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Chef
Greweling teaches Chocolates and Confections to
students pursuing their bachelor’s and associate
degrees from the college. He is recognized
throughout the industry as a specialist in the
technology and production of artisan chocolates
and confections.
The award-winning author of
Chocolates and
Confections: Formula
, and
Technique for the
Artisan Confectioner
Chocolates and Confections
at Home with The Culinary Institute of America
, Chef
Greweling is a Certified Master Baker and a Certified
Hospitality Educator.
Tender, creamy brown sugar and pecan perfection, pralines are
the ideal sweet-tooth treat.The word “praline” has various
meanings, depending on the culture using it. Many Europeans
use it in the way that Americans refer to chocolates: a center
dipped or enrobed in chocolate. Praline paste is a paste made
of ground hazelnuts and caramel.
Praline, pronounced “Prah-leen” in some areas of the southern
United States, particularly New Orleans, refers specifically to
a confection consisting of pecans and a crystallized brown sugar
mixture. Pralines are made by cooking the brown sugar mixture
with pecans, cooling it slightly, and then stirring to induce
crystallization. As the mixture begins to crystallize, the pralines
are deposited by spoon or scoop onto parchment paper and
allowed to continue crystallizing. Because of the method of
crystallization, pralines tend to have a more crystalline texture
than fudge or fondant, and are best when consumed while fresh.
Pralines are of Creole origin, and have come to be synonymous
with the hospitality of New Orleans.
Pralines: Sweet Creations
Stove top
4-quart saucepan
Wooden spoon
Rubber spatula
Candy thermometer
No. 50 scoop
Parchment paper
2 full sheet pans
Yield: 45 pieces
350g 12 oz
Light brown sugar
350g 12 oz
Heavy cream
180g 6 oz
100g 3 oz
3 oz
Pecans, toasted, chopped 350g 12 oz
1 tsp 1 tsp
Vanilla extract
1 tsp 1 tsp