Sunday, January 24, 2016

When You Encounter Writer's Block, Make PRALINES!!!

Recently I had a few minutes; and, decided to conquer my 'fears' and try my hand at making a homemade batch of pralines candy. After watching a few vids on YouTube I received the most confidence from New Orleans Chef Toya Boudy. You'll find the link to her recipe and technique below.
Let me start by saying the results were 5-star, taking me back to my youth when this delectable treat was purchased at a small-town store on return trips from Louisiana with my family. But, not to tarry; I followed the recipe to a 't' and was not disappointed. Admittedly, I did use 2% milk instead of whole. This project was spur-of-the-moment; and several steps are worth sharing my experience. After cooking the recipe it is important to have your drop sheet ready. I didn't have parchment paper; so, I used the backs of two large stainless-steel roasting pans. I think a pizza stone would have served its purpose as well. I rubbed a bit of coconut oil to prevent the candy from sticking. I dropped the candies, working as quickly as possible. I could hear her in my ear calmly reassuring me that everything was okay :)... The batter began thickening and I added a couple drops of water instead of milk, less than a teaspoon to thin it back out. I was in 'panic' mode. This was a big relief because I started getting chunky cookies instead of flat candies. Actually I did have half chunky pralines and half flat candies. I put each on separate plates to get a critique on each type. Personally, I loved them both. I loved the chunky cookie type because as Chef Boudy says, fewer trips back for more. Overall, these pralines disappeared quickly. They really were just that good. What I liked most is I knew exactly what ingredients were put in. About the pecans: If you don't have the luxury of shelling fresh pecans, be sure to check your pre-shelled bags carefully to be sure all of the pecans look edible. At the end of the day, this is a recipe, even a novice, certainly should try. If you're looking to make a few extra dollars, and have the yen, you could easily sell these at the local farmer's market or even church b-zaar. I'd recommend putting a warning label about the product containing nuts, dairy, and sugar. Happy eating! By the way, depending on where you're from, these delights are either pra(y)lines or pra(h)lines. Interestingly, everyone I know pronounces them using a long a vowel sound. Tomato, tomahto....praylines, prahlines. ENJOY!
About the bonus tip Chef Boudy offers: I could only shake my head and lol at the thought of eating something that rich: brownies AND pralines?...Oh dear.... Check out her YouTube site at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMJhKhxN654 to see how this delicious recipe is made.
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