Praline-ing To The Blunder Gods

March 05 , 2017 by: Amber Trudeau Candy

This post shouldn’t even exist. The only reason for my sharing this with you is because I was test running some ginger praline that I wanted to see about incorporating into something for a well thought out future post (still to come, but I’ll keep y’all in suspense for now). However, this praline turned out incredibly deliciously. Unfortunately, I was super lazy and impatient and didn’t let it cook enough to become the brittle-esque consistency that I was actually going for. “Damn,” I thought to myself, “I don’t want to throw this out because the taste is kind of outstanding, but it’s not setting up at all, and is more like a soft caramel then it is like brittle. Blast. What to do???!!!” Well I will tell you – stick said caramel in the freezer for a bit until it firms up slightly, roll your caramel into small balls of delicious ginger pecan praline, and cover in chocolate and sea salt (the chocolate means the centers never have to set up completely, thus leaving you with a sumptuous and creamy/crunchy middle! Huzzah! Chocolate, the dark horse that snuck up on me to save the day. Chocolate for the win! ….although I don’t know why that even bears mentioning, chocolate is always there for the win. Discovery of the day? Covering things in chocolate hides a myriad of sins…and also makes everything taste better).

In theory one could say mistakes were made, however, some mistakes should be made over and over….and over and over again. Think of these as the penicillin invention of the baking world. Yeah, that’s right, I apparently just compared myself to Alexander Fleming. These may not be helping to combat illnesses (and one could possibly make the argument that an over-consumption of them might even be causing illnesses), but are they earth changing? Glass-ceiling shattering? Innovative beyond all previous usages of the word? O.K., probably none of those things either, but they’re still taste-tacular, and that’s more than enough for me. It’s entirely possible that I won’t win the Nobel prize for these, but that’s just because we all know they’re a bunch of biased jerks over there on the Nobel prize committee 😉 . They won’t give baking a Nobel prize, but apparently they’ll give you one if you use baked goods to explain your sciency ingenuity:

Clear favouritism here that’s all I can say 😉 .

I mean check out that goo! I don’t know about you, but it feels like a miracle of modern science that I saved these babies. But whatevs, I’m not bitter I swear….because I’m really super sweet and filled with sugary-goodness (although maybe one could say my Nobel loss has made me bittersweet? 😉 ).

I’m not nuts – in fact, I’m modestly pecanning to think I’m the Einstein of my generation 😉 .

Ginger Praline Clusters

Yield:2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼  teaspoon baking soda
  • ½  cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons powdered ginger
  • ½ cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped candied ginger
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 2 teaspoons rum
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • coarse sea salt (optional)

Directions

  1. Line a baking sheets with silpat, wax paper or foil (whatever you got), lightly grease.
  2. In a heavy saucepan combine the sugar, baking soda, coconut milk, maple syrup, and powdered ginger. Place the pan on medium-high heat and bring the syrup to a boil, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved (about 5 – 6 minutes).
  3. Cover the saucepan and boil for 3 minutes without stirring!! (stirring will cause the sugar to crystallize which you don’t want).
  4. Remove the cover and continue boiling without stirring until it reaches 225F on a candy thermometer.
  5. Sprinkle in the pecans and candied ginger and gently swirl to mix in (or give it a very slow and gentle stir or two).
  6. Continue boiling until syrup reaches 235F on a candy thermometer.
  7. Remove from heat and add the rum and butter and swirl the pan until combined.
  8. Moving quickly-ish (in case your syrup sets up more than mine did) and using a tablespoon, scoop the candy with 1 tablespoon and use a second spoon or butter knife if necessary to push the candy onto the baking sheet, dropping the candies about 2 inches apart. At this point for me, they totally spread out into little pools (which is what you want! Don’t worry if they start melding into each other, it doesn’t really matter that much, the only reason I bothered separating them to make creating the balls after a little easier).
  9. Place baking tray in the freezer for 20-30 minutes, or until praline-ginger syrup is malleable (i.e. you can form your flat pooled blobs into nice round circular blobs).
  10. Place tray back in the freezer while melting chocolate coating. Place chocolate chips in a small bowl and melt in the microwave for about a minute, stirring until smoothly melted.
  11. Remove praline balls from the freezer and dip in chocolate, topping with sea salt if desired before returning to baking sheet. Place baking sheet in the fridge or freezer until chocolate is firmed up.
  12. Store praline clusters in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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About Amber

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Hi, I'm Amber Trudeau.  I bake.... a lot.

I'm also vegan, and found that whenever I went out to a restaurant my dessert choices were limited to sorbet, sorbet, and sorbet.  So I started making my own desserts. I wanted them to taste good though - so my ultimatum was to make delicious desserts that also happen to be dairy-free and egg-free. Every week or so, I challenge myself to try something new.  To recreate some kind of traditional dessert that tastes amazing without using animal products.

Have a challenge for me? Send me a note:

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