Sometimes, you find that you come across something and you seriously understimate it. Like that Jamie Oliver recipe that you came across that seemed simple enough, but left you standing in the middle of an exploded kitchen asking “what went wrong?”. Or perhaps, more like the time you decided to post some homemade marshmallows to a friend, only to discover that the postage cost 4x the cost of actually making them, making them the most expensive marshmallows you’ve ever come across.
Or perhaps it’s more like that time when you woke up with a hangover and a rumbling stomach, and went to fix a bowl of cereal for breakfast and since your eyes were blurry, you mistook the carton of buttermilk for regular milk, and after taking a big mouthful, you were left worshipping the porcelain gods for half an hour afterwards.
Homemade Chocolate Pecan Pralines Recipe
Not that I’ve done any of the above, mind you. Ahem, moving on…! I first came across these treats a few years ago at Max Brenner, when I sampled some of these treats instore, and fell so deeply in love with them that I rushed to the counter straight away to purchase a little aluminium box which contained these little lumpy chocolates.
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However, after taking them home and devouring them, I began wondering how one might replicate them. I mean, how difficult could it be to create pecan pralines dipped in bittersweet chocolate??
Now that’s food porn right there!
The making of these little morsels was not exactly easy – by the end of the process I had multiple heat blisters on my hands from handling hot sugar, multiple stabs from sharp and pointy shards of sugar, as well as a runny nose from sneezing thanks to all the cocoa in the air (all part of the learning curve, right?).
However, when I popped the first of these darlings into my mouth, I knew that it had all been worth it – forget your after dinner mints, this is the perfect way to end a meal. Since my family and I have now devoured almost the entire batch, I think I’m going to have to make this chocolate pecan praline recipe again.
Will I put myself through that torturous process again? Well, thankfully it won’t be necessary as I’ve learnt from my mistakes, and I pass these nuggets of knowledge onto you, my readers, in case you’d like to join me in beautiful nutty bittersweet heaven 🙂
Chocolate Pecan Pralines Recipe Ingredients
- 200g white sugar
- 1/4 cup liquid glucose (substitute with light corn syrup if necessary)
- 1/4 cup water
- 250g nuts *
- 250g dark chocolate (I used 75% pure dark Lindt chocolate bars)
- 1/4 cup good quality cocoa powder
- Use nuts that you’d use with chocolate – I used raw pecans, walnuts and almonds
How to Make Chocolate Pecan Pralines Recipe
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C and put in a a large baking tray, lined either with non-stick baking paper or a silicon baking mat. Leave to heat up.
2. Combine sugar, water and liquid glucose in a pot and slowly bring to the boil, swirling the pot occasionally to mix things up. Once the sugar has completely dissolved, leave it to cook till it turns a nice golden colour (around 150 – 160 degrees C).
3. Once the sugar has reached the right colour, remove from the heat and dump the nuts in and stir quickly to ensure they’re all coated (no more than about 30 seconds of stirring as this caramel is going to harden – fast!).
4. Open the oven, pull out the tray and dump the sugar-coated nuts onto the baking tray, using a silicon spatula to spread them into a single layer as much as possible. Don’t worry if there are some overlaps, it only affects the look and not the flavour 🙂
5. Remove the baking tray from the oven and leave to cool till the sugar is still soft but pliable, then, working quickly, pull off the nuts one by one and give them a quick roll between your hands (if you have silicon baking mitts, use them here as they are unbelievably useful!) and put them onto another tray to cool.
Remember – be careful! Hot sugar burns, so make sure the sugar is cool enough to handle, as well as having a bowl of ice water next to you in case you need to plunge your hands in!
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6. Once the nuts have been seperated out as much as possible, take your chocolate and place it in a metal bowl (non-reactive), and put that over a pot of simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.
7. Melt the chocolate, mixing till it is smooth and glossy. Once glossy, remove from the pot and take over to your nuts. Dip each nut in the chocolate, shaking off any excess and placing onto some baking paper to cool down.
You can do this with two forks to create a cradle (use one fork to drop the nut and scoop it up again, place another fork on top and give a quick shake before placing on baking paper), or if your skills are proficient, with a pair of chopsticks 🙂
8. Once all the chocolate covered nuts have cooled down and the chocolate has become firm, tip them into a container with the cocoa, close the lid and give a good shake so the cocoa dusts the chocolates in an even layer 🙂 Shake any excess cocoa powder of the nuts with a sieve, then place them in a clean, dry container and consume as you please!
These beauties should keep up to a week or two (if it is hot, leave them in a cool dry place in your pantry, if you refrigerate chocolate it will sweat). I dare you to try and make them last that long though 😉