Tag Archives: praline

Praline Squares or Pecan Candy

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Praline Squares or Pecan CandyThese Praline Squares or  Pecan Candy are one of those happy accidents that comes from just enough knowledge. I found a recipe for New Orleans Praline Pieces on  epicurious.com that sounded just like what I was looking for.

I had made pralines before and I remembered they always seemed grainy after they set up. So, in an attempt to make them less grainy or not grainy at all, I decided to replace some of the sugar with clear corn syrup as it is an invert sugar and helps reduce crystallization in sugar.

So out comes the pot and in goes everything except the pecans. The butter melts, a candy thermometer is clamped on and the bubbling mass cooks to a temperature of 236 degrees. I removed it from the heat and cooled it to 220°F as instructed. Continue reading

Chocolate Raspberry Gateau

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Chocolate Raspberry GateauThis Chocolate Raspberry Gateau is one of the most flavor packed, moist cakes to be found.  Please don’t be put off because this looks so intimidating.  While it looks intimidating, it really is not hard to make.  I have provided a schedule starting a month out and it has to be competed a day or two before serving.  The Chocolate Raspberry Gateau is ideal for entertaining, and is one of the great celebration cakes. This is an updated version of the one originally written in my first book, The New Pastry Cook.

Gateau is the French word for cake. It generally denotes items made with delicate ingredients which are best consumed soon after the confection is made. Cakes can last much longer, some even improving with age (fruit cake). Torte is the German word for cake, with similar properties. Continue reading

Marjolaine – A Classic Flourless Pastry

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished Photo (1 of 1)Ahhh, Marjolaine (pronounced  mar zjoh lenn).  Fernand Point, was a French restaurateur and is considered to be the father of modern French cuisine according to Wikipedia and other sources.  At his three Michelin star restaurant, La Pyramide, he trained many of Frances most influential chefs including Paul Bocuse, Alain Chapel, Louis Outhier, Georges Perrier and Jean and Pierre, the Brothers Troisgros.

One of his signature dishes was the Marjolaine and it seems it took him years to perfect.  A combination of nutted meringues, pastry cream, and a hint of chocolate.  As with any classic, there are a number of variations some of which include cake layers and German Buttercream.  I used a lightened version of pastry cream and a sour cream ganache instead of making creme fraiche.  While the original recipe added the almond praline to one of the pastry creams, I used it to finish off the top where it adds a pleasant crunch and doesn’t get lost. Continue reading

Banana Caramel Tart with Rum Pastry Cream and Praline

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Banana Tart with Rum Pastry CreamI was recently asked for a “New Orleans type dessert” at the restaurant. I was excited to come up with these Banana Caramel Tarts with Rum Pastry  Cream and Pralines.  The first bite will take you to Mardi Gras.

This praline is to one of the best things I have ever eaten. And eat it I did!  Once it cools, it has an opaque, almost grainy look.  When the pecans have been added, the candy sets up almost immediately,  so get it onto the prepared sheet pan and spread it out right away.

These tart shells are of the “cookie crust shells”.  We used this recipe at the bakery for our 11″ tart shells as well as individual shells.  The reason I liked them is they didn’t require rolling out.  They are crisp and stay that way.  We would press these into shells at the bakery, bag them and store them in the freezer to be baked off later. Do not try to freeze the baked shells as they will crack in the freezer if not filled.  This is one of the main shells in my book, “European Tarts”. Continue reading