Y’all, making candy is hard because there are so many rules to follow. As it happened, I forgot the number one rule of sugar based candies: NEVER EVER EVER MAKE CANDY WHEN IT’S RAINING. *face. palm*
Over the course of the last two weeks I’ve been trying to come up with a decent batch of pralines. I have an ulterior motive, but you’ll have to wait til next week to learn exactly what I plan to do with these Chicory Pralines.
Yes, Chicory Pralines, as in I steeped Chicory coffee from Cafe Du Monde into the heavy cream to give the pralines an undeniable coffee flavor and an added boost of caffeine. I enjoy coffee as much as the next tired working mom, but I also believe in diversification. So now I can have some caffeine with breakfast (cup of coffee); caffeine at lunch (a diet coke or two) and in between a Chicory Praline. Follow me for more diversification tips and tricks (just kidding!)
Trial and Mostly Errors
So the first batch of Chicory Pralines didn’t work AT all. The method on the first recipe called for melting the butter and sugar together with half of the heavy cream. For reasons that I still don’t understand, the sugar didn’t dissolve completely creating a grainy texture that only a mother could love.
The method on the second batch of pralines made more sense to me. Over medium heat, whisk the sugars, molasses and all of the heavy cream together until it dissolves before boiling it to the soft ball stage. The consistency of the candy seemed right, until it didn’t.
That’s because it’s been raining for DAYS here. My whole backyard is a flooded mess, but I didn’t put two and two together. Friday Nights are baking nights, period. As soon as I folded the pecans into the candy mixture, I knew it was going to be a mess, because the pralines should start to set immediately. You don’t have time to take any pictures or lollygag around the kitchen. The entire focus has to be getting the candy out of the pot before it’s permanently stuck there.
I had waaaaay too much time. The candy took forever to set and when it did it was dull and broke easily. For my purposes, this is fine, but if you want pralines that stand on their own, maybe pick a nice sunny, low humidity day to test them out. If it ever stops raining here, I am sure that the third time will be the charm. Fingers crossed!Print
Chicory Coffee takes a classic New Orleans staple to the next level.
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons chicory coffee, like Cafe DuMonde’s
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 ½ cups brown sugar
3 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ stick of butter (2 oz or 4 tablespoons)
Pinch of salt
2 cups pecan pieces
Get Ready. Line two baking sheets with parchment or wax paper. Set aside.
Make the Chicory Cream. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the heavy cream and chicory coffee. Bring the cream to a simmer and then turn off the stove. Let the coffee steep in the cream for 5 minutes. Use a fine mesh strainer to remove the coffee.
Make the Candy. Stir the heavy cream, sugars and molasses together in a heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat. Keep stirring until the sugars are completely dissolved and smooth.
Clip on a candy thermometer and raise the heat to high and allow the mixture to come to a boil. Don’t stir. Don’t touch it. Let it bubble until the mixture reaches 240ºF. Don’t let it reach over 250ºF. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla extract and pinch of salt, until smooth (about 2-5 minutes). Then fold in the pecans.
Moving quickly, scoop tablespoons of pralines onto the prepared baking sheets.
Let the pralines cool on the baking sheet. Store in an airtight container.
Make sure it’s not raining. Or thinking about raining. Or extra humid. Good Luck!
Keywords: Chicory Pralines