Pecan Praline Scheherazades

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    Fourteen to sixteen

    2 inch pralines

Appears in

The Baking Bible

By Rose Levy Beranbaum

Published 2014

  • About
Oven Temperature 325°F/160°C
Baking Time 7 to 10 minutes

Scheherazade’s was the first story I remember from childhood. I adored the tale of the beautiful and clever woman who saved her own life by intriguing her murderous husband with a thousand and one unfinished stories so compelling that he kept her alive to hear the next one and then the next. These candies (pictured here), like Scheherazade’s stories, are so delicious one can never have enough of them. They are even wonderful frozen. The golden syrup and crème fraîche lend a lilting flavor and slight tang to balance the delicious butterscotch-y sweetness.

Ingredients

Pecan Praline Mixture

VOLUME WEIGHT
pecan halves ½ cup 1.8 ounces 50 grams
crème fraîche or heavy cream ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (89 ml) 3.1 ounces 87 grams
unsalted butter (65° to 75°F/19° to 23°C) tablespoons 0.7 ounce 21 grams
golden syrup or corn syrup ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (89 ml) 4.5 ounces 127 grams
light brown Muscovado sugar, or dark brown sugar cup (firmly packed) 2.5 ounces 72 grams
granulated sugar 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons 1.2 ounces 33 grams
fine sea salt ¼ teaspoon . 1.5 grams
pure vanilla extract teaspoon (1.8 ml) . .
fleur de sel (optional) ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon . .

Special Equipment

A medium heavy saucepan, preferably with a pour lip (minimum 1 quart) | A nonstick liner such as a Silpat, or a sheet of nonstick aluminum foil or foil lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray

Method

Preheat the Oven

Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C.

Cut and Toast the Pecans

Cut the pecans into medium-small pieces and place them in a coarse-mesh strainer. Shake the strainer to remove the nut dust. Spread the pecan pieces evenly on a baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes to enhance their flavor. Stir once or twice to ensure even toasting and avoid overbrowning. Empty the pecans into a medium glass bowl.

Cook the Pralines

In the saucepan, stir together the crème fraîche, butter, golden syrup, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and salt until the sugars are moistened. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue boiling for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly but gently, until an instant-read thermometer reads 260°F/127°C or a few degrees lower because the temperature will continue to rise.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and, as soon as the mixture reaches temperature, immediately pour it over the pecans in the bowl. Using the silicone spatula, fold the pecans into the caramel and let the mixture cool to 175°F/79°C, about 8 to 15 minutes. Stir in the vanilla.

Shape the Pralines

Set the Silpat or nonstick aluminum foil on the counter. Use tablespoons, lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray, to drop 1 tablespoon rounds of the mixture (about 0.7 ounce/20 grams each) onto the Silpat or foil. Use a small offset spatula or the back of the spoon to even and shape the pralines into 2 inch rounds. If the mixture becomes too stiff, soften it in the microwave with 5 second bursts.

While the pralines are still warm, sprinkle them with a touch of fleur de sel.

Cool the Pralines

Let the pralines cool completely. Wrap each one in a small piece of plastic wrap.

Store

Wrapped airtight: room temperature, 1 month (low humidity); refrigerated, 6 months; frozen, 9 months.

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