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.
|crème fraîche or heavy cream|
|unsalted butter (65° to 75°F/19° to 23°C)|
|golden syrup or corn syrup|
|light brown Muscovado sugar, or dark brown sugar|
|fine sea salt||.|
|pure vanilla extract||.||.|
|fleur de sel (optional)||.||.|
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
Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the middle of the oven and
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
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.
Set the Silpat or nonstick aluminum foil on the counter. Use tablespoons, lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray, to drop
While the pralines are still warm, sprinkle them with a touch of fleur de sel.
Let the pralines cool completely. Wrap each one in a small piece of plastic wrap.
Wrapped airtight: room temperature, 1 month (low humidity); refrigerated, 6 months; frozen, 9 months.
Copyright © 2014 by Cordon Rose, LLC. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.