Appears in

The Art of the Chocolatier

By Ewald Notter

Published 2011

The first step in creating sugar-crusted alcohol pralines is to make a mold. Simple shapes and forms without a lot of detail and depth should be chosen, because they will allow the sugar to crystallize more easily, providing a better mouthfeel. The easiest way to create a mold for these pralines is to make a mold of an already existing mold.
  1. Pipe tempered chocolate into a chocolate candy mold with simple shapes. After filling the molds, refrigerate the tray for about 5 minutes to speed up the crystallization process.
  2. Once the chocolate has set, unmold the chocolates onto a very flat surface such as an acrylic base. Place the base on a hot tray to warm slightly and get the chocolates to stick onto the base. This way the chocolates will not move, and the silicone used in the next step will not seep under the chocolates (see “Gelatin Molds,”). Make sure to place the chocolates close together on the base to minimize the amount of silicone needed.
  3. Create a sturdy frame around the chocolates and carefully pour silicone into the frame, ensuring that the chocolates are fully covered. Let the silicone set for 24 hours.
  4. Once the silicone has set, remove the mold and discard the chocolate.
  5. Pipe plaster of Paris into the silicone molds using a pastry bag. Let the plaster set for 1 hour.
  6. Once the plaster has set, turn the silicone mold over and unmold the plaster shapes.
  7. Use a hot-glue gun to glue the plaster shapes to a wooden stick and let dry. Make sure the wooden stick is longer than the length of the sheet tray that will be used for making the pralines. The plaster shapes should not be placed too close to one another, as that could cause excessive compression and eventually caving in of the starch.
  8. Combine two parts wheat starch and one part corn starch, and blend them together with a whisk to loosen the starch. Dry the starch in the oven at 200&F/93.3&C for a few hours, and then completely fill a sheet pan with the starch blend. Smooth the surface with a straightedge to level the starch.
  9. Holding both ends of the wooden stick, firmly press the plaster shapes into the powder to make an impression, then carefully pull the stick back up, leaving only the print of the stamp in the powder.