Praline Paste Options…
Posted: 06 September 2011 09:27 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi from Hong Kong (by way of Arkansas)! I’ve been lurking for awhile. Just got my copy of The Cake Bible last week and have started baking! Julie recommended the Chocolate Praline Silk Meringue Buttercream- which sounds heavenly to me!

Finding praline paste in Hong Kong looks like it’s going to be a problem. I’ve found recipes but Rose does not recommend making it due to not being able to get a smooth texture. I thought that might have changed with improvements in food processors and blenders since the book was originally published; however, a search of the internet indicates it’s still an issue..

SO- unsweetened hazelnut butter is available. I’m thinking of making caramel, grinding it to a powder and mixing with hazelnut butter using the ratio from the recipes. Has anyone tried it, or had success making a smooth praline paste at home? The most promising sounding recipe involved making the paste in a food processor then refining it in a blender. Thoughts on that?

Thanks!

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Posted: 06 September 2011 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hi, Georgie! 

Since the praline part is sort of like powdered caramel, I wonder if you could simply make a hybrid of the chocolate silk meringue buttercream, but cook the sugar as for the caramel silk meringue buttercream (you might have to use darker chocolate to compensate for the extra sugar—I don’t have my book with me to check the amounts).  Then add the hazelnut butter at the end. 

I’ve done a similar hybrid—the caramel + coffee SMBCs—and then added unsweetened hazelnut butter before (for a coffee-caramel-hazelnut-SMBC), and it was wonderful!

Welcome to the forum!  I look forward to hearing about the final cake! Yum!

—ak

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Posted: 06 September 2011 10:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hi Anne,

Oh the flavor combinations! No wonder I’m becoming a little obsessed grin I’ve not been far from my TCB when I’m home so I just happen to have it right here.. The CSMB recommends 8 ounces 60 to 64% chocolate mass. What do you think about using 70% to compensate?

Thanks!

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Posted: 06 September 2011 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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What we need to know is the following—for sugar components, we must separate the egg white and creme anglaise parts: 

For the Chocolate Praline SMBC:  (1) How much sugar does it call for; (2) How much praline paste; (3) How much chocolate and what %. 
Then, for the Chocolate SMBC: (1) How much sugar and (2) How much chocolate and what %.
Finally, for the Caramel SMBC:  (1) How much sugar does it call for?

If this is too weird, i can look at it tonight and report back tomorrow.

—ak

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Posted: 06 September 2011 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Nope! Not weird. Thanks for the help!

Chocolate Praline SMBC: 1) Use 1/4 cup sugar in the creme anglaise, 2) 1/2 cup praline paste 3) 8 ounces bittersweet or extra bittersweet, no % given.

Chocolate SMBC:1) Follows the base recipe, so 1/2 cup sugar in the creme anglaise 2) 8 ounces 60-64%, described as extra bittersweet

Caramel SMBC: 1) 1/2 cup sugar


The italian meringue portion is the same for all, 1/3 cup + 2 T sugar

The Chocolate Praline SMBC says it reduces the sugar to compensate for the 50%+ sugar content in Praline Paste..

Georgie

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Posted: 06 September 2011 12:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Cool! Thanks!  I wasn’t sure if the Creme Anglaise sugar was reduced for the chocolate, but it doesn’t look like it.

This is easy then! 

Make Caramel SMBC, but add the chocolate however it’s added to the chocolate praline SMBC (if there’s anything confusing or conflicting in the instructions that makes this problematic, let me know).  I’d use 60-64%—but since it says bittersweet, if you can only find 55% or so, you can use it, but it will be a bit sweeter.  Then, add the hazelnut butter however the praline paste is added to the Chocolate praline SMBC—subtract the weight of 1/4 c sugar and add that much hazelnut butter. 

[Update] Just looking at your post again, you can simply use 1/2 as much hazelnut butter as it calls for if it’s 50% sugar.

Let me know if any of that is confusing or if there’s any sort of conflict in the instructions among the 3 recipes!  Ooooh, this is gonna be yummy!

—ak

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Posted: 06 September 2011 12:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Georgie, just make the caramel version, and then add hazelnut butter.  I do this all the time, it works beautifully.  To get the right amount, you assume that half the weight of praline paste is hazelnuts and so add half the weight of the paste that is called for. 

Since the nut butter is smooth, and the caramelized sugar is dissolved in the milk, all will be well.

This will also allow you to make, say, a large batch of the caramel buttercream to split up and freeze, so that you can make any of the variations that are based on caramel on short notice.

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B&T Blog:  Cultured Butter Recipe

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Posted: 06 September 2011 08:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Thank you Anne and Julie! I’m not making the cake until this weekend, but might have to make the buttercream after work. Of course then it might not make it to the cake.. I had to rescue the Caramel SMBC from my taste testers while I still had enough to cover the cake last week tongue rolleye I’ll let you know how it turns out- I’m excited!!

Georgie

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Posted: 07 September 2011 10:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Hi Ladies! I went ahead and made it and it is insanely good! The hazelnut butter I bought did not end up being as smooth as I would have liked, but I think the only one distracted by that is me (since I’ve been obsessing over it). My chocoholic better half says he likes it better than the Carmel. They’re such different tastes that I don’t think I’d compare- they’re both amazing! On to cake this weekend cheese

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Posted: 07 September 2011 10:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Yay!  If you have leftover, it freezes great!

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Posted: 07 September 2011 10:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I wish we had the freezer space to do that here! It would be nice to have tubs of different flavors to thaw out as needed… Ahhh some day grin

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