Chocolate Passion Fruit Pralines
A while back, I met friends from France and we talked about macarons. (What else would you talk about with French people?) We didn’t just talk about any macarons, we talked about Pierre Hermé’s macarons. We all agreed that his best is without a doubt the “Mogador”, a macaron filled with passion fruit and milk chocolate ganache.
A few days later, we hosted an event called “Arabic Salon” in our house in Jerusalem. It’s an event our friend started at his house in Tel Aviv, inviting all who are interested to come to Guy’s salon (the guy in charge), bring a healthy snack and converse in Arabic only.
The rendezvous helps all of those who are not native speakers but want to improve their language skills in Arabic, and also for those who are native speakers but just want to snack on something healthy.
Since I had a cold that week, I didn’t have enough time to prepare in advance. The morning of the event, I remembered the conversation I had with the Frenchies and suddenly felt like making the “Mogador” macaron. Unfortunately, macarons need to sit overnight in the fridge before eating.
All was not lost. I decided to try my luck with pralines instead, applying the same idea. Also, the fact that I already had all the ingredients needed in my kitchen convinced me I should go for it.
I gave the praline a touch of color to hint at the flavor inside. So I experimented with cocoa butter painting and wrote about it here. I’m sure there are different ways, maybe even better ways to do it, but that’s what worked for me that day. I also know that you’re supposed to temper cocoa butter before use, but somehow it worked without tempering (yay!).
Eventually, the pralines turned out so yummy that they deserved a respectable place in the blog. The guests could attest to that. Everything was gone that same evening, though it wasn’t a healthy snack after all. But wait, it has passion fruit inside! Doesn’t that count?
20 g cocoa butter
2 drops yellow food coloring (gel)
300 g milk chocolate
Passion fruit chocolate ganache
160 g milk chocolate
65 g passion fruit purée
20 g heavy cream
25 g soft butter (cut into cubes)
Polycarbonate mold, 21 sockets
The recipe makes about 21 pink pralines
Put cocoa butter and food coloring in a stainless steel bowl. While stirring, melt most but not all of the cocoa butter on a double boiler. Remove from heat and keep stirring until fully melted. Let it harden back while gently stirring occasionally.
Melt it again on the double boiler in the same way. Remove from heat and stir occasionally until it starts to become a bit viscous. At this point, you have to work fast. Using a brush, flick the melted cocoa butter randomly over the mold.
If the cocoa butter hardens while doing so, melt it back on the double boiler. Keep the mold aside and let your creation set. Clean the excess cocoa butter using a wide spatula.
Before you begin, clean the mold thoroughly with water and a soft sponge (be careful not to scratch it). Dry the mold with a kitchen towel. For a more serious clean-up, use alcohol.
Temper chocolate following this post (in this case, it’s best to temper to 29 °C / 84 °F). Fill a pastry bag with the tempered chocolate. Cut a small opening at the edge (about 1 cm). Quickly fill all the sockets in the mold. Tap the mold lightly on the surface to get rid of air bubbles.
Turn the mold over and let the chocolate drip onto the surface (or onto a baking paper for an easy assembly once the chocolate has set) while tapping on the side of the mold with a wide spatula. At the end of the process you should get a nice thin layer of chocolate in the sockets. Turn over the mold quickly and clean the excess chocolate using the wide spatula. Keep aside letting the chocolate set and start preparing the filling.
Passion fruit chocolate ganache
Break the chocolate into small pieces and put them in a measuring pitcher. Add the butter cubes to the pitcher as well. Put heavy cream and passion fruit purée in a small pot and bring to a boil. Pour immediately over chocolate, making sure all the chocolate is covered.
Mix a little bit with a spatula and then use a hand blender to blend it to a uniform consistency. Make sure the temperature of the ganache is 27-28 °C / 80-82 °F before proceeding.
Putting it all together!
Fill a pastry bag with the ganache. Cut a small opening at the edge (about 1/2 cm). Fill all the sockets in the mold, up to 3 mm from the edge. Let the ganache set at a cool room temperature, preferably for a few hours or even overnight.
Re-temper the remaining chocolate. Pour it on one side of the mold and spread the chocolate all over the mold using a wide spatula. Tap the mold lightly on the surface, clean the excess chocolate between the sockets and make sure they are all covered well. Keep aside and let the chocolate set. (Or keep it in the freezer for about 5 minutes to speed up the process)
To release the pralines, turn over the mold and tap it lightly on the surface. The pralines should slip out easily (if the tempering was done properly).Yum
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