Ruby Berry Pralines
Tempering chocolate to make pralines on hot summer days is doomed to fail. I was naïve enough to think that the AC would solve the problem. I mean, it’s cool and nice enough in the house with it turned on… for me, not for the chocolate. Tempering chocolate requires a specific room temperature. 18-20 °C / 64-68 °F to be exact.
The first time I tried, I set the AC to 21 °C / 70 °F and started to work. It took a long time for the temperature of the melted chocolate to drop back down. That was my first clue. Indeed, the first tempering wasn’t successful and I didn’t get pretty pralines.
Before my second trial, I decided to do a little test. I measured the temperature of the air (using the candy thermometer) at different points in the house. Although I set the AC on 21 °C / 70 °F, the temperature was actually 25 °C / 77 °F in the kitchen. Not ideal at all.
I lowered the temperature to 16 °C / 61 °F at full force. The temperature in kitchen dropped down to 22 °C / 72 °F, but that wasn’t enough. I moved to the living room. The temperature there was 20 °C / 68 °F. Wonderful!
So yeah, I ended up tempering chocolate in the living room. That’s chocolate for you. It won’t work for you, you’ll have to work for it. I supplied it excellent room conditions, and it kindly rewarded me with shiny pralines that don’t melt easily, with a soft core of chocolaty, fruity ganache. Suddenly the world seemed rosy.
300 g ruby chocolate
80 g berries
80 g water
Berry chocolate ganache
170 g milk chocolate
70 g berry puree
20 g heavy cream
30 g soft butter (cut into cubes)
Polycarbonate mold, 21 sockets
The recipe makes about 21 pink pralines
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. Meaning, choose a tempering technique and match the temperatures of ruby chocolate to it: Heat the chocolate to 42-45 °C / 108-113 °F, chill it to 26 °C / 79 °F and then heat it again to its temper point which is 29 °C / 84 °F. If you temper the chocolate using the Mycryo technique, add the powder when the temperature gets to 35 °C / 95 °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.
Put the berries in a saucepan and add water. Bring to a boil and let it simmer over low-medium heat for 5 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Mash some berries with the spatula while stirring.
Let it cool for about 5 minutes. Transfer it into a measuring pitcher and then grind it with a hand blender to a smoother texture. Filter the pits using a sieve. Weigh the amount needed straight into a small pot.
Berry 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 in a small pot with the berry puree 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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