pralines #2

I'm in a praline phase. Don't worry, it's only temporary.

This phase came about by a conversation with a friend who said they were 50 cents apiece or something maybe it was $5.00, I forget. Hang on.

$20.00 for six.

That's $3.33 each, mathematically. I think.

Actually, I have no idea what they are, they're not the sort of thing I would be interested in, so I simply do no know anything about them. Even though I lived in Louisiana and kept hearing about them. Still, my friend's interest in them, now that's something interesting.

I told him  I'm pretty sure we can do a lot better than that. But first, we should find out what they are. Or what they are trying to be.

This is where things react chemically, due to evaporation, rapid temperature change and crystallization. 

The point is to control the crystallization, soft stage sugar. I notice some recipes wisely include a tablespoon of corn syrup, that would be to assure the formation of small crystals. It's a trick used all the time in ice cream. It only takes a small amount to seed the crystal formation into small forms. Chocolate is seeded this way as well. 

There are several good videos up on YouTube presently at the time of this writing. I'd like to recommend this one set up by a daughter capturing her mother's Louisiana technique. It's very sweet. 

She does three things that others do not that makes sense to me. 

* She adds the pecans up front. They are not part of reversing the temperature as other recipes do. When asked by her daughter why she does that, her mum answers she believes they impart pecan flavor to the cream, in her case evaporated milk. And that makes eminent sense to me. No others do that. It will also cook the pecans for longer and cause them to veritably dissolve in your mouth. 

* she uses white sugar only. Others use combination white and brown sugar.

* she adds 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar, an acid. She says to help make better caramel. Brown sugar is also a touch acid. 

It's a touching and useful video.  I hope they keep this up on YouTube so this link stays alive.

These guys only partially know what they're doing. They're not ready. Their butter's not ready, they can't measure, Timothy doesn't listen, and yet it works

Scientific, antiseptic, robotic

So. Online you can buy pralines 

$ 24.00  for 3 LBS here. plus shipping.

$40.00 for 3 LBS on Amazon

$74.00 for 3 LBS here plus shipping. Gift boxed, and choice of types.

So there's a broad range of prices. 

My cost at Sam's Club, a warehouse discount store. 

* pecans $13.00 for 2 LBS so $26.00 for 4 LBS. So how much for 3 LBS?

Check out these mad math skillz.

26  =  x
4        3

3 x 26 =  78
78 / 4 = 19.5

26 / 4 =  6.5
19.5 / 3 =  6.5

x = 19.5 

3 LBS pecans cost $19.50

check the intuitive way.

$13.00 + $7.50 = 19.50

* cream $4.00 quart. This is closer to $7.00 quart at grocery store

* sugar $5.00 for 10 LBS This is very inexpensive compared to neighborhood grocery store.

I just now noticed I was charged twice for brown sugar.

This phase has only started. I intend to go through the bags and try different things. So far everything I've tried is delicious. I need to be careful here because these things are easily addictive and they're nearly pure sugar. They're a lot more delicious than I imagined they would be by appearances. 

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