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Old 09-06-2005, 03:01 PM   #1
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Creamy pralines not very creamy!

I recently tried to make some creamy pralines from an Emeril Lagasse recipe and they came out like chunks of crystallized brown sugar. The recipe has sugar, brown sugar, a couple tbsp of butter, some sweetened evap. milk, and a touch of salt in it. The sugars never seemed to melt at all. Even up at 238F, the mixture was still grainy.

On doing some research on here, I found that you shouldn't stir the mixture much after it comes to a boil. I kept stirring cause the sugars wouldn't go into solution. Do you guys think my technique was bad or is it the recipe? Why wasn't the mixture creamy even after getting so hot? Frustrating...

Drew

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Old 09-06-2005, 03:30 PM   #2
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I am thinking the sugar never completely melted because the liquid was super saturated with sugar so it just couldn't hold anymore. This is just a guess though. Posting the recipe will probably help us trouble shoot it.
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Old 09-06-2005, 03:41 PM   #3
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Definately sounds like they were overcooked even though the sugar didn't dissolve well.
I always have better luck with my candies cooking them in the microwave. Most things take about 5 minutes to boiling...then take out every minute or two and check with a thermometer until it reaches temperature.
For Pralines...my recipe reads that after reaching temperature you have to beat it well to achieve the creamy texture. It's been at least 4 years since I've made them...so can't remember if I did this or not! Good luck!
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Old 09-06-2005, 04:57 PM   #4
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Here are the ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups pecan pieces

I was thinking that the solution might be super saturated but that it would melt once it got hot enough. It never did... Would the addition of some water at the start help it out?
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Old 09-06-2005, 06:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilvrBck

I was thinking that the solution might be super saturated but that it would melt once it got hot enough.
If it is super saturated then it will never melt as the sugar has no place to go. The liquid is already holding all it can.

If I were to guess I would say that is the case here. You have a lot of sugar and the only liquids you have have sugar in them already. This is really just a guess on my part though so hopefully someone with a better answer will come along soon.
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Old 09-06-2005, 07:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
If it is super saturated then it will never melt as the sugar has no place to go. The liquid is already holding all it can.
However! Raising the temperature raises the solubility limit. Therefore, even at 238F, I must still have had too much sugar, keeping the solution super-saturated. If I had been on the borderline of the solubility limit then raising the temp might have allowed it to solubilize.

Regardless, this recipe must have way too much sugar compared to liquid. How do you know when there is enough liquid? Could I have simply added some water? So confusing...

Maybe I'll try some of the other recipes for pralines on here and see what happens.

Thanks for the input guys!!!

Drew
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Old 09-06-2005, 08:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilvrBck
However! Raising the temperature raises the solubility limit.
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Old 09-08-2005, 10:20 AM   #8
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The no-stirring thing is very important, too! I messed up some caramel once because I was constantly stirring it. After going back and reading more about it, I realized that's what I had done.
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Old 12-29-2005, 02:52 PM   #9
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I tried making my first batch of pralines the other night. I'm guessing either the boil was too strong (I had it rolling. The book I was using didn't tell me one way or the other), or the temp was not high enough (I took it to 235*) because all I got was a big wad of pecans in caramel. It never set up. No graininess, and it tasted *really* good, but it just never completely firmed up.

So I made lemonade from lemons. I broke the caramel into smaller balls, coated them in confectioners' sugar so they wouldn't stick together and then put them in the freezer for a later ice cream date. Plop a ball in a mug, nuke it in the microwave and pour over ice cream. At least that's the theory I have. Haven't tried it on ice cream yet.
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Old 12-29-2005, 02:56 PM   #10
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Sugar will melt in a pan with no liquid added at all.

However, It will re-crystallize at the drop of a hat if the sugar has some place for crystals to latch onto. The spoon you used to stir the sugar provided the place and the agitation of the sugar encouraged the re-crystallization.
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