Recently I discovered a new product that we are carrying at Qualifirst. It is called Pink Praline. It occured to me that a few years ago when travelling in Paris, I ate a delicous pink studded pastry from Boulanger Eric Kayser patisserie in Paris. To be honest, I became so captivated with it, that it lead me to booking a trip to Lyon. NOT KIDDING. But I digress. These lovely morsels of colour lend flair and flavour to all sorts of baked goods.
Praline Rose as the French call it, has a long history, specifically in Lyon, France, where you will find its beautiful pink hue, studding everything from Brioche and financier to the classic tarte au praline rose. The pink praline is a roasted almond enrobed in layers of melted sugar. The coating is rough and uneven. Then it is covered in a coating of pink. The enrobing sugar is not caramelized, so the sugar inside remains white and has a softer bite than traditional praline made with caramelized sugar. While edible on its own, it is most delicious when broken and used in baking.
*From experience and experimentation, I learned it is best to crush it with a mallet or hammer (place in a zip top bag, wrap in tea towel and bang away). The processor tends to crush too finely and turns the candy coating to dust. While researcing I found this lovely post on Chocolate and Zucchini about Praline Rose.
As well, my good friend Mardi, of the BLOG eatlivetravelwrite went on the hunt for Praline Rose for me while she was in Paris, this past month. She tweeted out this fantastic photo of the eponymous Prauline ( a blend of the words Pralus and Praline) from the French Master Chocolatier Pralus. So I set to work testing and refining some recipes. Here is one delcious recipe for Pink Praline Brioche. If you don'' have a broiche pan, a loaf pan should work just fine.
Pink Praline Brioche
Prep Time: (including rising) 2 Â˝ hours Cook Time: 40- 50 minutes Makes: 1 large brioche (12 slices)
Ingredients: 1Â˝ tsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk (100°F to 110°F) 2½ cups all-purpose flour (approx) ¼ cup granulated sugar 2 tbsp dehydrated mashed potato flakes 1 tsp fine sea salt 2 eggs, lightly beaten 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces 1 cup (170 g) crushed pink pralines * 1 egg yolk Method: In large bowl stir yeast and warm milk. Let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy. Transfer to stand mixer with dough hook. (You can do this by hand but the dough is quite sticky). Add flour, sugar, mashed potato flakes, salt and eggs. Mix until combined, about 1 minute. Using dough hook, beat dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding up to ¼ cup more flour if necessary if dough is too sticky. (It will eventually get less sticky as the gluten in the flour develops).
Add butter and mix until just incorporated. If it still is in clumps, don't worry, it will be incorporated at the next stage.
Turn dough onto well-floured surface. Knead until butter is incorporated and dough is no longer sticky. Form into ball. Transfer to greased bowl and cover lighlty. Let rise in a warm, draft free area for 1Â˝ hours or until doubled in bulk. Punch down and let stand for 10 minutes.
Reserve a piece of dough, about 4 oz, (the size of a fist) and form into ball. Set aside. Press or roll out remaining dough on lightly floured surface. Reserve about Âź cup of the crushed praline. Spread remaining praline over half of the dough.
Fold dough over and press to enclose praline. Continue folding over to incorporate pralines, and shape into ball. Place in greased 7-inch brioche pan. Top with reserved ball of dough. Let rise in draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Mix egg yolk with 1 tsp water. Brush over dough. Sprinkle with reserved crushed pralines.
Bake in centre of 350째F oven for 40 to 50 minutes until golden and sounds hollow when tapped. If top gets too brown, cover with foil the last 10 to 20 minutes of baking. Let cool for 30 minutes. Remove from mould and let cool completely. Slice and devour, with or without butter slathered overtop!
When I took this into the office to share, I got rave reviews. In fact, it was decided that I should make it again for our staff lunch. Have you ever seen Pink Pralines on your travels? Have you ever tasted them? Baked with them? I'd love to hear about your experiences- please comment.