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Port Pralines

These exquisite chocolates are flavored with port and require a fair degree of chocolate making skill as well as some specialty equipment. Bonbons are called pralines in Belgium, where the author is a highly respected chocolatier.

By Jean-Pierre Wybauw

Port Pralines

Jean-Pierre Wybauw | Fine Chocolates, Great Experience | Lannoo, 2004

Yield: About 4 lbs.

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup (5 to 6) egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup port
1 1/2 lbs. milk chocolate, finely chopped for moulded pralines or 2 lbs for slabbed pralines
4 tbsps. butter
1 lb. plus 2 oz. dark chocolate, tempered (see instructions)

Method

For moulded pralines

Bring 2/3 of the cream to the boil. Combine the sugar with the egg yolk and fold into 1/3 of the cream. Mix into hot cream and heat until mixture thickens. You are making a custard so be careful not to heat to simmer or you will scramble the eggs.

Remove from heat. Add port and then 1 1/2 lbs milk chocolate, and finally the butter. Stir until chocolate is melted.

Fill moulds with tempered chocolate of your choice and allow shells to harden at a cool room temperature. Pipe chocolate mixture into chocolate shells with a piping bag. Allow to slightly crust. Seal with tempered chocolate. Allow to harden at a cool room temperature and unmold.

For dipped pralines

Bring 2/3 of the cream to the boil. Combine the sugar with the egg yolk and fold into 1/3 of the cream. Mix into hot cream and heat until mixture thickens. You are making a custard so be careful not to heat to simmer or you will scramble the eggs.

Remove from heat. Add port and then 2 lbs milk chocolate, and finally the butter. Stir until chocolate is melted.

Prepare a frame (to a thickness of 1/2 inch) or baking sheet by lining it with either parchment or silicon mat to prevent the chocolate mixture from sticking.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared frame or pan to a thickness of 1/2 inch and allow to harden overnight at a cool room temperature.

Remove hardened mixture from frame or pan. Turn slab upside down on cutting board and remove parchment or silicon mat. Cut slab into rectangles or squares. Dip the pieces into tempered dark chocolate. Garnish immediately.

Fine Chocolate, Great Experience © 2004 Jean-Pierre Wybauw. Photo ©Lannoo. All rights reserved.


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