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the appetizer:

Chocolates and Confections at Home by Peter P. Greweling and The Culinary Institute of America, includes recipes like Almond Dragees; Green Tea Truffles; and Rochers; and techniques like Dry Sugar Cooking and Tempering Chocolate.

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Almond Dragees

 

Almond Dragees

Makes 250 Pieces

 

This is a slightly simplified version of dragees for home use. You can substitute hazelnuts for the almonds in this recipe for an equally delicious rendition.

This is an efficient way to make chocolates for a group of people.

Skill Level 2 of 3

  • 1 lb (2 cups) Lightly toasted whole blanched almonds
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) Granulated sugar
  • 2 oz (1/4 cup) Water
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz (1 tbsp) Butter, unsalted, soft
  • >12 oz (1-1/4 cups) Dark chocolate, melted, tempered
  • 1 tbsp Cocoa powder, sifted, or confectioners' sugar, sifted, for dusting

1. Place the almonds into a 300 degrees F oven in a baking pan or ovenproof bowl to warm them. Lightly oil a sheet pan.

2. Combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil and continue cooking until the sugar has caramelized to a light golden color (see Dry Sugar Cooking).

3. Add the almonds to the caramel and stir constantly over low heat to coat the nuts with the caramel.

4. When the nuts are evenly coated, add the butter and stir gently to melt the butter and coat the nuts.

5. Pour the nuts onto the prepared pan. Before they cool completely, separate them into individual nuts.

6. Allow the nuts to cool completely to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Put the nuts in the refiigerator for 5 minutes.

7. Place the chilled nuts in a large bowl. Add one third of the tempered chocolate. Stir vigorously until the nuts gather together in one mass, then break back apart into individual pieces.

8. Place the nuts in the refrigerator for 5 minutes. Repeat step 7 with another third of the chocolate.

9. Place the nuts back in the refrigerator for 5 minutes. Add the remaining chocolate and once again stir vigorously until the nuts gather together in one mass, and then break back apart into individual pieces.

10. Sprinkle the cocoa powder or confectioners' sugar on the nuts and stir lightly.

11. Shake the excess powder off the nuts. Store at room temperature.

Keys to Success
  • Begin with properly toasted almonds.
  • Be sure the almonds are hot when you add them to the caramel.
  • Keep the heat on low when coating the nuts with the caramel.
  • Do not stir excessively when adding the butter to the nuts. It is intended to coat them and make them easier to separate. not to mix into the caramel.
  • To avoid burns, wear food-handling gloves when separating the caramel-coated nuts.
  • Chilling the almonds before adding chocolate and between coats of chocolate speeds the process and reduces the amount of stirring required.
  • When adding the chocolate, be sure to stir until the nuts break apart into individual pieces.
 
  • from:
    Chocolates and Confections at Home
  • by
  • Wiley 2010
  • Hardcover; 304 pages; $34.95
  • ISBN: 0470189576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-470-18957-3
  • Reprinted by permission.

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This page created April 2010


 


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