Sunday, October 26, 2008

Decadent: Fudge Pralines with Cardamom and Chocolate

Chocolate Pralines with Cardamom and Chocolate (01) by MeetaK

Diwali for me in Germany is just like any other day in the week. Unlike the glamorous festivities celebrated in India or even those in Qatar, around Diwali I normally become rather wistful. If it was not for my parents, family and friends who write, send cards and call, wishing me a Happy Diwali, why I might even forget this vibrant festival.

Nostalgia often takes over and I often remember those Diwali's I spent with my nana and nani - my grandparents - in Delhi. That was a long time ago. I was just a little girl of 6, 7 or 8 years old, but a few memories are etched in my head like prominent, deep carvings in wood.  I remember my grandfather telling stories to me, my cousins and the neighborhood children and my grandmother handing out bowls of gajar ka halwa - a sweet carrot pudding.

I specifically remember the few days leading up to the Diwali festival. It was always a busy time. My nani would guide us through the busy markets for fresh fruit, vegetables and spices. I can still smell the distinct fragrance of mixed spices in my nostrils as I remember those small narrow shops with the vendors perched on a higher platform and glass aquarium-like chests filled with colorful powdered or whole spices in front of them. It seemed there was no fixed price for anything. When it was decided what was required the bartering would begin. Each vendor shouting down his price and my nani, shaking her head in disagreement. Once a price was reached that both parties found acceptable, the spices were packed in small cone-shaped bags, rolled out of newspapers.

With baskets filled with produce, sweets, spices and decorations we would return back home. My nana would get a scolding from nani for sitting on the veranda and reading the paper - "There is so much to be done!" she would exclaim.

In the kitchen my mum, aunts and the cook were already busy preparing a few of the several sweets that are enjoyed during the Diwali festival. Nani would quickly examine each creation, sneaking a tiny portion of burfi or a jalebi for me, then she would rush out to instruct the househelp of the next chores.

Chocolate Pralines with Cardamom and Chocolate (02) by MeetaK

I would take my loot of warm jalebis and burfi and rush out to nana, who was still on the veranda reading his paper. I would bite off a piece of the syrupy jalebi and give the rest to him. He would smile and from out of his pocket he would pull out a small newspaper parcel. Carefully he would open it to reveal some fresh sooji ka halwa, made with semolina, cardamoms, nuts and raisins, he had saved from his morning trip to the gurudwara.  Sitting on his lap we would share and relish the sweets. As we sat there licking our lips my nani would come rushing out, on her way she would scold my nana. He would just look at me and wink.

I am sure my nana would have loved these pralines. They are soft, fudge-y and literally melt in your fingers. The fragrance of cardamom takes me back instantly to those small narrow spice shops in Delhi. In these pralines, paired with the creamy chocolate ganache, it adds a tinge extrinsic flavor.

Although they are not your typical Indian Diwali-time sweets, my nana was always zealous to do things the "uncommon" way - who knows one might just learn something new or even like it. So with that in my head I am celebrating Diwali with these fudge pralines. 

 

Fudge Pralines with Cardamom and Chocolate

Ingredients
Printable version of recipe here.

Makes approx. 25 pralines

300g bitter-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
90g heavy cream
60g butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
20g bitter-sweet cocoa powder

Method

In a saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from heat and then add the chocolate and butter. Allow to melt, then stir with a rubber spatula to incorporate.

Add about 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom. For approx. 3-4 hours place in the refrigerator to cool.

Take the thickened mixture out and leave at room temperature to allow it to soften slightly. With an electric whisk, whisk until smooth and creamy.

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper.

Using two teaspoons form 25 small heaped moulds on the cookie tray. In a shallow dish mix the cocoa powder with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cardamom. Gently roll each praline in the cocoa-cardamom powder to coat.

Place them on the cookie tray again and then cool in the refrigerator for an hour.

Note:
If you are giving these as presents, you can place each praline in individual praline paper forms and place in a gift box lined with colored crepe paper. 

 


Verdict

Chocolate Pralines with Cardamom and Chocolate (03) by MeetaK

As each tiny praline touches your tongue it will start to melt, releasing all its delicious flavor. At first the bitter-sweet cocoa powder with the hint of cardamom, then as the sweet creamy ganache melts, you will experience the zing of the cardamom. It'll have you licking your fingers! They are rich and often 2 or 3 will suffice. But that's OK - as a little goes a long way!

Wishing all my family, friends, blog buddies and readers a peaceful and joyous Diwali!

A box of these are on their way to Srivalli of Cooking 4 All Seasons who is this month's guest hostess for Jihva For Ingredients (JFI). This month's theme is appropriately Festival Treats.

You might like these sweet treats from WFLH:

Matcha Pralines 06 framed Matcha White Chocolate Pralines with Pistachios
HavannaPraline3 Havana Pralines
NougatOrangeTreats2 Nougat Orange Treats

From around the blogs:

 

Daily Tiffin Reading Tip:

Over at the Daily Tiffin, I have put together a list of scrumptious ideas and recommendations for Diwali sweet treats. Come have a look!

 


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2008 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

51 comments :

  1. Gorgeous and absolutely delicious Meeta! The cardamom is a lovely touch in these decadent beauties.

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  2. wow these are like little jems. I really enjoyed reading your post. :)

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  3. I love reading about your recollections of the Diwali festivals!! And my oh my, that fudge is the EPITOME of decadence.... yum!! I wonder how a carob version would turn out....

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  4. They look absolutely gorgeous Meeta.

    Happy Diwali to you and your family.

    Have been caught up in something last couple of days, so could not keep in touch :(.

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  5. Oh, Meeta, ich lesen immer gerne in Deinem Blog, aber der heutige Beitrag ist einmalig... so rührend, so poetisch geschrieben, so voller Erinnerungen und Gefühl... wunderwunderschön.
    Mein Kompliment und die besten Wünsche für ein schönes Fest für Dich und Deinen Lieben von
    Lorelei

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  6. Are those approved for breakfast? Because I really want some and haven't had my breakfast.
    Beautiful memories Meeta.

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  7. those are so cute! i bet they are quite decadent and rich-I'm going to have to try these for sure!

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  8. Hello Meeta, My first time on your blog. You have a wonderful blog. The chocs are sooo yummy looking..

    I was very amazed at your "about me" section.. the confidence is praiseworthy! Let me wish you & ur family a very very Happy Diwali..

    may I invite you to read my Diwali special recipe here:
    http://foodmazaa.blogspot.com/2008/10/diwali-special-mysore-pak.html

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  9. Meeta the Pralines look gorgeous.

    They seem pretty easy to make. I was always under the impression that they might involve a complicated process of making.

    Now i might give it a try. Thank u so much for sharing.

    Happy Diwali!!

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  10. That was an absolutely beautiful account of your childhood diwali's.

    The pralines look delicious!

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  11. Absolutely Gorgeous.I love it.They are bookmarked.
    Happy Diwali !

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  12. Being an ex-pat myself I always feel nostalgic about my country and I like recording some memories I have for my children to read them one day as they don't know much about my country. I am sure your child will read them one day as well and learn a lot about India. These pralines are so easy to make and although I have made chocolates before using same ingredients I have never thought of whisking them. They look lovely.

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  13. This looks so yummy, Meeta. I always said that I should use more cardamom. Can't wait to try this decadent bites!

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  14. gosh, this is heaven!! haven't put any spice in my truffles or praline just yet, i'm tempted! would be perfect for X-mas gift!

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  15. We never have enough of chocolate and spice, do we? I am loving this recipe! Will try it for Xmas!

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  16. What lovely memories, Meeta! And lovely pralines, too. I love the addition of the cardamom.

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  17. Meeta, where are the pistachios?! haha, jk.
    there is no question that anything that goes through your hands (w/ pistachios or not) comes out like a piece of edible art :)
    your story of the markets reminded me of the souqs in the Middle East. I miss the price haggling :)

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  18. Hi Meeta,

    I love all the story & memories..and the delicious "decadent" dessert!!

    These stunning fudge pralines melting in the mouth, make me jump for a joy!!

    Wishing you and all your family a Happy Diwali!! and thanks for give me a sweet week beginning! :-)

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  19. hummm!!!! They look delicious and cardammon-chocolate mix is great!!

    Ana

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  20. I love the dusting of bitter cocoa powder, a nice contrast to the sweet inside.

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  21. Nothing but memories remain :-)...and I am literally craving those pralines!

    Happy Diwali to you and yours, dear Meeta :-)

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  22. These will make wonderful goodie bags in the holiday season - tks for sharing both the recipe and your memories, darling!

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  23. Wish you and your family a really Special Diwali Meeta! its the same in US too, but hey, its up to us how much fun and traditional we wanna get for Diwali, right?!:)

    hope you have a great week! the pralines look utterly delicious!:)

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  24. Same for me in U.S. Just another day at work with some Burgers...

    --------------------------
    A Complete Indian Guide:
    Http://www.EZCelebrate.com

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  25. Love the pralines... does carob taste bitter than the regular baking cocoa? I bought a box yesterday and I am wondering if I should open it.
    Wish you a very happy Deepavali.

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  26. Happy Diwali to you; the post was lovely and vibrant :)

    I must make these, I love chocolate and cardamom, but I have never had them together.

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  27. my mouth's watering Meeta! they look absolutely delishhh!!!!!!

    Festival wishes to u too!

    Regards,
    Veda

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  28. What a fancy treat! I would truly love to visit your kitchen!

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  29. Love this post Meeta! Thank you for sharing your wonderful, personal stories with us as well as your delicious looking recipes.

    p.s. I'd love to try burfi - looks yummy! Too bad we don't have a candy shop in Orange County (Southern California) that sells these treats!

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  30. Makes me can't wait for Christmas when all the candy goodies come out!

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  31. Thanks for the lovely entry..it sure looks yum!

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  32. Homemade praline! Way cool! I will love to give this a try!

    Happy Deepavali! (That's how we say it here in Singapore ;) )

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  33. What wonderful memories, and a great treat to help bring back those memories!

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  34. wow the pralines look absolutely delicious Meeta. Happy diwali to you and your family!

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  35. Meeta, thanks for bringing us down to your memory lane! And I am speechless to these fudge pralines!!! They look so gorgeous, and I know they must taste fantastic!

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  36. I have an award for you on my blog. Please stop by when you get a chance.

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  37. Happy Deepavali to you and your family, Meeta! Pralines look divine!

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  38. These must taste fantastic, Meeta! Cardamom is among my favorite spices!

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  39. Wistful post Meeta...with memories as clear as crystal & laden with nostalgia. The pralines are gorgeous...Happy Diwali to you too dear girl.

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  40. I love reading your stories about your family! I wish I grew up surrounded by such delicious-sounding Indian sweets!

    Beautiful truffles, and I'm sure your nana would love them! Happy Diwali!

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  41. A very Hapy Diwali to you and your family, Meeta!
    Praline for Diwali - why not!

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  42. Happy Diwali!! The fudge pralines look extremely delicious!

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  43. Those look incredibly rich and so delicious. Hope you have a Happy Diwali!

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  44. Oh how perfect! I think this will be my treat to myself for getting through the last couple weeks of midterms. I really like cardamom, and remember well what wonderful things you did with it in the nectarine-mascarpone tart. Thank you!

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  45. Thank you everyone for your wonderful Diwali wishes! I am glad I was able to share these fond memories with you and trust me you'll love these pralines. Dig in!!!

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  46. Happy belated Diwali! I just got a package from one reader from India with tins of goodies to wish us her best for the year. You know I love your combo of cardamom and chocolate...:)

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  47. Hi Meeta, thank you for your wonderful recipes and mouthwatering pictures!

    I would like to make these gorgeous looking pralines. So I've got a question regarding the heavy cream: Did you use Schlagsahne for it or Crème Double? Thanks a lot for your answer!

    Have a good weekend...

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  48. Thanks Helen! Hope you are enjoying eating your way through those sweets! Cardamom and choc are always a winner!

    Manuela - yes i used schlagsahne for this. however i have to say i normally use "bio schlagsahne" which i have found to be thicker/creamier than the normal types.

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  49. Those look so good! I am going to have to try the chocolate and cardamom combo.

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  50. This recipe is really going to keep me busy in the kitchen with all its glamor. This is another must for the weekend! My kids would just hug me for this.

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta