- Line a cutting board with a silicone baking mat, or lightly grease a baking sheet.
- Combine the sugar and corn syrup with 3 tsp water in a small saucepan. Stir together, then set the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, undisturbed. Continue cooking without stirring until the mixture takes on a light golden color, 3 - 5 minutes.
- Take the pan off heat and quickly stir in pistachios, mixing until the nuts are well coated with syrup. Pour the mixture out onto silicone mat and let cool completely. Transfer the praline to a cutting board and chop into small pieces. Keep praline in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.
Taken from Philadelphia's pie boutique Magpie, this candy was surprisingly easy to make and makes a deliciously crunchy garnish!
This is from Extraordinary Desserts' bake book Extraordinary Cakes, which I've replicated here as an easy reference to myself since I always bake from my phone. I would highly recommend picking up their book - as complicated as many of the recipes may seem, once I wrapped my mind around the ingredients lists and components, they haven't taken me more than 3 hours to both make and do ongoing clean-up (and as you can see, results in some seriously beautiful and decadent desserts!). Even better, they're not to the usual saccharinely American-sweet standards - I would suggest making it to the letter first and then adjust from there to your own taste.
As for this particular recipe, I've seriously made it 3 times in less than 2 weeks - that's how quickly it's been disappearing. The cake is wonderfully moist, even after sitting out overnight with no cover, and the chocolate crisp is a huge hit amongst all age groups. Even the frosting is quickly becoming my favorite - I'm usually not a huge fan of frosting (especially the infamous buttercream) but this didn't have nearly as much cloying butter and the 100% cocoa powder helped to cut the sweetness to something that complements the cake.
This was modified from original recipes, which for the most part, ask for equal parts sugar and water for the candy-ing process. But I simply couldn't stomach how much of a syrup it turned everything into - as one of my friends put it, they were like gummy bears - so I went for more blanching rather than sugar-preserving. The lime peels I found to be more bitter, so I blanched them for longer before chilling.
Part of the reason I started baking was because I like my goodies to be less obviously sweet - I want to taste the flavor, not just the sugar. So most of these recipes will have the sugar dialed down.