Fruit caramel pecan turtles

Fruit caramel pecan turtles

By
From
Deep South
Makes
30
Photographer
Andy Sewell

A few weeks before Christmas each year, my mother makes up to a dozen varieties of sweet treats and savoury snacks to keep around the house. Her turtles are one of my favourites. Since they remind me of the season of giving, I would recommend them as the perfect gift at any time of year for a friend with a sweet tooth.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
100g dried peaches or apricots
200g granulated sugar
80ml double cream
30g unsalted butter
20g light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
150g pecan halves
400g good-quality chocolate powder, finely chopped, (at least 55 per cent cocoa solids)
coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

Method

  1. Put the dried peaches or apricots in a pan, cover with water and simmer until soft. Transfer to a blender and process until very smooth, adding just enough of the cooking liquid to enable the blender to turn.
  2. Weigh out 100g of the fruit purée. Put it in a pan with the sugar, cream, butter, corn syrup and sea salt. Cook, stirring constantly, over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Allow the mixture to simmer, without stirring, until it reaches 120°C on a sugar thermometer. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  3. Spread the pecan halves out on a baking tray, place in an oven heated to 180°C and toast for 10–15 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool. On a baking sheet lined with baking parchment, line up the pecan halves in groups of 4, reserving a few for sprinkling. Scoop a dollop of the fruit caramel mixture into the middle of each group. Leave the turtles in the fridge to chill while preparing the chocolate.
  4. Before coating the turtles in the chocolate, you will need to temper it. Melt 300g of the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the base of the bowl. (Alternatively melt it in a microwave, heating it in 20–30-second bursts and stirring gently between each one). Use a digital thermometer to check the temperature of the melted chocolate; it should be 53–55°C. Add the remaining chocolate, a little at a time, stirring gently and checking the temperature regularly; it should reduce to 28–29°C (you might not need to add all the remaining chocolate). Once it reaches the correct temperature, reheat it slightly so the temperature rises to 31– 32°C. To do this, place the pan back over the simmering water briefly or give it a few seconds in the microwave. Check the temperature of the chocolate and stir gently.
  5. Dip the turtles in the warm chocolate, one by one. Place on baking parchment, sprinkle each one with a few grains of coarse sea salt and some crushed pecans and leave to set.
Tags:
American
Southern cooking
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