For Your Consideration: Vegan Chocolate Praline Maple Bark

chocolatepralinescloseupForgive the hiatus. When Alan Arkin’s character in Argo (my pick for Best Movie of the Year even though I know those fools will give it to Lincoln) says something to the effect that the darkness of the movie business will eat your soul…Well, let’s just say it’s not an exaggeration, at least when it comes to my month.

When life gives you a pain in the ass? Make candy. Yes, it was raining this week, and my own blog tells us you shall not make candy on a wet day, yet if you aren’t particular about what kind of candy you end up with, go for it.

I started by riffing off of this recipe, brought to you by Disney: http://spoonful.com/recipes/dark-chocolate-praline.

What appealed to me about this recipe was it didn’t involve candy thermometers. It hearkened back to the days when you determined the candy was ready by eye.

We made two different versions of the recipe — one where we substituted all of the sugar for maple syrup and I got nervous and boiled it twice and it turned out chocolate caramel, and another where I cookingcandysubbed some of the sugar with maple sugar and some with syrup, poured it thick (because my Silpat was still in Michelle’s fridge, covered with caramel) and ended up with a nutty maple fudge or super thick pralines. Either way, a win/win, thanks to the power of positivity, brought to you by my other favorite movie this year, Silver Linings Playbook.

Watching great movies like Argo and Silver Linings Playbook has helped me not become like those bitter stuck-in-development-hell screenwriter types who can no longer write a word. Yet. Or maybe it was the bark.

praline_barkChocolate Praline Maple Nut Bark (vegan)
(adapted from Spoonful.com)

1 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup maple sugar
8 oz. of good, dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (which is usually vegan — check)
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 cup of nuts (I used pecans and hazelnuts)

In a good saucepan, heat the syrup, maple sugar, salt and vinegar while stirring constantly. When the mixture boils, stop stirring, turn down the heat, and allow the mixture to boil for 3 minutes without stirring it.

After 3 minutes, remove from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes. Add the chocolate and stir until it melts. Add nuts.chocolatemaplepralines

Pour onto a greased porcelain platter, no-stick baking pan, or Silpat and refrigerate until the candy is ready, about an hour. If you want pralines, use a spoon and make puddles, if bark, pour it all.

Other recipes will tell you to use buttered foil or waxed paper. You will never get the candy off if you do that. Insert clever metaphor for the movie business and/or writing here. I’m not a good enough writer to think of one — or so I’ve been told by producers on two continents. Stand by for me to prove them wrong.

veganchocolatepralinemaplefudge

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About bakingnotwriting

I'm a writer who is always baking! Or a baker who is always writing...No. Other way around.
This entry was posted in Candy, Chocolate, Dairy-free, Lactose-free, Vegan, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to For Your Consideration: Vegan Chocolate Praline Maple Bark

  1. Wichita Sims says:

    You BETTER have saved me some of that bark. That is not a request. It is a demand. OMG! I hope the bark is as delicious as your wonderful pictures.

  2. Sheryl says:

    I’m impressed that you were able to freeze most of it. I think that I might have ended up doing the reverse–eating most of it and freezing a little.

    • It was (is) soooo sweet that even my mother, a veteran sweet tooth, could only eat a little before stopping. The maple sugar is much more intensely sweet than refined sugar, even when mixed with very dark chocolate.

  3. ChgoJohn says:

    These look so very good. I’ll be sending the link to my vegan friends. They shall worship you and write minstrel songs honoring you. :)

  4. Could we have a party and thaw some of this amazing stuff? Maybe the minstrel singers could attend. This stuff looks amazing!

    • Sadly, I already thawed and gave it all away! However, I can and will make it again. It was so easy — and yummy!!!! Maybe even before the next meeting, if you’d like to taste it. I will make it “praline” style on a dry day so it looks cuter. :)

  5. Teeny Bikini says:

    There is something about how you weave the recipe and foodie-talk into your narrative that is so charming. Charming is the best word I can come up with around midnight… but you know what I mean? PS – I would bet money on Lincoln winning too…

    • I think I’m probably trying to be edgy…or something. But I’ll take charming! :) I liked Lincoln a lot but it could have been a play, you know? They only went outside like twice. There was no need to film it at all. Argo, on the other hand, really took me on an adventure. I also loved Silver Linings Playbook — my favorite movie by far about mental illness!

      • Teeny Bikini says:

        Oops. My bad. I meant to say edgy. Super duper edgy ;) I’ll have to check out Silver Linings Playbook though… I liked Bradley Cooper more before he became famous for some reason….

      • I like Bradley Cooper in this because he’s NUTS! Like, for reals bonkers. Makes me love him all over again. It would have been an obvious Ryan Gosling role but he’s done crazy before in Lars and the Real Girl (another FAV! Must see it if you haven’t yet!). Jennifer Lawrence also rules in this. I’m not in the Hunger Kill Kids or whatever so she was new to me but I adored her character too. Why don’t we have more real, unstable people in movies? We need them. :)

      • Teeny Bikini says:

        I am lovin’ your movie reviews. Now, I am gonna rent this one – and trust me, I wouldn’t have before. Is this a new career? The Cooking Movie Reviewer. Eats and Flicks? How about Movies and Vittles? Um.. I am still working on it… :)

  6. Flix and food? Actually, that goes well together because you could make movie snacks that went with the film. In Silver Linings Playbook, Bradley Cooper’s Mom makes these special game day snacks called “Homemades” and I have no idea what they are. A Philly thing, I guess. Rolled up cold cuts filled with cheese steak?

  7. Pingback: 15 Blogs to Check Out! | Honk If You're Vegan

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