Dani Savoy says there’s a trick to making pralines that aren’t grainy or crunchy.
You should probably trust him. Not only has she been making them this way for years, but her pralines will be one of the main attractions at her store, Dani’s Candies, which opens on Friday.
It takes patience, she says, and knowing that everything affects candy making. She uses specific brands for each ingredient. Start by cooking the candy on the stove at a lower temperature than most people. Leave to cool in the pan before starting to unmold them.
“It’s like making fudge, but you cook it a little longer and you don’t make chocolate,” she said. “You have to cream it, like you would cream caramel. And you should never take them straight out of the jar onto the paper. Then they sink and they spread out. You’ll want to take the shine out of it because if it’s shiny, it’s going to be fluffy.
Savoy, a native of St. Martinville, will open his business on Friday at 1921 Kaliste Saloom Road, Suite 111, in the Parc Lafayette shopping center which will also offer cheesecakes, pies and other items. It’s the first business venture for Savoy, who worked as a chef when The Ruins opened nearby and later took over private events and offered pralines as a token of appreciation to guests.
These guests, she said, were so impressed that they recommended she start selling them. About seven years ago, she started making them and shipping them across the country.
“I learned to make pralines with my grandmother,” she said. “I was probably around 17 when I could do them without anyone helping me. They aren’t hard and brittle, and they don’t taste gritty. I am a perfectionist. I tell you, if a candy doesn’t come out well, I won’t serve it to anyone.
Savoy will open in the former space of Indulge, the dessert shop that recently closed, and next door to Caroline’s Cookies, the popular cookie shop that 19-year-old Caroline Merryman opened last year. The store will also offer ice cream, brownies and other items, much of which will be prepared in front of the window so customers can see how the items are prepared.
“That’s why I wanted this open window concept,” she said. “People will be able to see what I’m doing.”