For the Vanilla Sponge Cake
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar (adjust according to taste)
- 1 cup thick yogurt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- a pinch of salt
1 cup is around 200 gram
For the Soft Praline Candy
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup milk
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup chopped Nuts (cashews, almonds, pecans, walnuts etc.)
For hard praline
- 3/4 granulated white sugar
- 3/8 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 milk – whole is preferred but 2% is fine
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup chopped Nuts of your choice
Only difference between soft & hard pralines is the amount of butter & milk used
- Boil equal amounts of water and sugar for 5 minutes till sugar has dissolved and you have a thick syrup. Let it cool completely.
- 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar (adjust to taste)
OPTIONAL – If you don’t want to make Praline at home, you can always use store bought praline
- Preheat oven to 160 C / 325 F (if using Convection oven, reduce to 140 or 150 C and cover the pan with foil to avoid burning of the cake top). Grease and line baking pan.
- Cream the yogurt and sugar together. Add baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well and allow to sit for 5 minutes. You’ll see a lot of air bubbles.
- Add the vanilla extract and oil and mix well.
- Sift in the all purpose flour and mix gently to form a smooth batter.
- Pour into the cake pan. Bake at 160 C for 30-35 minutes or until the cake is done. Let it cool completely and cut into 2 or 3 layers.
- Before starting to cook, lay out a piece of parchment, aluminum foil, or a silpat for the pralines. Set a second spoon nearby in case you need to scrape the candy off the first spoon
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Do not use a smaller pan as the syrup will bubble up during cooking. It’s also harder to stir in a smaller pan.
- Cook the syrup over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. When it comes to a boil, start stirring constantly. Let it boil for about 3 minutes. (If you have a candy thermometer, check if the syrup registers 238°f – 240°F)
- Remove the pan from heat immediately and keep stirring. It will become creamy, cloudy, and start to thicken. When you feel it starting to get grainy, the pralines are ready.
- Either drop spoon full of the mixture onto the prepared sheet working quickly, OR pour the entire mixture onto the prepared sheet in an even layer. Let it cool for 30 minutes.
- If you are making hard praline, it would have crystallized and hardened. Break it up, and run it through the food processor to get praline crumbs. If you’re making soft praline candy, they won’t harden much. You’ll have to scrape them out and roll into small candy balls. Kepe in the fridge until use.
Praline Whipped Cream
- Whip the cream and sugar together until you have soft peaks.
- If you have leftover syrup from the praline, add it to the whipped cream. Else, use the praline crumbs and add it to the cream. Whip again till you have stiff peaks. Keep it chilled until use.
Making the layer Praline Vanilla Gateau
- Prick holes on the cake with a fork. Brush with lots of sugar syrup / juice to keep the cake moist.
- Add a dollop of the whipped cream and slather it.
- Add praline crumbs / soft praline bits on the cream.
- Close with the next layer. Repeat with layers.
- Cover the entire cake with remaining whipped cream
- Decorate the top and sides with Praline crumbs / Soft Praline as desired.
- Keep it chilled until serving.