I'm making my own nut pastes but I can't get them as smooth as the ones in the can. Inevitably, a few people complain it's gritty. I've tried using a Wearing commercial food processor but that's not doing the trick. Would a robo-coupe be better or am I not going to be able to get it perfect with a fod processor?
I don't think you can get it smooth with a food processor. Definitely not at Robot Coupe. They only have a 5 minute duty cycle, not nearly enough time to get it smooth. There is specialty equipment for this.
When you say praline I am assuming praliné. Nuts cooked in sugar?
If you were just grinding nuts then this would be no problem. The challenge is the caramelized sugar. That's what you're having trouble grinding fine. The style for this kind of praliné is a l'Ancienne. You may find that you want/need a roll mill to refine this.
Hi Clay, would a melanger/grinder such as the cocoatown one do this job fine?
Or this other one:
I have never used either of these machines to make praliné, so I don't know from experience.
There's not a whole lot of difference between to the two outside the configuration of the stones.
The one at nutbuttergrinder.com is more like a small Santha. I would go with the CocoaTown 12SLTA over the straight SL as I think it's more robust and the tension is more easily adjustable.
I have used the CocoaTowns to make nut butters using unrefined evaporated cane juice and I can say that they do a good job of making a rustic praliné, which is what I was looking to do. You still have the same problem of jamming the rollers if you try to fill the machines too quickly - there's just not enough torque provided by the motor/belt. So you do have to start out slowly and add the nuts a little bit at a time. I never ran the praliné for more than a couple of hours, but I imagine that if you ran it long enough you'd be able to grind the sugar to the point it wasn't detectable.
In two courses that I attended, we made our own praline using a Robot Coupe Blixer 3. The praline was used for filling. The result was very good.
It could also be that longer processing is already enough. I was doing praliné with a Magimix (which should be roughly equal to your Wearing food processor), and it really took at least 10-15 minutes of processing until the paste was OK. Only to be sure: I used roasted nuts thrown into caramelized sugar, let them cool down, and then put the caramel-nut pieces into the food processor.
If you want to make a nut paste and no praliné, it is very similar. It also takes at least 10 minutes of processing before the nuts properly release their oil. In addtion, the type of nuts used makes a big difference. I would say, the higher the fat content, the easier to make a paste (e.g. Pecan nuts...). Alternatively, it helps to add a little bit of oil to the nuts before or during processing, such as some nut oil or a neutral tasting oil.
However, the earlier comments are all true, you'll never get a perfectly smooth praliné paste or nut paste with a food processor. There will always be a perceivable 'graininess', but for fillings I found it still fairly good and usable!
Yes I mean praliné. Thank you everyone for your answers. I'm glad I didn't buy the Robot Coupe.
Would someone provide links to some roll mills?
I am in the midst of working on a relationship with an Italian roll mill manufacturer (stone rollers) that makes 2- and 3-roll mills designed for making nut pastes, smooth pralinés, and giandujas that can also be used in making chocolate from the bean. The throat widths are > 300mm.
You can get small lab 2- and 3-roll (steel) mills made here in the US with 125mm (~5") throats designed for working with paints and cosmetics. These use steel rollers and are for lab use. They might have enough throughput for your need.
I will be getting prices shortly and let you know what I find.
Thank you Clay!
If you want to go the other route (and invest 25K) -Selmi Micron Ball Refiner is what we use.