How to make Hazelnut Praline
Praline is easy to make, yet it can dress a cake, add crunch to ice cream or chocolate and be the ultimate carrier of flaked sea salt…… I always have a container of praline. I keep it in the fridge or freezer , ready to be called into service to work it’s crunchy magic. I also keep a container at work, to use for desserts in photos or top a birthday cake. Unfortunately, there is a praline addict in the office, so sometimes there is nothing more than an empty container.
You can make praline with any nut, although my favourite is hazelnut. It always has a lovely shape and shine making it look good both as a slab or crushed into a powder. Their only drawback is that they are often sold in their ugly brown coats. These have to be rubbed off after roasting. I prefer to buy roasted skinned hazelnuts if possible.
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 50 gm nuts (toasted)
- a drop of lemon juice (will help stop crystals forming)
- 1 baking sheet lined with baking paper
- Place the sugar in a thick bottomed pot with the water and lemon on medium heat.
- Swirl a little to spread the water to start, and make sure all the sugar crystals are covered with the water as the pot heats.
- Cook until starting to colour around the edges. Swirl the pot to stop the sugar burning in spots and to gather up any unmelted sugar crystals, 6-8 minutes, dont stir the pot. It may look quite crystally at this stage but this should pass.
- Watch it carefully and when it is golden add the nuts
- Pour quickly onto the prepared tray ( it sets very fast) and push out a bit with the edge of your pot to spread. DO NOT TOUCH IT
- Let it cool completely before breaking into shards or whizzing to a powder in the food processor
This is a tiramisu cake . Mascapone is dusted with chocolate nuts and praline.
Salted peanut praline. This has less nuts and more praline