How to make Hazelnut Praline

Hazelnut Praline
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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.

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Hazelnut Praline
 
My Kitchen Stories: 
Praline just takes practise. It's cheap to make. Make it 3 or 4 times with out the nuts.
Ingredients
Have all the ingredients ready and on hand. especially the tray. have the nuts handy and roasted waiting
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Place the sugar in a thick bottomed pot with the water and lemon on medium heat.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Watch it carefully and when it is golden add the nuts
  5. 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
  6. Let it cool completely before breaking into shards or whizzing to a powder in the food processor
TIPS : Always use roasted nuts. Dont stir the sugar as it is cooking, it will crystallise. Have EVERYTHING ready before beginning. Use a baking sheet and paper, there is no need for oiling, ( I don't like the taste and texture on the finished product.) Dont worry if it looks very dark brown... it will be ok, but black just wont cut it!
Use walnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, almonds, mixed nuts. Use less nuts if you want a more sugary praline and a bit of salt if you like.
Store in an airtight container in the freezer and take out when needed
Make a double recipe so it spreads
 

This is a tiramisu cake . Mascapone is dusted with chocolate nuts and praline.

Salted peanut praline. This has less nuts and more praline

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