1teaspoonlemon Juicewill help stop crystals forming
1baking 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. Using a fork or spoon could help but they will start to get sticky and make a mess. it is easier to pick up the tray and tilt back and forth to help the liquid sugar spread.
Let it cool completely before breaking into shards or whizzing to a powder in the food processor
Make sure everything is ready to go before you start
Some people like to use a pastry brush and a cup of cold water to wash down the crystals that form on the side of the pot. The crystals if formed can cause the whole pot of sugar to crystallise into a mass. If this happens don’t touch it, it’s hot. It can be fixed but for this small amount it is better to start again. For larger more expensive amounts of sugar wet the pastry brush and dab at the sides of the sugar as it is cooking to dislodge sugar that may be on the sides of the pot after swirling. This will cause steam so beware. This can happen and it is why I use lemon to stop the crystallisation. It’s cause I am a bit lazy.
Light brown amber to a very dark colour is great but if it goes black and smokey start again ( sugar is cheap practice)
Always use baking paper or a pastry mat. This makes the praline easy to move
Never ever touch the sugar and be careful not to drop any on your skin. don’t use your fingers to taste or to stop drips etc. This will burn you!
Please note you can keep praline indefinitely in the freezer ( and you should)
Don’t decorate a cake with praline and refrigerate as it will melt. decorate with praline just before serving