Making French praline with almonds at home might seem a little fussy, but it’s not hard to do, and its impact on flavour, texture and presentation is undeniable.You will need:

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 150g almonds, hazelnuts or other nuts
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  1. Start out with a cold pan and add the sugar followed by water.
  2. Keep the heat low to start with.
  3. It should melt slowly but visibly, and with minimal bubbling.
  4. Don’t be tempted to stir too much, jut leave the sugar to melt.
  5. Vigorous stirring brings the solution into contact with the sides of the pan, where sudden temperature increases are likely.
  6. This could then lead to the sugar re-crystallising and ruining the whole batch.
  7. A mug of water and a pastry brush can be useful here. If you do see bubbling at the edge of the pan, brush a little water just above it to interrupt the crystallisation.
  8. Once the melted sugar is starting to colour, feel free to gently stir or swirl the pan to promote even caramelisation.
  9. Once it has liquified, raise the heat.
  10. Once it reaches the desired colour, add the nuts and turn off the heat.
  11. Give it a stir or swirl the pan to coat and distribute the nuts properly, then pour immediately onto a metal tray lined with baking parchment.
  12. Leave to cool undisturbed, then it’s ready to use.