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
- Start out with a cold pan and add the sugar followed by water.
- Keep the heat low to start with.
- It should melt slowly but visibly, and with minimal bubbling.
- Don’t be tempted to stir too much, jut leave the sugar to melt.
- Vigorous stirring brings the solution into contact with the sides of the pan, where sudden temperature increases are likely.
- This could then lead to the sugar re-crystallising and ruining the whole batch.
- 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.
- Once the melted sugar is starting to colour, feel free to gently stir or swirl the pan to promote even caramelisation.
- Once it has liquified, raise the heat.
- Once it reaches the desired colour, add the nuts and turn off the heat.
- 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.
- Leave to cool undisturbed, then it’s ready to use.