How to Make Praline
Knowing how to make praline will allow for a fantastic sweet twist to the serving of any type of nut. The following ‘how to’ breaks down this simple process for you. The first stage requires you to make caramel.
1- Calculate the ratio beforehand. Quantities will vary according to how much caramel you want to make. 300g of sugar can be made into hard caramel with six tablespoons of water.
2- Stir over heat. Stir the sugar and water together in a deep, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Once the sugar is dissolved, stop stirring.
3- Remove grains. Use a pastry brush dipped in water to get rid of any crystals of sugar clinging to the sides of the pan. If not removed, they can turn your caramel grainy.
4- Boil to desired colour. Increase the heat and bring the syrup to a boil until the sugar turns golden-brown. Caramel can burn very easily, so watch it carefully.
5- Cool quickly. When the caramel is done, plunge the base of the pan into a sink full of cold water for a minute. This stops the caramel from cooking further and getting too brown.
6- Stir in nuts. Stir toasted, skinned almonds or hazelnuts into the caramel a few minutes before it is finished cooking.
7- Place on parchment. Pour the mixture out onto a baking tray lined with parchment and allow to cool completely. It is extremely hot so don’t touch until fully cooled.
8- Break caramel. Once set, break the hard caramel into pieces and blend in a food processor to a fine powder.
Use as a delicious topping for desserts such as ice-cream.
Try different types of sugar for different tastes and colours. I’m a particular fan of all thing dark muscavado.