I love praline with any nut in the world. It’s sweet, caramelized, crispy and a perfect addition to many savoury and sweet dishes. It can sound complicated, but the truth is that once you learn how to make praline, you’re going to want to add it to everything all the time.
Options for your praline
Making praline is pretty easy and once you get the hang of it you’ll even keep a stash. It’s really good in salads to give them a crispy touch. Of course, it’s also great in desserts like in my crêpe cake, banana ice cream, chocolate mousse, etc. In this case, I made a hazelnut praline for my almond and chocolate cake, but you can use almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, peanuts, pistachios… whichever you prefer!
I recommend that you always avoid placing praline in the fridge for a long period of time. If it’s there for too long, the humidity will make it melt and lose its crispiness. The ideal is to keep it at room temperature in an airtight container until it’s time to serve. Before serving, give the container a shake. This will divide the little pieces that tend to stick to each other a bit. Where it DOES stay really crispy is in the freezer, so feel free to add it to your favourite ice creams.
Once the praline is ready, you can chop it up using a knife (I personally prefer this). You could also use a food processor, depending on the size you want to chop it to. In general, I recommend that you chop it small so that you don’t break someone’s teeth. Of course, don’t chop it SO small that you barely feel it anymore. If you use a food processor, you can actually make a praline paste. It’s basically a nut butter made with caramel. It’s used in many sweet preparations!
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 100 g any type of nuts hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, etc.
- *WARNING* Caramel, even though it might not look like it, is really hot. Be careful not to burn yourself and keep kids away while you make it.
- For the caramel, sprinkle a thin layer of sugar on the pan. Make sure that the pan is really clean before you start; if it has impurities or fat, it will crystalize the caramel. It helps also if your pan is of a light colour so you can see the caramel as it becomes darker. Place the pan over medium heat.
- When you see that the sugar is starting to melt around the edges and in other parts of the pan, lower the heat to medium-low and sprinkle more sugar over the melted regions, also in a thin layer. Don't use a utensil to stir at any point. If you need to give it a mix, do so by tilting and spinning the pan from the handle.
- The caramel will continue to melt. Control the heat so that it doesn't burn and if you need to stir do so with the handle of the pan.
- Once melted and golden, add your nuts and mix immediately. Transfer the caramel with the nuts carefully onto a silicone mat or silpat or greased pan.
- Let it cool down completely and then chop it up or process it.