How to make praslin or caramelised nuts (powder and cream)
 
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This is one of the basics of French pâtisserie (pastry) you will use it for ice-cream, custards, pastry creams as a cream or sprinkle it in its powdered form on any dessert. It can be kept in a jar with a lid for a long time...
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Recipe type: basic
Cuisine: French
Ingredients
  • 250g (8.8 oz) nuts (50% hazelnuts 50% almonds) with skin on
  • 170g (6 oz) of white sugar, any crystal size
  • 20 ml (0.7 oz) water
Instructions
  1. Put the sugar in a frying pan. I use non-stick. Add water.
  2. Bring the sugar and water mix to the boil to reach 121°C (250°F). I suggest you use a sugar thermometer (there is risk of ruining your beautiful nuts...) but you can do without. You need to look for larger bubbles and a thicker syrup. This is when it reaches the right temperature.
  3. Tip the nuts in the sugar, stir to make sure you coat them all with the syrup with a wooden spoon.
  4. Keep on stirring and notice the sugar turning white... The sugar then reaches a strange state we call "sabler" sanding, it does look like sand.
  5. Turn the stove down to avoid burning the nuts. A medium heat is fine. Look for darker marks on the nuts. If you get any, take the pan off for a few seconds and turn the temperature down.
  6. Keep on stirring on medium heat to melt all the "sanded" sugar.
  7. Here you are! All the sugar has melted and turned into caramel. You have managed your stove temperature to avoid burning the nuts.
  8. Tip the caramelised nuts on a silicon mat or marble. Let it cool completely.
  9. You can proceed to the next step when the caramel is cold. Take it off the mat. Break it into 2 to 5 cm pieces (1.2 to 2 in).
  10. Place broken pieces in the bowl of a food processor respecting the limit. Whizz until you get coarse praslin. You can decide to have a finer praslin. Then add a few minutes of chopping.
  11. Now, if your recipe requires a paste, you need to wait for a longer time. Don't despair... the powder will start to go up the sides. Just push it down regularly. The paste has to remain near the blade.
  12. And finally... here it is! The beautiful paste! You will be able to use it as a spread, create wonderful praslin swirls in vanilla ice-cream, flavour custards and pastry cream, chocolate mousse, etc.
Recipe by The Flo Show.com at http://www.thefloshow.com/how-to-make-praslin-or-caramelised-nuts-powder-and-cream/