Christmas Foody Ideas #1 Almond Praline
Arhhhhhhhhhh this stuff is amazing, I know its super simple but that makes it all the more fun, I decided the only thing I like more than almond praline are Macarons, quite fitting as they both have lots of almonds in, so I suppose I must thank the humble almond for my favorite sweet treats.
Warnings need to be iterated before we start:
1.Don’t use a pan you like, go for one which you don’t really like at all, cleaning up after caramelized sugar is not a fun thing.
2. Melted sugar is hotter than the sun, don’t think you can sneak a warm caramel almond, you can’t, the burn on my first finger and thumb demonstrate this.
3. It is addictive, insanely moreish, and I feel really sick because I’ve eaten probably nearly half a batch, and am now not sure what to do with my sugary sickly slightly self-pitying state.
My kitchen looks a bit like an experimentation lab at the moment, alas, recipes are finalized and a baking marathon is in order to get my Christmas hampers finished, which now means a blogging marathon to tell as many people as I can about it.
Good news also, my camera is going to be replaced, the one with the leaky battery, so some time in the not so distant future, non-fuzzy photos should be hitting my little internet space!
Recipe, just two things:
Equal measures of plain almonds and granulated sugar
I wouldn’t do more than 200g of each at a time, because you must NOT stir the mix, just shake gently if anything to get any sugar from round the sides. (why you can’t stir melting sugar is one of life’s great mysteries to me?!) Go for a low/mid heat, and just watch your sugar caramelize, when its all melted, the almonds will start to make a popping sound, once you’ve heard a few of those noises, you’re good to go, so just pour your mix onto a tray lined with baking parchment and leave to set. Then chop up and bag up.
Don’t they just look like little auburn jewels? They taste like them too.
This is great just as a treat, or pulsed in a blender and sprinkled over hot chocolates, ice cream or puddings. You could make a little label to tell your recipient what might be nice.
Submerse your pan, when finished, in to a sink full of hot water, eventually all the sugar will dissolve off if you leave it an hour or so.
And just for a change, here is what I am listening too, to help keep the myself calm in the midst of a warm christmassy-smelling mist of toasted almonds and caramel. I’ll crack onto the Christmas tunes later in the day.