To decorate mouth-watering cakes and cupcakes sometimes all you need is a very simple recipe for a delicious topping, sauce or even candy. These perfectly golden hazelnut praline pieces are wonderful on their own as bagged up sweet treats, but they really steal the show when nestled on top of freshly baked cakes and buttercream swirled cupcakes!
Follow our easy 15-minute hazelnut praline recipe below for some sweet tooth satisfying treats!
All photos via Juniper Cakery
Ingredients and materials needed:
- 1 cup of blanched hazelnuts
- 1 tablespoon of canola oil
- 2 cups of light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- Small or medium saucepan
- Wooden spoon
- Greaseproof paper-lined cookie tray
- Food processor or pestle and mortar
Take your hazelnuts and crush them using a pestle and mortar or give them a quick blitz in a food processor. It's up to you how fine you'd like your hazelnuts. We always opt for chunkier looking praline so we tend to not crush them up too much.
Note: To make a fine praline paste that would be utterly divine mixed in with chocolate ganache for truffles or macaron fillings you can blitz your nuts quite fine at this stage or you can grind them down after you make the candies.
Add the oil to your saucepan and swish it around so that it covers the bottom of a pan. This will help stop your praline mix from burning and sticking to the pan whilst you heat it up.
Add in your blitzed hazelnuts along with the light brown sugar. We recommend using blanched hazelnut if you can get a hold of them. The skins or husks have already been removed which cuts down on your preparation time and mess!
Add in the lemon juice and set on a medium to high heat. Use a wooden spoon to gently stir your mix at the start, but try not to stir throughout. It should start to look somewhat like wet sand when your ingredients begin to incorporate and warm up.
After around eight or so minutes your light brown sugar should have dissolved and your mix should look like a lovely caramelized gold! You should also see bubbles rising from the mixture.
Remove from the heat source and using a metal tablespoon spoon the mix into disks on a cookie tray lined with greaseproof paper. Make sure not to use to much or too little of your praline mixture to create the disks.
Note: You can even simply pour the mix straight from the pan onto your lined tray and break it up into smaller pieces once cooled and set.
Place in the fridge and wait for around 3-5 minutes before removing. When ready you should be able to peel each praline away from the greaseproof paper! Now they're perfect for friends (or just you) to nibble on or even add as a fancy garnish to homemade cupcakes, cakes or delicious donuts.
Perfect for any sweet tooth, pralines are wonderfully crunchy and you can even whip them up using a variety of nuts instead of hazelnuts. Why not try roasted walnuts and a pinch of all spice for winter festivities or even vibrant pistachios with small morsels of dried cranberries sprinkled on top? We're drooling at the possibilities!
Feeling adventurous? Why not sign up for Nick Malgieri's Sweet & Simple: 10 Classic Desserts class today to discover how to create an array of sweet treats at home! We love the idea of almond and vanilla praline sprinkled on top of his strawberry trifle recipe!