Almonds give desserts a wonderful taste. This pralin recipe elevates your desserts not only with taste, but also with a different texture. So much about enjoying food, and desserts, is about having an element of surprise. This recipe has done this for me many times over. I usually prepare it and store it in a jar in the fridge to keep it on hand. It's as good between cake layers as it is sprinkled over some ice cream or yogurt.
We owe this recipe to Julia Child, and you will find it in "Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Volume 1".
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- A saucepan
- One marble slab or a large baking sheet (parchment paper will be useful)
- A grinder, rolling pin, mallet, or any other object to crush the pralin (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350˚F and toast the almonds until they are a light brown colour. Remove from the oven and let cool. Put the almonds in a bowl.
Prepare your baking sheet or marble slab with a sheet of parchment paper. Or oil any of these surfaces.
In a saucepan, boil sugar and water until it turns a light caramel colour. Be careful not to burn it too much, as it will develop a bitter flavour. The moment I see a hint of caramel colour, I remove the sugar from the heat.
Immediately place the almonds in the caramel and coat evenly with metal spoon. Pour over the parchment paper or over the oiled surface and let cool.
Once the pralin has cooled, you can cut it up, crush it, or leave as large slabs. You can also use other nuts instead of the almonds, or your own combination of nuts. In the recipes I use, I prefer to grind it using a mortar.
If you don't wish to grind it, you can always leave it as is and eat as snacks. You can take the bits of pralin and dip them in chocolate, or eat them as is. Anyway you do it, you'll be sure to enjoy this treat.