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Today, I thought I would talk about a product I used to buy in France, notably in cakes. I cannot find it in America. It’s called pralin.

Pralin is a powder of caramelized halzelnuts or almonds or both. As I said, we can find it easily in supermarkets in France. Vahiné and Sainte Lucie are selling it.
You can use it in cakes, muffins, cupcakes. It gives a nutty, sugary taste to your cake. Like praline. If you try it in one of your regular recipes, diminish the amount of sugar you are using depending on the amount of pralin you add.

I asked my mother to send me a couple of those every time she was sending me a parcel but I figured I could do my own that could possibly be better and more easier to get anytime I needed it to bake.

So I googled it, found several recipes on blogs and decided to go for an adaptation of the Pierre Hermé recipe that I found here, at Le Fruit de la Passion blog.

I used both hazelnuts and almonds and vanilla extract instead of half a vanilla bean.

If you want to try it, here is a recipe, inspired by this blog and this blog. I will share recipes that are using pralin as one of the ingredients, starting with madeleines :-)

You will need:
– 1 cup blanched hazelnuts
– 1 cup blanched almonds
– 1-1/4 oz water
– 1/2 cup + 1-1/2 tbsp sugar
– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Spread hazelnuts and almonds in one layer on a baking sheet and roast them until they are golden. Once done, take them out of the oven, let them cool a little and put them in a saucepan.

In another saucepan, put the sugar, water and vanilla extract and heat to obtain a syrup, until the temperature reaches 250F.

Then immediately put this syrup onto the hazelnuts and almonds (that are in another saucepan, remember? ;-). Heat them on medium heat so that the syrup can coat the nuts. Continue to mix the syrup and the nuts while on medium heat. Once the nuts caramelize, put them on a piece of parchment paper and let the mix harden.

Once it has cooled completely, crush it into pieces and put the pieces in a food processor. Blend it until you obtain a fine powder.

Beautiful powder!

Knocks you over, doesn’t it? Ah, come on, gonna explain the tilted picture ;-)