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Chocolate praline almonds
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Classic French praline meets caramel and chocolate in these moreish treats. Wrap up batches to deliver to recipients over the Christmas holiday. They will keep well in a cool place for up to 2 weeks.
Makes: about 20
100g blanched whole almonds
1 tsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
75g caster sugar
40g flaked almonds, very finely chopped
150g milk chocolate, chopped
150g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Line a large baking tray with parchment, scatter over the blanched whole almonds and toast for 8-10 minutes until the almonds are pale golden; set aside to cool. Meanwhile, lightly grease a medium mixing bowl with butter and set aside.
2. Tip the caster sugar into a medium heavy-based saucepan, add 2 tbsp water and set over a low-medium heat to dissolve the sugar, without stirring. Use a clean pastry brush dipped in hot water to brush away and dissolve any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan. Bring the syrup to the boil and continue to cook steadily until it becomes a honey-coloured caramel.
3. Working quickly, tip the chopped flaked almonds into the pan, mix well to coat in the caramel and continue to cook for 30 seconds more to darken the caramel a shade more and toast the nuts. Add the whole almonds to the pan along with the butter and a pinch of sea salt flakes; take off the heat. Stir continuously to coat the whole almonds in the nutty caramel. Tip the mixture into the greased mixing bowl; leave to cool for 1 minute.
4. Using 2 tablespoons, separate the mixture into individual caramel-coated nuts and turn onto the lined baking tray. Cool for a few minutes (the caramel will be hot and still liquid), then very carefully separate the nuts using your hands. Keep moving them around with your hands to coat them in the caramel until they are cool and individually coated. Chill the coated nuts on the baking tray for at least 30 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, melt both chocolates together in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until smooth, then take off the heat and cool slightly. Spoon half the melted chocolate over the cold nuts on the baking tray; stir well to coat each one. Separate out any nuts that have clumped together and chill again for another 10 minutes until the chocolate has set.
6. Stir the remaining chocolate into the nuts on the baking tray, then separate them out again and leave to harden. Dust with cocoa and pack into boxes lined with waxed paper.
Typical values per serving:
Per chocolate almond (20)
This recipe was first published in Thu Nov 26 15:08:00 GMT 2020.