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Chocolate praline almonds
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The classic French praline gets a new and incredibly delicious caramel and chocolate update. These will keep well in a cool place for up to 2 weeks but beware – they disappear rapidly once opened!
Makes: about 80 pieces
100g blanched whole almonds
1 tsp unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
75g caster sugar
40g flaked almonds, finely chopped
150g milk chocolate, chopped 1
50g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Line a large baking tray with parchment, then scatter over the whole almonds and toast for 8-10 minutes until pale golden. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, lightly grease a medium mixing bowl with butter and set aside.
2 Tip the 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 to the boil and cook steadily until it becomes a honey-coloured caramel.
3 Working quickly, tip the chopped flaked almonds into the pan and mix well to coat. Cook for 30 seconds to darken the caramel a shade more and toast the nuts. Add the whole almonds to the pan with the butter and a pinch of sea salt flakes. Take off the heat. Stir to coat the almonds in the nutty caramel. Tip into the greased mixing bowl and cool for 1 minute.
4 Tip the mixture onto the lined baking tray (used to roast the almonds) and, working quickly, use 2 tablespoons to separate the mixture into individual caramel-coated nuts. Set aside until cool, then chill on the baking tray for at least 30 minutes.
5 Meanwhile, melt both chocolates together in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until smooth, then take off the heat and leave to cool slightly. Spoon ½ 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 10 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.
6 Stir the remaining chocolate through the nuts on the baking tray to give them a second coat, then separate them out again and leave to harden. Dust the nuts with cocoa powder, then pack into gift boxes lined with tissue paper. They will keep for up to 1 week.
Typical values per serving:
Per 4 pieces
This recipe was first published in November 2021.