Hi everybody! How are things in your neck of the woods? We had a good day here. Lots of rain on and off, but Ben and I went out and cut up/hauled brush and firewood today. I played with fondant a little bit, and read more of Kitchen Confidential. Tomorrow is my bike ride/and walk to work day, so I hope it's not raining then!
I'm also super excited because the plans are final for my mom and sister to visit between Christmas and New Years! I haven't seen them in a really long time, as they live in California, so it will be so enjoyable! I think we'll be going to the Butchart Gardens to see all of the lights. We also might go to the Empress Hotel to see all of their Christmas trees! I can't wait! Anyway, back to the food!
Are you ready for more candy? I thought you might be! This is one tasty recipe! You can just make the praline and eat it as-is. It makes a great hard candy. You can also cover the whole praline in tempered chocolate, then break it up into shards. Very pretty and tasty! Or, you can grind it up and put it into truffle filling, which is what we're doing today. This stuff is delicious beyond words!
Use a large sauce pan, as the sugar likes to bubble up quite a bit. This will also take a bit of time, so don't become too impatient! Sugar takes it's time, but it will burn quickly if you aren't paying attention!
Hazelnut Praline by Cathy Burgett
2 1/2 cups skinned hazelnuts (16oz)
1 1/2 cups sugar (10 1/2 oz.)
water to cover (use as little as possible, while still covering the sugar, as you will then have to wait for all of it to cook off again)
Bring the sugar and water to a boil, and cook over high heat until light caramel in color.
Add the hazelnuts and continue cooking until all the nuts are well separated into the caramel and it is light brown.
Pour the mixture onto a well-oiled baking sheet, or silpat, spread nuts to one layer, and leave it to harden.
At this point you can do any of the things listed above! I used mine in truffles, so if you want to do that too, continue on! Make a half batch of this basic truffle filling and let it cool in the fridge. Break up the praline a bit and put it into your food processor.
Grind it until it becomes very fine granules.
Put the truffle filling into your mixer, and beat it on medium until light. Add the ground praline and beat until well incorporated.
Now you can scoop it into little balls, roll it between your hands, or pipe it into tempered chocolate molds.
If you want rustic looking truffles you can roll them in finely chopped toasted hazelnuts, or quickly dip the refrigerated balls of filling into tempered chocolate.
I sold these at our local craft fair, and they were a hit! I think we ate a good amount of them ourselves, too! These would make wonderful hostess/workplace/friend gifts for the holidays. Incorporate a few onto a cookie plate for a pot luck! Have them around for you own holiday guests to enjoy, or just eat them all yourself! It's ok, I won't tell!