I’d like to call a Praline as the elder brother of caramel, who went to France and got all tough and nutty! Jokes apart, Praline a.k.a ‘pralin’ as termed by the French is nothing but a type of yummy confectionary made with butter, sugar and nuts. This Praline recipe results in a brittle, crunchy and oh-so delish sweet thing that can be compared to a nougat as well.
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Not just French, Praline can also be Belgian known as Belgian chocolate fondants, (soft-center) Belgian chocolates and chocolate bonbons or American which are creamier and softer and resemble a fudge. It is also popularly known as pecan candy in New Orleans.
Here are some more interesting facts about Praline:
- A common ice cream flavor in US and Canada is ‘Pralines and Cream.’
- A chocolate praline in Brussels, Belgium is known to be the most expensive one in the world. It costs a whopping $240,000, has a dressing of edible gold leaf and studded with a garnish of single 3.63-carat diamond.
- French pralines earlier were made of whole individual almonds covered in caramelized sugar.
More on this Praline Recipe
I’d happily place Praline in the category of recipes which the teenager me learnt in the cooking school. So, this Praline recipe has been a personal favorite over the years.
It is hassle-free and requires only the basic butter, sugar and cashewnuts. But you’ve got to be quick and efficient too, lest you’ll end up with a spoiler!
Since I started redoing this Praline recipe at home too, I added it in my recipe of creamy and smooth Butterscotch Ice Cream as well. Trust me, it tastes so much better like this as compared to adding the readymade butterscotch chips.
I’m sure once you try this Praline, you’ll be glued to it! It works its magical touch in anything and everything that it becomes a part of.
For instance, apart from adding it in ice creams, you can include it in sweets, cakes or other desserts. Or go on munching on a thin piece, just as it is. It is absolutely addictive!
Why this recipe works
This 3-ingredient Praline recipe is quite quick and takes about 10 to 15 minutes to get done. All you need to do is follow the recipe perfectly to achieve the best result.
The texture of this and a nutty Indian chikki is alike. So, while you’re at it, try this Indian Peanut Brittle recipe as well.
Not just cashewnuts, you can experiment and use other nuts like almonds, pecans, walnuts or even roasted peanuts to make this Praline.
This recipe also scores another brownie point as it keeps well and crisp if stored properly. Keep it well in airtight jars and bid goodbye to softening or moistening of the Praline.
Also, make a larger batch by just doubling or tripling the ingredients. Then, refrigerate for a month.
How to make Praline
1. In a mortar, take 10 to 12 cashews. Feel free to include any nuts of your choice instead of cashews, like walnuts, roasted and skinned peanuts, almonds or pecans.
Also line a plate or tray with parchment paper or brush softened butter or a neutral flavored oil on a plate.
2. Crush the cashewnuts to a coarse mixture with a pestle and set aside. Optionally choose to process the nuts in a food chopper or food processor.
Cook Butter and Sugar
3. Take 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a pan on low heat.
4. When you see that the butter has begin to melt add 4 tablespoons sugar in the pan.
5. Mix to combine the sugar with the butter thoroughly to make an even mixture. Make sure the stovetop heat is kept to a low.
6. Cook this butter-sugar mixture on low heat stirring at times.
7. Remember to stir at intervals and make sure not to stir the mixture non-stop.
8. The sugar and butter mixture will start to change color as it cooks.
9. Continue to stir at intervals when the sugar starts changing color.
10. The color will gradually keep on becoming darker.
11. You will see that at a certain stage of cooking the color of the mixture will become brown and all of the sugar granules will be melted.
12. To check the consistency, put a few drops of the butter-sugar mixture in a bowl containing water. The drops will become solid and hard.
When you snap them, they will break easily. This means that the sugar syrup has reached to the hard ball consistency.
You can also check the hard ball consistency using a candy thermometer.
13. Switch off the heat when you see all the sugar has melted and caramelized into a brown colored molten liquid and after doing the above test to determine the hard ball stage.
14. Quickly add the crushed cashews.
15. Begin to mix quickly.
16. Mix very well.
17. Pour the praline mixture onto a plate or tray that has been lined with a parchment paper or butter paper. You can opt to use a plate that has been brushed or spread lightly with a bit of softened butter or a neutral tasting oil.
18. Let the praline mixture cool at room temperature. As it cools the praline will harden.
19. Below is the picture of praline which is hardened and solidified after cooling at room temperature.
20. Later break or snap the praline into small pieces.
21. In a mortar, transfer the praline pieces. You can also use a coffee grinder or spice-grinder or a rolling pin to crush the praline.
22. Crush the praline pieces to a coarse consistency with the pestle. Remember not to make a fine powdered consistency.
23. Remove the Praline and use it any recipe. If not using immediately, then store it in an air-tight jar and refrigerate.
Use it to add it to desserts like Ice Creams, Cakes, Puddings, Mousse. You can also top it on pancakes and waffles.
- Use fresh, non-rancid nuts to make the praline. If you are allergic to cashews, use pecans, roasted peanuts, walnuts or almonds.
- The nuts can be chopped or crushed in either a coffee-grinder, spice-grinder or a food processor.
- To make the praline mixture, the sugar should reach a hard ball consistency while it is being cooked with the butter. You can check this by adding a small portion of the melted butter-sugar mixture in a bowl filled with water. If it solidifies and breaks easily, it has reached the desired consistency.
- To set the praline mixture, you can also use a plate greased with some butter or oil (neutral tasting), if you don’t have parchment or butter paper.
- Keep calm and patience while the sugar melts and reaches the desired consistency. But spread the praline mixture quickly on the prepared tray or plate.
It belongs to French cuisine and it is a type of confectionary. However, there are Belgian and American versions too.
It may have a caramelish taste, but is not same as caramel. Pralines are usually hard whereas caramel can be soft-chewy or saucy.
You should achieve a hard ball consistency of sugar for the mixture.
Yes, you can. You can use your preferred choice of nuts – walnuts, almonds, pecans or roasted and skinned peanuts can be used to make this Praline recipe.
More DIY Recipes To Try!
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- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons Butter – unsalted
- 10 to 12 cashews or almonds or 2 tablespoons skinned, roasted peanuts – nuts like walnuts or pecans can also be used
- In a mortar, take the cashews.
- Crush the cashews to a coarse mixture with a pestle and keep aside. You can even chop the nuts.
- Take butter in a pan on a low heat.
- Add sugar when the butter begins to melt and mix it thoroughly.
- On a low heat, cook the butter-sugar mixture stirring at intervals. Make sure not to stir non-stop.
- The mixture will begin to change color as the sugar melts.
- Continue to stir at intervals when the sugar starts changing color.
- At one stage the color will become brown and all the sugar will melt.
- To test put a few drops of the butter-sugar mixture in a bowl filled with water. It will harden and solidify. When you snap it, it will break easily. This means that the sugar syrup has reached to the hard ball consistency.You can also check the hard ball consistency using a candy thermometer.
- When the syrup reaches to the hard ball consistency and when all the sugar has melted and caramelized into a brown colored molten liquid, turn off the heat.
- Add the crushed cashews immediately and mix quickly.
- Pour this praline mixture on a tray or plate lined with parchment paper or butter paper. You can also use a plate greased with some butter or neutral flavored oil.
- At room temperature let the praline cool and harden.
- Then, break the praline into small pieces.
- Place the praline pieces in a mortar and with a pestle, crush to a coarse mixture.
- Remove the praline and use it any recipe. If not using immediately, then store praline in an air-tight jar and refrigerate.
- Feel free to make the praline with your choice of nuts. Almonds, pecans, walnuts, peanuts are some good options. You can lightly roast or toast the nuts if you prefer.
- Remember to be attentive when cooking the sugar and butter mixture. Stir the simmering butterscotch mixture at intervals.
- Recipe can be halved, doubled or tripled.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Praline recipe post from the archives first published on April 2018 has been republished and updated on 18 May 2022.
They’re also called pralines in New Orleans. I used to eat them there when I would visit my aunt as a child, and she brought them to me on every trip.
I’ve never seen them called pecan candy there. Maybe someone called them that as a clarification for tourists who don’t know what it is. Cashews sound like a good addition.
Thank you for the info. May be what you mention about the tourist part is right. Yes, cashews are a nice addition.