Praline is generally believed to have been invented by a chef named Lassagne in the seventeenth century. The cookery school Maison de la Praline still stands in his hometown of Saint-Denis-de-Cabanne to this day.
Praline is traditionally made from almonds and sugar – the nuts are toasted and then coated with caramel. This can then be used as a confection, ground up to a powder for dusting or even blitzed into a sweet, nutty paste.
To use the praline as a powder, break into small pieces and transfer to a food processor and blitz until powdered. This powder can be sprinkled thinly on a baking sheet and baked in a very hot oven to create sugar tuiles. For a praline paste, continue to blitz after the power stage has been reached and after a few minutes the oils in the nuts will be released.
Phil Howard makes a tasty macaron with his praline and Mark Jordan uses its to make a rich cream. Rosana McPhee uses Brazil nuts as an alternative to almonds with her White chocolate pavé and Lisa Allen’s smoked hazelnut praline pairs perfectly with her Dark chocolate cylinder and salted milk ice cream.