Hazelnut Praline 

We made my second son official last Sunday, nothing god-y, just a little family get together. It was perfect. My goddaughter and her brother and their mother – my godmother – read a beautiful little poem. They even had props. Nice. Here’s the poem. It’s by Ms. Hadley.

Two little clouds, one summer’s day,

Went flying through the sky;

They went so fast they bumped their heads,

And both began to cry.

Old Father Sun looked out and said:

‘Oh, never mind, my dears,

I’ll send my little fairy folk

To dry your falling tears.’

One fairy came in violet,

And one wore indigo;

In blue, green, yellow, orange, red,

They made a pretty row.

They wiped the cloud-tears all away,

And then from out the sky,

Upon a line the sunbeams made,

They hung their gowns to dry.

Lovely, ay? 

My son’s cousins all read a little sentence about why they love him and then stuck them, they were written on coloured card, onto the wall under a big cut out of his name.

It finished with my perfectly soppy husband reading ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling with many a tear in his eye and a Christy Moore tune playing in the background. 

A bit gushy but I loved it. 

-Feckers. That poem is after changing my formatting and I can’t get it back because I’m on my poxy phone. Ugh. I can only apologise- 

I’d made a not entirely successful apple and white chocolate opera cake with marbled mirror glaze but I haven’t brought my laptop back to life yet so I can’t show you pictures. 
What I can show you is a very simple recipe for hazelnut praline. I made it so granddad could add it to his ice-cream. With the surplus I did something quite lovely. I had a scrappy piece of puff pastry left from dinner so I rolled it out into a large rectangle. I placed a slab o’dark chocolate in the middle. Spooned heaps of praline on top. Cut diagonal slits in the pastry and folded them in, across the chocolate to make a pastry plait after a sort. Egg washed it and baked it. Then served it with pancreas cringing amounts of granddad’s ice-cream. But sure do what you will with it. 

Hazelnuts            180g

Caster sugar        125g

Water                     50ml

Line a baking tray with baking parchment. 

Scatter the hazelnuts on a separate baking tray and put them in a hot oven for about 7-10 mins till they’re nicely toasted. No-one wants burnt nuts so keep an eye on them. 

Meanwhile measure out the sugar and water into a heavy NOT nonstick saucepan and stir it all together. 

Place the pan on a medium heat and let it melt away. Don’t touch it. Don’t stir it. Just leave it.

When your nuts are ready, take them out of the oven. Empty them onto a clean teatowel and give them a good rub to remove their papery skins.

Put your nuts on the lined baking tray to await their fate. 

You should be keeping an eye on the caramel the entire time.

It will go from a prefectly clear bubbly goo to very so slightly yellow (photo below) in about 5 or 6mins and then it’ll try to burn itself as you begin to blink.  

Pour it over your nuts but under no circumstances touch it. This stuff is over 100 degrees Celsius and will weld itself to you and you’ll cry. So don’t. 

When it cools you can break it into shards and use it to decorate fancy cakes or throw the shards into a food processor and blitz it up to make a coarse powder. This is how I used it in the ice-cream. 

Photos for this are pants but give me a break it’s been so busy. 

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