Making Hazelnut Praline Paste is an easy way to add a French touch to your desserts. Flavorful and versatile, this praline paste is a combination of caramel, hazelnuts, and almonds.
If you want to make the famous Paris Brest pastry and other delicious French desserts, then you’ll need Hazelnut Praline Paste. But, it can be challenging to find in stores, so learn how to make your own and problem solved.
Why you’ll love this Hazelnut Praline Paste
- The flavor is out of this world.
- It’s easy to make. You need a good food processor.
- This hazelnut praline paste is delicious in many dessert recipes: Paris Brest, chocolate praline mousse, Royal Chocolate Cake… You can use it as a filling in a tart, flavor a ganache, spread it on your toast, or use it as a topping on your porridge.
Blanched hazelnuts: I use blanched hazelnuts, which means “de-skinned” hazelnuts, because it makes things easier. But you can use whole hazelnuts and remove the skins after toasting them.
Whole almonds: I let the skin for them.
Sugar: fine sugar (=caster sugar) or granulated sugar.
How to make this praline paste?
To make this hazelnut praline paste, you need a powerful food processor to break down the nuts into pieces and then blend until a smooth praline paste.
#1st step: Toast the hazelnuts and almonds. Then, peel off hazelnut skin if you didn’t use blanched hazelnuts: Place hazelnuts and almonds on a dry kitchen towel, then rub vigorously until most hazelnut skins come off. I don’t mind if the almonds keep their skin; hazelnut skins can taste bitter, so I remove them.
#2nd step: make a dry caramel: melt the sugar in a heavy pot on medium-high heat until it becomes an amber-colored liquid. Be careful not to darken the caramel too much; your praline spread will be bitter if it’s darker than a light amber brown.
#3rd step: Pour the caramel over the toasted nuts and let cool completely. Note: You won’t cover all the nuts (see picture).
#4th step: Break up the caramelized nuts and place them in the food processor. Start blending. Hazelnut praline paste goes through a few stages to become spreadable. First, it will form a powder, then a paste, and then a smooth, shiny, pourable spread. The longer you blend, the runnier in consistency your praline paste will be.
It will take more or less time, depending on how powerful your food processor is. Blend in intervals so it doesn’t overheat, and scrape down the sides when necessary.
Transfer to an airtight container.
Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions at the end of this post.
- Depending on the food processor’s power, it might take more or less time. Blend in intervals so it doesn’t overheat the blender, and scrap the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- If your food processor overheats, stop for 10-15 minutes.
- Sometimes, it can be hard to get past the “paste stage.” It depends on your nuts if they release enough oil. A teaspoon of vegetable oil (neutral flavor) may help to combine into a smooth paste but do not add more than 1 teaspoon as it may become runny. And don’t add water; It won’t help.
How to store the hazelnut praline paste?
You can store it in an airtight container for up to 1 month at room temperature if you don’t live in a very hot area, otherwise in your fridge. Avoid direct sunlight.
How to use it?
Here are a few ideas, but the possibilities for using this hazelnut praline paste are endless:
- Spread it on crepes and pancakes.
- Use it as a tart filling.
- Add it to whipped cream or buttercream.
- Top on a chocolate cake.
- Swirl into brownies.
- Stuff cookies.
Why we need to roast the hazelnuts and almonds to make a praline paste?
Toasting the nuts helps release their oil, which helps the process.
- You can play with the ratio of hazelnut/almond.
- Try a full hazelnut version for a delicious hazelnut paste.
- Add a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder for a chocolate version.
- If desired, add a pinch of salt at the end or a teaspoon of vanilla extract to enhance the flavors.
- Once you learn how to make Hazelnut Praline Paste, you can experiment with other nuts like pistachios or pecan nuts.
The traditional version of hazelnut praline paste is composed of 50% sugar. It’s too sweet for me, and because it’s used in pastries, which are already sweet, my ratio is perfectly balanced.
More filling recipes
- Pistachio butter for a 100% nut butter.
- try this salted caramel sauce if you are looking for a caramel recipe that doesn’t get hard.
- raspberry filling for a fruity cake filling.
- coffee pastry cream to fill choux pastry, eclairs, and tarts.
If you tried this Hazelnut Praline Paste or any recipe on the blog, let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment below.