Some say that it originated from Lyon, but you can find different stories about it so let's just concentrate on the ingredient itself.
La Praline is basically an almond covered with cooked sugar (not really caramelized), colored in pink. You can find brown caramelized almonds in some area of France too. And they have a cousin : the Chouchou, a peanut covered in caramelized sugar. You can often find these peanuts sold in the streets, or near Southbank Center and Tate Modern, served warmed, in a plastic cup.
The beauty of the Praline is that you don't need a lot of it to enhance the flavour of your cake. You just have to break it into little pieces and add it to your madeleines mix, muffins mix or why not to your cookies dough to make the world a little pinkier.
Of course, if you have access to significant amount of them, you can make magnifique Pink Praline Tart or Pink Praline Brioche, oozing with sweet pink streaks. (Ah, I just drooled on my keyboard ...) I let you google these names as I can't bear to put these images here. (High risk of hyperglycemia episode).
For now, I would like to show you a simple use of praline that you can adapt for a lot of recipes.
- 4 egg whites
- 50g of flour
- 50g almonds
- 150g caster sugar
- 85g butter
- a little vanilla extract
- 5 pink pralines
1. In a pan, gently melt the butter on medium heat, until it turns really slightly brown. That's a "beurre noisette". This name comes from the hazelnut aroma that you can smell. Be aware not to let it color too much.
2. Place the pralines into a plastic bag and gently crush them. As you can see I used a hammer!
3. In a big bowl, mix together the flour, ground almonds, caster sugar.
4. Add the beurre noisette, mix with a wooden spoon and then add the egg whites (no need to whisk them first).
5. Add a drop of vanilla extract.
6. Pour into your baking pan and sprinkle some pink praline on top.
7. Bake at 200° for 15 to 20 min. The cooking time depends on the size of your pan. In mine, I can use one teaspoon of the mix in each cavity. Really tiny Financiers!
You can do exactly the same with madeleines (like Delphine did for the last Baking Club), or any kind of sweet delicacies that mix well with almond taste.
Here's a summary of some of my favorite blogs where you can find other recipes using praline rose :
- Galette des Rois aux pralines roses (Lost in London)
- Financiers aux pralines roses et Thé Matcha (Lost in London)
- Muffins à la praline rose (Home Sweet London)
- Brioche aux pralines roses (Papilles & Pupilles)
- Pink cake (Lost in London)
I know it might be a bit difficult to find these little pinkies in London, but I found a website selling them. (I'm just giving you the link, I haven't actually ordered any praline from this company).
Or, if you have a bit of time ahead and a real dedication to this, I know that you can make them at home. I haven't tried it yet, but if I do, I'll make sure to post the recipe.
So, in what kind of cakes would you like to use Praline Rose now??
PS : If you fancy a little financier when you're in Camden Town, just pop in Chinalife, 99 Camden High Street and try one of mine! Ask for "Petit Gâteau" 's financier, with pink praline or pistachio. ;-) Perfect with a nice light Oolong tea.