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Caramelised Hazelnuts

Ingredients:

  • 100g hazelnuts
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp butter

Method:

  1. Roast the nuts for 5 minutes.
  2. Allow them to cool and then rub them until the skins fall off.
  3. Put the sugar and the water in a small pan and cook until the sugar reaches 118C or soft ball stage.
  4. Spoon a teaspoon of the sugar syrup into a bowl of iced water, the sugar will slide off and be soft enough to roll into a ball.
  5. At this stage take off the heat and stir the nuts into the sugar.
  6. Return the pan to a medium heat and continue stirring the sugar and nuts. The sugar will crystallise, becoming opaque and granular, and then melt again. This process is called sabler.
  7. Once crystallised, keep stirring the hazelnuts over a low heat until the sugar melts. The sugar will turn to a golden caramel colour at a temperature of 165C.
  8. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the butter until it is completely absorbed.
  9. Pour the sugar and nut mixture onto oiled baking parchment.
  10. Turn the mixture a few times so that the nuts are evenly coated by the sugar.

Tips:

  • You can arrange three nuts in a triangle at this stage and put a third one on top to make a pyramid. Leave them on a wire wrack to set.
  • If you make nut pyramids you can drizzle melted dark chocolate over them. Melt 100g of dark chocolate then spoon it over the pyramids making sure the nuts are well covered.
  • These can be prepared up to 2 days in advance before being coated with chocolate, if kept in a dry place. After coating they can be kept for a week or two if kept cool and dry.
  • The nuts can be left spread out to cool, and then chopped and used as a coating for truffles or used individually to put inside hard set chocolates.

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