Praline Paste Recipe

People tasting praline paste for the first time tend to fall to their knees and weep for all the wasted years. For while it is an ingredient, it’s also a spread in its own right, a sweet nut butter with strong caramel overtones. You’ll need to resist the urge to keep spooning it into your mouth until it’s gone. The formula is elementary: 1-1 sugar to nuts by weight, but most people like to divide the proportion of nuts between blanched almonds and hazelnuts. So let’s say, for purposes of argument, you wanted to make a pound of praline paste for a mid-day snack. You’d use:

8 ounces (1 cup plus two tablespoons) granulated sugar
2 ounces (1/4 cup) water
4 ounces (1 cup) blanched almonds (113 grams)
4 ounces (1 cup) hazelnuts (peeled makes the best presentation)

Place the nuts on a sheet of lightly greased parchment paper or a silpat. Then simply add the water to the sugar in a small saucepan and heat it over high heat, swirling until the mixture turns to caramel. Dark amber is usually the degree most pastry makers cook to, though you can go darker for a stronger flavor. Pour the caramel over the nuts and allow the mixture to cool completely. Then break the praline into pieces and grind them as finely as you can in a food processor until a paste forms. It won’t be as smooth as commercially-made praline paste, but the flavor will be, well…you’ve got to try this stuff to believe it. If you want to absolutely go nuts, add in:

2 ounces melted dark chocolate

…during the final blending step.

This entry was posted in Pastry Components, Praline Paste, Praline Paste. Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Praline Paste Recipe

  1. A Winter says:

    sounds awesome. it’s on the “do list”!

  2. A Winter says:

    btw: how hard is this on the blades of my food processor? I’ve heard that grinding sugar is pretty tough on blades — do you find you need to buy new blades with frequency? (can they be sharpened?)

    • joepastry says:

      You know I’ve never really thought about that. I don’t do this terribly often, but it stands to reason that at some point food processor blades would need to be sharpened and/or replaced. Hmm….

      • Ed says:

        I have found this to be pretty rough on the old food processor. I crush the chunks of nuts and caramel ijn a heavy ziplock freezer bag with a meat tenderizer until the pieces are pretty small. I put the all ready crushed praline in the food processor and go from there. It SEEMS to eliminate much of the wear and tear on the blade

  3. A Winter says:

    for those who couldn’t find peeled hazelnuts at the store: http://www.joepastry.com/2007/peeling_hazelnuts/

  4. Tina says:

    I love your website!! But I have a question because I tried to make praline paste tonight and botched it and my food processor exploded. I got a stronger food processor tonight, threw in the broken pieces of the cooled caramel and almonds (I couldn’t find hazelnuts) and it would never turn into a smooth paste. I added a tablespoon of peanut oil and it looked like it was starting to get more smooth but not creamy. I turned my back for a minute and returned to find a rather milky liquid settling on the top and the praline was really gummy, almost like a gritty, hard taffy. What did I do wrong?

  5. Marina says:

    I had never been in a internet´s place like yours: From the begining you related the taste of this awesome recipe, in a way anyone can resist; and the comments tought me many things I should be aware of. For all this, THANK YOU, I LOVE YOUR BLOG!

    • joepastry says:

      Thank you, Marina! I love to do this, especially when someone sends me such wonderful comments!

      Cheers,

      - Je

  6. Eva Ulrik says:

    I was looking for a praline paste recipe to use between macaroons, when I found yours.
    BUT (and it is a big but) I’m from Denmark and we don’t know ounces from bounces, so how much in grams? And how much water in centilitres? Please, please, please :-)
    Eva

  7. Kathy says:

    Hi Joe, your whole blog is awesome. Thanks for your praline recipe. We made it tonight and it is delicious. We have just managed to squirrel some away for later, having taken to the larger amount with spoons…
    There was no need to melt the chocolate for the last addition, as the paste was still very warm in the food processor and melted the chunks within a couple of turns of the blade. I would like confirm that blanching the hazelnuts and almonds in boiling water with some bicarb soda was very effective for removing the skins, and much tidier than roasting and rubbing – primarily because you can do it all in the sink!
    Cheers,
    Kathy

    • joepastry says:

      I’ll remember that, Kathy!

      Thanks and yeah, you’ve got to watch yourself around this stuff. It disappears fast!

      - Joe

  8. Nadja says:

    Joe is this paste quality enough for the Plaisir Sucre I am going to attempt?

  9. Tammy says:

    Hello!
    I attempted making this yesterday, but no matter how long I processed the nuts and caramel it did not become a paste. I did add the nuts into the caramel instead of pouring it on top of them, and there might have been a tiny bit of crystallization as a result. Also, I used chopped hazelnuts instead of whole ones. Do you think that the crystallization would have caused it not to become a paste?
    Thanks so much!
    Tammy

    • joepastry says:

      Hey Tammy!

      If it’s a sandy sort of consistency, try adding a few drops of oil to the mixture and process it again. Tat should do the trick. My feeling is that while the crystallization might cause some graininess in the final product, it shouldn’t have inhibited the blending very much.

      - Joe

  10. Pamela Palmer says:

    I made this for a Paris Brest and found the praline a little sweet although overall it worked well. I would describe this more of a praline flour rather than paste as it was not bonded together or spreadable – more grainy in texture. It worked well for what I needed though as i blended it with pastry cream. Thanks for sharing it!

    • joepastry says:

      Interesting. It should definitely process into a paste. Perhaps a little more time in the food processor would do it, help liberate the oils. Otherwise it could be that the nuts were on the dry side, in which case you can always add a few drops of peanut oil to bring the whole thing together.

      Glad it worked for the most part, Pamela!

      - Joe

  11. frances says:

    I made this tonight to use for truffles , I didn’t see the part about the chocolate until reading another comment but it was amazing without it. The only mistake I made was to add it to the truffle mixture instead of keeping it as a paste . My Thermomix made a paste of the praline in 90 seconds smooth as.
    Thanks for the recipe ;-)

  12. Evan says:

    Is there a good emulsifier or stabilizer to add to help prevent separation? Maybe lecithin?

    • joepastry says:

      HI Evan!

      I can see where that would be desirable, since the grinding process liberates so much darn oil…and it pools up fairly quickly. An emulsifier is a possibility, I haven’t tried it myself. The thing you might try before you set out to add lecithin is whipping it a little with a hand mixer. I’ve stabilized nut butters this way in the past, by simply making sure the oil is well broken up and distributed. Homemade peanut butter stay stable for weeks after doing that. Try it and let me know if it works for you!

      Cheers,

      - Joe

  13. Theresa says:

    I’m curious as to how the taste and texture would be altered if you toasted the nuts? Would that affect the way the paste comes together?

    • joepastry says:

      Hi Theresa!

      That’s a common step for a praline paste. You’ll be impressed with the results. Try it, just don’t over-toast!

      Cheers,

      - Joe

  14. Ellen says:

    Love this blog. Thank you Joe! I made the praline paste and it was terrific. I cut up a couple ounces of unsweetened baker’s chocolate and added it to the processor as a last step. It
    added the chocolate flavor with no additional sweetness. It was gobbled up immediately. How long is the shelf life (assuming I can avoid the temptation)? And should it be refrigerated?

    • joepastry says:

      Thanks Ellen! I’m very glad it worked so well for you. Praline paste keeps well at room temperature for at least a week. The fridge is fine too, maybe preferable since you don’t want to forget about it in your kitchen cabinet (eventually the nut oils will go rancid).

      Thanks for the comment!

      - Joe

  15. Pippa says:

    Hi Joe! You had me with your opening sentence and I knew this site was going to be good! Looked up Praline paste for a recipe in the gorgeous Bouchon Bakery book and am very excited I can crack on with it now! I think I may be elevated somewhat in the eyes of my kids if I make this for spread too! Am going to settle down tonight and browse through your blog with a glass of vino – thank you!

    • joepastry says:

      Hello Pippa and welcome!

      My girls will empty the dishwasher in exchange for praline paste on toast, if that gives you a sense for its power. Let me know how yours goes!

      Cheerio,

      - Joe

  16. Gabrielle says:

    Help!! I’ve just spent all afternoon roasting/boiling/skinning/peeling almonds and hazelnuts, made the praline, put it in my vitamix and just as i thought it was looking like a paste I took it out, and then right before my eyes it went like a hard taffy. I tried to rectify it by putting it back in the food processor and it just goes to a crumb and then back to the hard taffy. What did I do wrong?!! So disheartened!!

    • joepastry says:

      Hey Gabrielle!

      Hard taffy you say. That’s odd. Can you send a picture to my email?

      - Joe

  17. Sunanda says:

    Hi Joe,

    I am very excited about trying this one! Just had a ques, how much praline paste will this recipe make? Also, I wanted to make hazelnut praline paste, will it be okay to follow the recipe with just hazelnuts (double the amount)?

    Thanks
    Sunanda

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