One of the first recipes in my Science and Cooking book is Joanne Chang’s Almond Pralines.

It has literally three ingredients: water, sugar, and almonds:

Pan of water and sugar, almonds nearby

This is what it’s meant to look like:

Photo of nice looking almond praline in cookery book

This is what my first attempt looked like:

Sugar has badly crystallised when poured

The problems were:

  • Being a bit scared of ruining the pan by overcooking the sugar (I’m told this isn’t a thing) and so taking it off early.
  • Ignoring the ‘don’t stir’ instruction because of panic and stirring it a lot (the stirring creates ‘nucleation’ points for the crystals to form.

The second attempt (with a bit more bravery and much less stirring looked like this:

Sugar has badly crystallised when poured

I’m extremely happy with how it came out (although I do think I let the sugar go a little too far).

It was a nice exercise to get me comfortable with the idea of doing the wide range of things that one does with sugar-water-boil and I’m looking forward to doing more like it.

It was blitzed in the blender and I used it as a topping for my home made ice-cream.

Crushed Praline over ice-cream next to chocolate cake