I love nuts! I will put them in all kinds of recipes, sweet and savoury, just to get that lovely crunch when you bite into something yummy.
I made this Nutty Praline Slice when I had some left over sweet pastry and lots of hazelnuts. I made some hazelnut praline as a topping, and incorporated hazelnut praline paste into the slice.
Sweet Pastry Base
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
60g icing sugar
Pinch of salt
130g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 free range egg yolk
Hazelnut Praline Filling
60g caster sugar
50g praline paste*
35g plain flour
Juice of half a lemon
Enough icing sugar to make a runny icing
3 tbls caster sugar
To make the pastry, put the flour, icing sugar and salt into a food processor. Add the butter and lemon zest, then pulse a few times, until the mixture is the consistency of fresh breadcrumbs. Whisk the egg yolk and water, then add to the mix. Process once more, just until the dough comes together, then tip on to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough into a ball, wrap in cling wrap and press gently into a flattish disc. Put the dough in the fridge for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven (fan-forced) to 160 degrees C. Grease and line with baking paper a 27cm x 17cm baking tin.
Roll out the pastry into a rectangle and ease into the baking tin.
To make the hazelnut praline filling, blitz the butter and caster sugar in a food processor, add the praline paste, then add the flour and pulse until the mixture come together into a smooth filling.
Spread the filling on top of the pastry base, smoothing the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven until the filling and the shortbread underneath is cooked.
Leave in the tin until cool.
For the lemon icing, mix the lemon juice with enough icing sugar to make a runny icing. Spread or drizzle the lemon icing over the slice.
For the praline, spread the nuts onto a piece of baking paper on baking tray. Put the caster sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a heavy based frying pan. Carefully melt the sugar over a medium heat, being careful not to stir the sugar or it will crystalize. Once the sugar has melted and turned a tea colour, carefully pour the hot toffee over the nuts and allow to set. Once set, bash the praline into small pieces.
Scatter the crushed praline over the top of the slice, and cut into squares to serve.
*You can buy hazelnut praline paste from specialist food supply stores. I actually had to buy the praline paste in Melbourne, not sure why I couldn’t get it in Sydney!
I know it’s readily available in the UK from Callebaut.
You can also make your own – I found this recipe works well: https://snapguide.com/guides/make-hazelnut-praline-paste/