Praline is one of my favorite ingredients for baking. The nutty taste could win over many desserts. It also a great combo with some others ingredient like chocolate, coffee, vanilla, banana, etc etc.
I made my own praline all these years. Either blend it to a paste to spread on toast, drizzle on my vanilla ice cream or my ice coffee blended. Another option, before it is blended into a paste, I would blend it coarsely to sprinkle on my cakes or any dessert that give extra texture.
As it's one of my favorite ingredient, why not praline ice cream, right?!
This praline ice cream taste so good that I can't stop myself eating it. The creaminess with the nutty caramilized flavour is heaven. It's good to be eaten straight or give it extra flavour to go with melted chocolate and sprinkle with toasted hazelnut.
370ml whole milk
2 vanilla pod, scored lengthways and seeds scraped out
6 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 teaspoon cointreau
200g praline paste
Miix the milk, 3 tablespoons of caster sugar and the vanilla pod and seeds together in a saucepan. Bring just to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave for a couple of minutes to cool slightly and allow the vanilla flavour to infuse. Discard the vanilla pod.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the 3 remaining tablespoons of caster sugar until pale. Ladle a little of the hot milk mixture onto the eggs and whisk immediately. Continue to add the milk, a ladleful at a time, whisking each well before adding the next. Pour this mixture back into the warm saucepan and cook very gently for a few minutes, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until smooth and thicken. Strain the custard through a fine sieve and keep stirring to reduce the heat to avoid the egg cook any further.
Once the custard slightly cool down, add the cream and vanilla bean paste and mix well. Lastly, add the cointreau if using. It is quite optional but I just like that little flavour inside the ice cream and I also believe a bit of liqour helps the ice cream set smoothly in the freezer. Stir in the praline paste until well combine. Cling wrap the custard and chill in the fridge overnight before churning in the ice cream maker. Once the custard had churned, transfer them to an ice cream container and keep in the freezer for few hours until set. Enjoy!
Ingredients for the praline paste:
120g whole hazelnuts
150g caster sugar
Lightly toast the whole hazelnuts on a baking sheet.
In a stainless steel sauce pan, combine caster sugar and water. Do not stir. The mixture will reduce. Allow to caramelize and you will see the sides start to color first. Once the sugar reduction has caramelized, remove from heat. Add the lightly toasted hazelnut to the caramel then stir briskly, this should be done very quickly as the sugar reduction will start to harden. The heat from the caramel will warm the nuts and allow the hazelnuts essence to permeate. The nut caramel is then poured onto a greased marble slab. Allow the caramel to cool. Once cool use a spatula to spread and press the nut caramel in an even layer. Flip the cooling layer over. Allow to harden. Use a rolling pin or some other weighty tool to break up the hardened nut caramel. The pieces should be small enough to fit in your food processor. Pulse the food processor until the pieces begin to smooth until a smooth paste.