Praline paste is a simple ingredient that is often used in French pastry making. Here is a plethora of information about what it is, how it is made, and tips and tricks while working with this delicious ingredient.
Hang on for a wild ride because I can’t stop raving about my favorite ingredient, praline paste.
What is praline paste
Praliné paste is made from hazelnuts, almonds, or a mix of both nuts that are caramelized in a dry caramel or sugar syrup and then blended until it reaches a liquid paste consistency. It is often used in traditional French pastries like Paris-Brest.
Let's talk more about the steps to make praline paste plus great tips and tricks while working with this delicious ingredient.
More about praline paste
Praline paste, also known as pâte de praliné in french, was is made from either almond, hazelnuts, or a mixture of both nuts. It is basically peanut butter’s older and fancier awesome sister. It looks like a thin or thick brown paste that tastes caramelly and mediumly nutty.
What is pralin?
Praliné paste is made by first making pralin. Pralin, also known as praliné grain, is made from caramelized almonds or hazelnuts that have been chopped into a medium to fine powder. It is great to add a “crunchy” element to pastries and it has a great flavor. If you continue blending praline, it will become delicious nut butter.
Praline paste is the traditional flavor used while making Paris-Brest, a circle of pâte à choux that is stuffed with praliné flavored crème mousseline. It is also great in ice cream, chocolate making, and various fillings and mouses for entremets.
Praline paste is great but it can, unfortunately, be hard to find as a home cook and can be expensive due to the high ratio and cost of nuts. Callebault and Cacao Barry both make great ready-to-use praline paste. You can find it online or at specialty pastry stores. If you can’t find premade praline paste, it’s ok! It is easily doable at home if you’ve ever made caramel before and if you have any type of electric blender or food processor.
Tips and tricks while working with praline paste
How to get a smooth praliné paste texture
Being as it is basically a natural nut butter, praliné has a tendency to separate into a solid block of nut paste topped off with a generous layer of oil. While even the lazy cook in me sometimes want to just skim off some praline paste from the easy to scoop top, I highly recommend you mix the entire pot of praliné paste before using it, if it has been sitting at the same place for some time. If you don’t follow this recommendation, you will end up with some praliné chunks in your smooth paste, which could ruin your entremet, buttercream, or other preparation.
You can mix praline paste by either pouring all of it in a stand mixer and mixing it with the paddle attachment on low for 2 to 3 minutes. You can also bring back your praline paste in a usable texture by mixing it up with a handheld mixer either in a bowl or straight in the jar. Don’t forget to scrape the sides of your bowl or container from time to time during the process.
Should you refrigerate your praline paste?
This will depend on what type of nut butter keeper you are. Officially, nut butter and praliné paste both need to be kept refrigerated since nuts can go rancid. Nobody wants to have to throw away expensive praliné paste, so it is better to be safe than sorry and refrigerate it.
However, if you are like me a room temperature nut butter keeper (I got no place for that in my micro-fridge), it shouldn’t be too much of a problem since sugar and nuts are 2 ingredients that are often kept at room temperature. Praliné paste also won’t go rancid overnight.
Afterall, praline paste is shelf-stable for up to twelve months when unopened. Your praline paste will also keep for two to three months once opened if stored in your pantry. However, I don’t like to tempt faith so when I store my praline paste in my pantry, I try to find it a dark, cool, and dry place to store it.
Praliné paste substitution
If you can’t find praliné paste in your pantry and can’t find the energy to make some yourself, a quick substitute is to mix together some hazelnut butter and maple syrup. It won’t exactly be the same but it will do in a pinch.
Is Pralinoise the same as praliné paste?
No, praliné paste is a caramelized nut butter while Pralinoise is a soft chocolate bar from the company Poulain. Pralisoise is made from a mix of praliné and chocolate.
Can I make praliné with other types of nuts?
Yes, you can make an untraditional praliné paste with other types of nuts. I recommend using softer and fattier nuts like walnuts, macadamia nuts, and cashew.
DID I MISS SOMETHING?
Now that we have finished our deep dive into what is praline paste, let me know if you have any additional questions that I might answer for you or information that I could make clearer.
Can praline paste be used as a substitute for almond paste?
No it can not. Praliné paste looks more like thin and flowy peanut butter, while almond paste is usually almost like modelling paste.
I'm trying to find a small quantity source (500 gms at a time) for Praline Patse for home baking of French Pastry recipes. Any suggestions?
It really depends on where you live. I currently get mine in 500g containers repackaged at local pastry store that sells material, moulds and speciality ingredients. But if you tell me which country you are in then I might be able to give you pointers on where to look