Application of a caramelized sugar coating onto nuts
A caramelized praline shows a dark brown glassy transparent aspect. It is a traditional marketplace process sometimes brought to an industrial scale.
The core is a nut, generally a peanut or an almond.
The ingredient list used in the application is fairly short:
- Caster sugar
- Vegetable oil
How does it work?
The ingredients do not need any preparation and are used readily. It is usually a batch operation although a larger production can be made on a continuous gas-fired rotating tumbler. The coating operation itself runs as follows
Pour the nuts in a gas-fired rotating pan
Add a spoon of oil to prevent agglomeration
Pour a ladle of caster sugar onto the nuts and disperse
Carry on mixing and heating to melt the sugar
Carry on until it turns into a darker colour
The coating occurs typically in a coating pan equipped with a source of intense heat, usually a gas burner.
The sugar is measured and added manually.
Other types of equipment can be used such as a fixed heating pan fitted with a scraping blade on a rotary arm.
Coating pan – traditionally made of copper now replaced by stainless steel.
How do you measure your success?
Key quality features
The process typical factor is the control of the heating to achieve the browning of the sugar without generating dark spots or fines.
Nut or almonds should not peel, split or crack
Browning (Maillard reaction) without burning
The product is brittle and must be handled gently
Key quality parameters
The control focuses on cooking but not only
Standard nut size for an even coating
Scaling up the process should reproduce the hand made operations
Control of the temperature over time