This week I opted for another recipe from the GBBO book, chocolate praline traybake, and feeling brave it was a recipe without a picture, duh duh duhhhhhhhh! First hurdle was to purchase blanched almonds but, alas, there were none so I decided to try and blanch my own (not recommended, if they are available then just pay the extra 40p).
I read a through a few methods online and decided to go with putting them in the oven for about 10 minutes until the skins ‘fell’ off. Some did fall off, some didn’t budge at all, but after rolling them in a tea towel and picking skins off I got them relatively ‘blanched’ (i.e. peeled).
I then roasted them and while they were doing I whisked 6 egg whites into soft peaks to start the sponge mixture. I took a picture because I thought the peaks looked funny!
I added sugar, flour, cocoa, and the ground hazelnuts (ground by hand as this was yet another recipe calling for a food processor – I really must get one!) to the egg whites, folded together and added to my prepared tin.
This went in the oven for just under 20 minutes until firm to touch.
Meanwhile, I attempted to make the praline topper from hazelnuts and caster sugar. I melted down the sugar with the nuts, heated rapidly until coloured and poured onto an oiled tray. The instructions for this were a bit vague but I gave it a go.
Once cool, I snapped it into shards, one to top each slice of the traybake.
I then thought I’d try a bit to see what it was like. It was rank. Like really, really not good. Which was a shame because it would have looked pretty cool, but there was no way I was putting that on the cakes! So in the bin it went. I guess I burnt it, I know sugar so easily burns, I’d like to try it again but I didn’t have enough ingredients at this time.
I then made the topping by melting down chocolate and butter.
Once the sponge was cooled I added the topping and through the lack of praline toppers I added sprinkles instead!
Once set, I cut into squares and ate! Not all of it mind… just one square with a cuppa.
Taste test: gooooood! Did taste of praline and I was still disappointed the toppers got binned but the sprinkles were a good substitute. I would like to try again sometime, even if I just make the praline properly.