Milk Chocolate Praline
To crush the praline neatly, seal the pieces in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or mallet. This recipe makes about 3 cups crushed praline, and you will only need 2 cups. Store the remaining praline airtight at room temperature, and use it to sprinkle over ice cream, in between cake layers, or mix it into shortbread or chocolate chip cookie dough.
Yield: About 80 (1-inch) squares
Butter for the pan
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 ½ cups almonds or hazelnuts (about 8 ounces), lightly toasted and finely chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
12 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Fluted 1-inch paper candy cups (optional)
Step 1: Lightly butter a 10-by-15-inch jelly-roll pan.
Step 2: Combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to high and boil without stirring until golden brown (335˚ to 340˚F on a candy thermometer), 10 to 15 minutes. When the sugar begins to brown around the edges of the pan, swirl it gently so that it caramelizes evenly.
Step 3: Remove from the heat. Quickly and carefully stir in the nuts and salt and spread the mixture onto the prepared pan. Let it stand at room temperature until cool, about 1 hour. Break into pieces and chop or crush the praline very finely.
Step 4: Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil (if you use a disposable aluminum pan, there’s no need to line it). Melt the chocolates together in a bowl set over a pan of hot water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Stir in 2 cups of the crushed praline and spread the mixture in the prepared pan. Refrigerate until firm enough to cut, about 1 hour.
Step 5: Invert the pan to remove the candy and cut it into 1-inch squares with a sharp, sturdy knife. Place the squares in paper candy cups, if desired. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.