this recipe, sugar breaks down into, well, something else.
The process is called caramelization, and even Ph.D. chemists
dont exactly understand it. But its good.
more about caramelization.
making candy, the syrup gets very hot. Kids, dont
try this without the help of an adult!
Caramelizing isnt especially tricky. Caramelizing dry
sugar is one of the easiest of the caramelizing methods. Other
methods involve dissolving the sugar in water and/or adding
an acid. Since melted sugar forms an extremely hot and sticky
syrup, stir with great care so it doesnt spatter.
Sprinkle the sugar evenly on the bottom of the saucepan. Heat
it slowly over low to medium heat and youll notice it
first begins to melt, then gradually becomes a molten syrup.
As it gets hotter, about 320° F, it changes to a pale,
amber color. Then, within a matter of seconds, it becomes
a rich, deep caramel and is at a temperature of about 338°
When its almost as dark as youd like, remove the
pan from the heat, as it will continue to cook slightly. If
you let it get darker, or heated to 350° F, it quickly
develops a bitter then burnt flavor.
1. To make pralined almonds, add the blanched, slivered
almonds to the syrup when it reaches the desired shade of
Once the almonds are coated with syrup, transfer them to the
cookie sheet. Because the almonds tend to clump, pull apart
any large clusters once theyre cool enough to handle.
from the phrase kurat al milh or ball of sweet
salt, was invented by the Arabs, and one of its first
uses was as a depilatory for harem women.
A winter salad: Combine pralined almonds with sliced
avocado, fresh orange segments, and butter lettuce. Toss just
before serving with a light vinaigrette.
Any leftover almonds can be pulverized in a blender,
stored in an airtight jar, and used in pie crusts or as toppings
for other desserts.
onions: Try adding a little sugar to onions as you finish
sautéing them, raise the heat slightly, and youve
got a decadent topping for a hamburger.
your own ideas for using caramel or pralined nuts.