Preparation Time: about 2 hours from start to finish
3/4 cup hazelnuts
3/4 cup blanched almonds
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
Oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Bake nuts. Spread the nuts on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or just until they are lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Make caramel. Stir together the sugar and water in a small pan and place on medium heat. Allow to come to a boil and cook until light caramel in color.
Add nuts. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the toasted nuts. Immediately turn the contents of the pan out onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Cool. Allow the candy to cool completely before grinding - about 1 hour.
Grind. To grind, first break the candied nuts into small pieces. Place in the bowl of a food processor equipped with a sharp blade. Run the food processor, stopping frequently to mix the unground pieces with that which is ground and sticking to the sides of the bowl and under the blade. Continue until everything is ground smoothly (about 15 minutes). Try not to eat a lot of praline out of boredom. You can also grind the praline in a blender, but you will need to work in small batches and continually sift out what has been ground from what hasn't.
Make paste (optional). Once you have ground pralines, you can continue processing, scraping the sides of the bowl as you go, to form a paste (pâte pralinée).
Store. Store in an airtight container. Ground pralines can be stored on a cool pantry shelf for up to 6 months. Praline paste can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.