Friday, 26 October 2007
Originally uploaded by vrot01
Cashew nuts have a deliciously sweet and buttery, nutty flavour with a slightly softer texture than many other nuts. The nuts are sold in 3 fashions,raw, boiled and roasted, although you will need to be close to the source to find raw cashews. We have them in the Seychelles they are extremely popular with drinks, much as the peanut is to the uk.They lend themselves to many culinary uses, from a simple table nut, to cooking in both sweet and savoury dishes.
Cashews grow in an extraordinary manner. Instead of the seed, growing inside the fruit, as is mostly the case, cashews grow as a small extension to the base of the cashew fruit, which is also called cashew apple, due to its similar appearance to the popular orchard fruit. This gives it a most striking appearance.
Cashew Nut Pralines
Pralines is an extremely quick and relatively easy recipe, it's basically just caramel with nuts in it. However, it requires patience as it is very easy to burn the ingredients or create a lumpy end result. But with a little practice, this can turn into a 10-minute wonder of your kitchen.
(about 30 pieces)
225g white sugar
175g brown sugar
150ml condensed milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (a little less or more to suit your taste)
150g roughly chopped nuts. I love pecans, walnuts , cashews, almonds
If you can't find the fresh nuts, use packet nuts, but watch out for added salt.( If you use these, do not add the additional salt listed in the ingredients)
.Roughly break them up in a pestle and mortar for a chunky texture. Or if you prefer a smoother finish, blitz them in a machine to your desired consistency.
Combine the white and brown sugars and the condensed milk in a heavy-bottomed pan and bring gently to the boil.If you have a "candy thermometer", test the mixture and look for a temperature of 120ºC. At this temperature, the mixture is at "soft ball" stage. A small amount of mixture dropped into cold water forms a soft, flexible ball, but flattens on its own without squeezing after a few seconds in your hand.
When at this stage, remove from the heat and throw in the butter, nuts and vanilla. Stir thoroughly to combine.Now spoon the mixture onto greaseproof paper and leave your delicious pralines to cool before enjoying.
We ate these all the time, my parents loved to have friend s over at the weekends and we'd all eat, drink copius amounts of alcohol, and these nibbles featured quick alot.