Sprinkle atop Rich Chocolate Heart Cakes.
- 1 cup (5 ounces) hazelnuts
- Canola oil, for pan
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with rack in center. Spread nuts on a rimmed baking sheet, and toast them in the oven until they are fragrant, about 8 minutes. Transfer nuts to a clean kitchen towel, and rub nuts in towel vigorously between your hands to remove the brown skins. Lightly brush an 8-by-12-inch rimmed baking pan with the oil. Spread the peeled nuts in the pan.
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, brushing down sides of pan with a damp pastry brush to remove any sugar crystals that may form, until mixture is amber, about 9 minutes; do not stir. (Pan may be swirled gently about halfway through to incorporate any uncooked sugar.) Pour directly over nuts to create a thin layer. Set aside to cool, at least 30 minutes.
Place half the praline in the bowl of a food processor; process until the praline is very fine with no sharp pieces. Cut the remaining praline into small pieces for decoration.