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Today I tried making praline paste, specifically of the hazelnut kind. It was equal parts by weight roasted and skinned hazelnuts and sugar. I caramelized the sugar dry, poured it over the roasted hazelnuts and after it set I cracked it and put it into the food processor.

I spent a bunch of minutes processing it, and in the end it became a smooth liquid, more pourable than spreadable. It's sitting right now in the freezer, so I expect it will thicken under the cold, but I wonder: is it possible to process the praline too far, and is that what happened here? Or should I expect it to behave like, say, butter, meaning that it became liquid also due to the heat of the processing, and that after cooling it should set firmer?

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    How humid is it where you live - the sugar might absorb water from the air, especially if very finely ground. – bob1 Aug 6 at 4:17
  • @bob1 Just from the processing? If that's true, it jut might be the case. I live in a tropical~ area near the coast. – Fimpellizieri Aug 6 at 17:14
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    It is possible, another possibility is that you have either as @Sneftel says made hazelnut butter, and yet another is that you have created conditions where the now-powder is acting as a fluid, but you would need to grind very very fine for this to happen I think. – bob1 Aug 6 at 18:13
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Hazelnuts have a lot of oil in them. Grinding the hazelnuts released that oil, resulting in a gloopy mixture.

The good news is, given a day or two some of the oil will separate out (at room temperature. Don't freeze it.) and you can pour it off the top. The result will be thicker when the remaining oil is stirred back in.

  • To avoid this in the future, I should thus cut the processing short when I get to a paste stage? Even if the paste is not as smooth, I suppose. – Fimpellizieri Aug 6 at 17:16
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    @Fimpellizieri There isn't any avoiding this, if you want the paste to be smooth. By the time it's smooth, it'll be liquidy. But you can remove some of the oil. – Sneftel Aug 6 at 21:20
  • hazelnut flour can be bought off the shelf and added to the paste to thicken it up. the hazelnut flour has had the oil removed – jim Aug 7 at 20:00

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