French pastry PRALINE SQUARES (Gateau russe)

Praline….yes you are right, we are speaking French today 😄 Today, I am going to teach you about the most amazing, fluffy, succulent, creamy, hazel-nutty dessert, which is called in French “Gateau russe” or I call it praline squares.

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I don’t think, you would be interested of the exact origins of this dessert, because it goes way too back  in the time of the Kings and Queens or some 15th century or so. And plus, we would be sitting here for 2 days, if I would have to write down the whole story 😉. And we don’t really want that, we just want to bake and taste this dessert.

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So briefly, it is a French dessert, fairly difficult for beginner baker, but I will try to ease the steps for you, so even if you have very limited knowledge of baking, you should succeed. Basically it is a heavenly good hazelnut sponge cake, layered with praline cream, which is sort of Nutella taste, but even better, then you will love it and nothing will stop you from baking this goodness!

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First things first, you will need a lot of eggs, but literally a looot of eggs, in numbers 17 eggs 🍳🍳Please don’t freak out, it will be worth the cost. Precisely, you will need 17 egg whites and 5 egg yolks, so the rest of the egg yolks could be used for quiche or very high protein breakfast 😉

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For the biscuit you need:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 125 g/1 cup almonds in powder
  • 125 g/1 cup hazelnuts in powder
  • 250 g/1 cup fine sugar
  • 100 g/ 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 135 ml/ 1/2 cup milk 2%
  • 550 g egg whites (17 large eggs)
  • 100 g icing sugar

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven on 180 C/ 355 F.

  2. In a medium bowl mix all dry ingredients (except icing sugar), add milk and combine well. Let stand aside.
  3. In a very large bowl ( and I mean the largest you have) beat the 17 egg whites almost reaching the peaks, adding slowly icing sugar and mix until you reach nice rich white peaks.
  4. Start taking a 1/3 of your hazelnut mixture and add in your egg whites mixture, mix on very low speed, continue adding slowly the rest of the hazelnut mixture until everything is well combine.
  5. Spread the mixture over 3 baking sheets 20 x 30 cm, covered with parchment paper.
  6. Bake on 180 C 10-12 min. or until lightly golden brown. Use a toothpick to assure yourself, that is fully baked.
  7. Allow the biscuits to cool down and remove parchment paper.

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For the Praline Cream you need:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 80 g egg yolk (5 large egg yolks)
  • 200 g fine sugar
  • 60 ml water
  • 200 g softened butter
  • 2-3 tbsp praline paste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a small sauce pan combine sugar and water and simmer on medium heat until reaches 121 C/250 F. Let stand for a minute (but not more than that, sugar will crystallize very quickly).
  2. In the meanwhile, beat the egg yolks on high speed, until nice white rich texture is reached. Add the sugar syrup, slowly and mix until the mixture will cool down to the room temperature.
  3. Add softened butter and praline paste and mix until soft texture is reached.
  4. Now take your biscuits and spread 1/3 of the praline cream on the first biscuit, cover with second biscuit….continue with the third one and finish with thin layer of cream on the top.
  5. Sprinkle with icing sugar and let cool in fridge for 1 hours.

Cut a squares or rectangles, whatever shape you wish and serve!
BON APPETIT!

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