The hazelnuts used in the process are lightly roasted to remove the skins. Hazelnuts can be purchased without skins or you can do it yourself.
This technique finishes the roasting process started when the skins were removed. The hazelnuts are coated in sugar before the roasting process continues, which reduces the chance of flavor loss. When nuts are fully roasted in the oven, by contrast, the nuts are openly exposed, and the heat and air blowing in the oven makes them more vulnerable to losing their distinguished flavor.
Use a copper pan to caramelize the hazelnuts, if possible, because nuts roast more easily in copper as the whole pan stays hot.
It is very important that the hazelnuts be warm when added to the sugar. Cold nuts would shock the sugar and slow down the caramelizing process.
|Hazelnuts, whole, skinned|
|Sugar, for the caramel|
|Sugar, for coating|
Note: Normally when cooking sugar in a larger quantity, you would remove any impurities using a sieve. The small amount of sugar in this recipe, however, makes it difficult to do this.
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