Baking

Ingredients
  • sunflower oil, for brushing
  • 250 g (8 oz) caster sugar
  • 100 ml (3½ fl oz) water
  • 75 g (3 oz) flaked almonds
  • 125 g (4 oz) lightly salted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 g (5 oz) self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 75 g (3 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 125 g (4 oz) icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon hot water
Directions

Line a 12-section bun tray with paper cake cases. Brush a baking sheet lightly with oil. Put 150 g (5 oz) of the caster sugar in a small, heavy based saucepan with the water and heat gently until it has dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly until the syrup has turned to a pale golden caramel. Immediately stir in the flaked almonds. When coated, turn out on to the prepared baking sheet, spread in a thin layer and leave until cold and brittle.

Snap half the praline into jagged pieces and reserve. Process the remainder in a food processor until ground.

Put the butter, remaining caster sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, flour and baking powder in a bowl and beat with a hand-held electric whisk for about a minute until light and creamy. Stir in the ground praline. Divide the cake mixture between the paper cases.

Bake in a preheated oven, 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4, for 20 minutes or until risen and just firm to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Beat together the butter and icing sugar with the hot water in a bowl until pale and creamy. Spread over the cakes using a small palette knife. Decorate with the praline pieces.

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