Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Chocolate Cashew Brittle
My holiday dessert tray will not be complete without this delectable and crunchy nut brittle. I have already made a few batches of these. The variations are endless - roasted cashews with vanilla, peanuts paired with lightly toasted sesame seeds or even almonds with freshly ground cardamom.
Some of you may find brittle making rather daunting but this is a fool proof recipe. And no candy thermometer is required. Just don't walk away from the kitchen when attempting these crunchy delights because you could end up with bitter tasting brittle as the sugar will burn very quickly once it starts to turn amber. I had all my ingredients ready and prepared the baking sheet with Silpat before I started the whole process. Parchment paper will work as well.
A note about the butter - I always get unsalted butter . If you prefer salted butter that is fine too, just omit the salt. I bought pre-roasted, unsalted cashews.
1 1/2 cup roasted cashews - roughly chopped
4 Tb unsalted butter
a pinch of salt
1 Tb pure vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tb corn syrup
1/3 cup of water
3/4 cup finely chopped semisweet chocolate
Roughly chop roasted cashews.
Line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper and set aside. If using parchment paper lightly grease it with butter.
Have butter, baking soda, vanilla and salt ready in a bowl and set aside.
In a heavy bottomed pan, bring sugar, water and corn syrup to a boil on high heat. Boil sugar till it turns amber. It took me around 12 - 15 minutes. It will also start to get a little smoky at this point.
Remove pot from heat and stir in the ingredients that was set aside earlier. Stir quickly and add in the chopped nuts. I used my sturdy wooden spoon. Baking soda will make it foamy, so don't be alarmed!
Pour brittle onto prepared baking sheet and spread out as thinly as you can. Word of caution, DON"T lick the spoon, put it away in the sink..seriously, burnt sugar is VERY hot. If you want chocolate on it, sprinkle 3/4 cup of finely chopped semisweet on the brittle after the brittle is spread out. The hot brittle will melt the chocolate. Wait for 7 minutes and spread out the melted chocolate with a knife or a silicone spatula
This whole cooking process takes only 20 minutes tops. Can't beat that this time of the year.It makes a wonderful gift and it travels well.
Let it cool completely, break it into shards and enjoy!