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Monday, January 17, 2011

Truth in Advertising "Best-Ever Nut Brittle"

Whether it be Italian meringues, decorative sugarwork, or caramel, boiling sugar brings me back to my days in pastry school. I have this image in my head of 14 students leaning over induction units, pots filled with boiling sugar, staring at candy thermometers. Sometimes we'd be standing and staring for 10 minutes watching the color change and the temperature ever so slowly creep up. It seems like the second you glanced away your thermometer would go haywire and, voila, ruined sugar.



Today I can usually tell what stage I'm at in the sugar cooking process without a thermometer. But old habits die hard and you can still find me staring at my thermometer while working with sugar!

In my opinion, Nut Brittle is one of the most wonderful creations using boiled sugar. I found a recipe on Food & Wine website titled the "Best-Ever Nut Brittle" and I have to admit that after making it I agree with the author's title. The recipe is quite similar to most except it uses a little more butter and although the brittle is a perfect crack the butter seems to add some 'creaminess' to it.  I used an extra 2 ounces of nuts than the recipe calls for as for me the most important part about nut brittle is the nuts (the extra 2 ounces consisted of shelled pistachios for extra color).


Ingredients:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 oz. unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 12 oz roasted, salted nuts (peanuts, cashews, pistachios, pecans)
  • Dash of sea salt
Directions:
  • Combine sugar, water, butter in corn syrup in a large saucepan and bring to a boil (cook over medium-high heat) until the caramel registers 300 degrees F on a candy thermometer (approximately 10 minutes).
  • Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the baking soda (the mixture will bubble).
  • Stir in the nuts, then immediately scape mixture onto a large rimmed nonstick baking sheet.
  • Using the back of a large spoon spread the brittle into a thin, even layer.
  • Sprinkle with salt.
  • Let cool about 30 minutes and break into pieces.

12 comments:

  1. Wow, this really looks good ~ would almonds & pecans work with this? yummy....

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  2. Hi Phillm47 - yes, any nut you like will be great!

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  3. Yum! I could use some of this right now. I like the addition of the extra salt.

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  4. This looks great! I've never had nut brittle with pistachios. I'd love to try this recipe with different nuts and see which I like best. That would be a fun project!

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  5. Working with sugar is definitely a challenge that I have yet to master! Maybe I can practice by makings some of this great looking nut brittle.

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  6. Hi there! Thanks for dropping by my blog. I of course immediately had to check yours out, hehe! Now that I see what you do for a living, I cannot believe for a minute that saragli would be hard work for you. I am just teaching myself to bake day by day!! Beautiful baking, by the way. I am happy to eat any of your "imperfect" macarons by the way.

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  7. I would love to have some of this to munch on right now...lol. Love the combination of all those nuts!

    Oh and btw, that walnut frangipane I made using your recipe was a a HUGE hit with my family and friends! :D

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  8. I love nut brittle! I might have to get over my fear of using a candy thermometer so I can make some.

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  9. Now I have to go and buy me a candy thermometers because your brittle look so darn mouthwatering and delicious. And your cakes are so beautiful!!!! Thank you for stopping by my page :)

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  10. Well, since I'm nowhere near having the experience you hold...I'll take your word that this recipe holds 'best of' deservedly.
    I absolutely love Nut Brittle. The only thing that prevents me from making it this way is because of the corn syrup inclusion. Do you think it could be made with another substitute and still get reasonable results?

    Btw...your visit on my culinary journey was very welcomed...nice to come visit you too ;o)

    Ciao for now and flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

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  11. One of my next kitchen purchases is definitely going to be a candy thermometer. There are so many wonderful things that you just can't make without one. One of them of course, is your delicious looking peanut brittle!

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