Better Brittle.

7 Jul

Let me take you back to when I was seven and trying to make my first batch of toffee. Not having the greatest knowledge of what would and wouldn’t work when extreme heat was applied, undoubtedly the results were pretty disastrous.

To give myself some credit, I knew toffee contained sugar. But to give this creation a bit of a twist, I decided to substitute honey instead. And to make it extra exotic? Some desiccated coconut.

I bung it all in a pan, put the hotplate on its highest setting and waited for something to happen. The finished product was a strange paradox: a gloopy yet burnt and crispy mess, sweet but at the same time bitter from charcoaled coconut, impossible to get out of the pan, yet capable of oozing out and sticking to everything else.

Needless to say, the pan ended up in the bin and I, in the naughty chair.

I’ve been scarred ever since and it’s only 12 years later that I’ve had the courage to attempt to cook toffee again. And possibly because I now have a better culinary knowledge, it worked.

Sugar can be really hard to work with and making toffee is all about precision. Don’t cook it long enough and you’ve just got a syrup. Cook it too long and you’ll end up with something akin to my honey-coconut concoction. They say that getting the timing right is difficult without a candy thermometer (something which the average person, myself included, probably doesn’t even own) but it is possible.

This recipe is more like a brittle, with the addition of nuts making it so. The chocolate gives it an extra bit of (unnecessary) richness, making this a pretty decadent sweet. Now it probably won’t be as perfect as something you’d buy commercially but for a homemade attempt it’s pretty good. Just make sure you don’t try to give it a bizarre exotic twist.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Brittle.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Brittle

2 cups caster sugar

1/2 cup water

1 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts

50g butter

200g dark eating chocolate, melted

1. Line a baking tray with baking paper, or grease it really well.

2. Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Stir over low heat without boiling.

3. Bring to the boil over a high heat and cook, uncovered, without stirring for 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture is golden brown. You want it to look like this:

Caramelised sugar.

4. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the bubbles to subside. Stir in the peanuts and the butter.

5. Pour the mixture onto prepared tray and leave to set at room temperature.

6. Spread the chocolate over the brittle.

7. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes or until the chocolate sets.

8. Break into pieces to serve.


One Response to “Better Brittle.”

  1. Eliza Jane July 7, 2010 at 5:37 am #

    🙂 break me off a piece of that brittle!

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