Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cardamom Nut Brittle

I was inspired to make this after searching for a sweet treat to follow-up an Indian dinner and found this recipe from Gourmet Magazine. I'd never made brittle before and honestly, it was the easiest thing in the world, albeit, slightly dangerous because of the boiling lava sugar. The only thing that took me by surprise was how quickly the mixture came to the necessary 300 degree temperature. In fact, I was lazily measuring out the nuts when I glanced at the thermometer which in mere minutes had rocketed from a safe 270 to 300. I loudly gasped and started dumping ingredients in. The lesson here is, have the ingredients measured out and the workspace readied BEFORE the sugar-heating begins.

Cardamom is a strong, flowery spice so if it's not your thing, I can see other spices easily substituted. Also, brittle is, well, brittle, and I couldn't help but imagine the fillings flying out of my mouth as I ate this so beware. This hasn't stopped me so far, but you know, fair warning.

For many pieces of brittle to give to friends and family:
  • 8-10 green cardamom pods
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raw cashews, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon raw sesame seeds

Lightly oil two 16- by 12-inch sheets of parchment paper with Pam and put 1 sheet, oiled side up, on the counter.

Crush cardamom pods with side of a knife and scrape out seeds, discarding pods. Coarsely crush seeds with a mortar and pestle. Add the salt and cayenne and stir the spices together.

Bring sugar, honey, corn syrup, water, and spices to a boil in a heavy pot (I used my Le Crueset) over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture registers 300°F on a candy thermometer.

Add nuts and sesame seeds and cook, quickly stirring until nuts and seeds are coated, about 1 minute. Carefully pour the brittle down the parchment on work surface so it is one long, but thin sheet. Cover with the remaining sheet of parchment, oiled side down.

Cool brittle completely, about 30 minutes. Remove top piece of parchment when cool and hardened and break into nice pieces. The brittle will keep in a covered container for at least a month.

Adapted from a recipe from Gourmet Magazine.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Cardamom?!? In nut brittle?!? Sounds like a fantastic idea!!! And also, thanks for braving the sugar lava so that we don't have to.

ps. Does this recipe come with dental insurance?