Friday, September 20, 2013

Nut Brittle

Making brittle sounds daunting but it is just a matter of practice. Brittle is nothing more than 'chikki' that we find back home. Growing up ,I loved 'danyachi chikki'(peanut brittle). You can make brittle with any nuts, almonds and cashews are now my favorites.
               Once I got comfortable making a caramel, I have started making brittle more and more. It makes a great edible gift, also makes a fabulous ice cream topping!

1/2 cup sugar
2 tb spoon water
pinch of salt (optional)
1/2 cup chopped nuts

First and foremost, make brittle when you have time to stand near the stove. You don't want to leave the caramel on the stove and do other things. It can go from beautiful golden color to charcoal in no time (been there done that).
    To start the caramel, take a non reactive (preferably stainless steel) pan. Heat the pan to medium-medium high heat. Add sugar and water. Stir to combine. You can stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Don't stir the sugar water mixture once it starts to boil. You can swirl the pan.
       Boil the mixture until it gets golden brown. Remove the pan from heat slightly before the desired color. Sugar will keep cooking and reach the desired color. At this point, add pinch of coarse sea salt,vanilla or any other flavoring, Stir to combine, add nuts and stir again. After this, you have to work quickly. Pour the mixture onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Spread as evenly as you can using a spatula. Cool completely until the caramel hardens and sets. If you are impatient like I am, stick the baking tray in freezer for 5-7 minutes or until caramel is hardened  and the brittle will be ready. Peel the brittle carefully from the parchment paper. If it is set correctly, it will come off easily. Break into pieces and store in an air tight container.
     To make an ice cream topping, grind the pieces of brittle until coarse!

Note- This makes a hard brittle. If you want to make soft brittle, once the caramel is done, add 1 tb spoon butter and mix well. Then flavorings and nuts and follow the process.

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