Nut brittle is a common name for a snack consisting of different kinds of nuts coated by hard sugar candy, and it’s usually served in the form of broken pieces (hence brittle) from a big chunk. The snack is named after the nut used (I used peanuts so it’s called peanut brittle).
I started looking into how to make this treat when I tried the Macadamia nut brittle flavour of Haagen Dasz and fell in love with the rich caramel taste that reminds me so much of the Alpenliebe candy I used to eat back home. I remembered that back then, the advertisements for Alpenliebe always emphasis on the love and care between couples, between family members, between friends, with the lovely tagline “Sweet as a loving embrace” (I think it’s now changed to “Connecting love”). Since Valentine is coming, I think is a very fitting gift to make and give to not only your lover but also to your family and friends, especially because the ingredients and the process of making this treat is so very simple. Plus, there is no glucose/corn syrup nor thermometer required for this recipe.
Công thức tiếng Việt: Kẹo đậu phộng ‘vỡ’ (Peanut brittle)
- 160g sugar
- 80g water
- A pinch of salt
- 15 butter cut into small pieces
- 100g unsalted peanut (can be replaced with pecans, macadamia, etc)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Note: do not used salted nuts! I’ve tried that and as soon as the nuts are added the whole mixture just turned grainy and clumpy and there was no coming back. I’m guessing that the salt (added at the end with the nut) reacted somehow with the mixture and make it recrystalised.
1. Add sugar, water and salt into a saucepan, heat the mixture on medium heat, during the heating process don’t stir or move the pan. While waiting for the mixture to boil you can line a heatproof tray with parchment paper.
First you will see the sugar dissolved and the mixture will come to a rolling boil with lots of big bubbles like in the photo.
Then the bubbles will subside, and the mixture will start to turn from a light to a deep amber colour, almost resemble that of honey like in the third photo.
2. When the mixture has changed to honey-like amber colour, add baking soda and stir quickly to dissolve, and the mixture will foam up like in the photo. Then add the butter and mix well, the foam will subside and the mixture will become thick like in the photo.
All you have to do now is adding the peanut and mix quickly so that the caramel mixture evenly coat the peanuts, then remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture into the prepared pan, use the back of a spoon to spread and level the mixture and let to cool (if you’re not use to this process, while waiting for the sugar mixture you can put the tray in a 200°C oven for 5-7 minutes to heat it up, the hot tray will keep the brittle from setting too quickly and allow you more time to spread it). The mixture is very very hot at this moment so be careful not to let it get on your skin.
3. When the mixture has cooled down but is still warm and lightly soft, you can use a sharp and lightly buttered knife and cut it into pieces.
Or you can just use the handle of a knife to crack the whole thing so it’s true ‘brittle’, this is really good for releasing stress