Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fragrant Indian Brittle

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads…"– Clement Clarke Moore

Ever since my frightening caramel encounter a couple of posts back, I have been obsessed with this fabulous sugar and butter mixture! After that I made caramelized nuts which I will share with you in an upcoming post and now Fragrant (yes, it deserves a capital F) Indian Brittle. I believe this is the best brittle I have ever tasted. I found this recipe in 2007 on the site and finally made it...10 times! It is really not hard to make, looks pretty and like I said tastes wonderful. It is the subtle taste and fragrance of the cardamon that excites your senses. Wrap it in a pretty cellophane bag or package it in a tin. My tasters loved it and my dear colleagues at TPI gave it the thumbs up.

Here is the recipe -
-you will need a candy thermometer
-you have to work quickly as it can burn easily
-be careful around caramel- it also can burn you! (see my caramel cake post)

Vegetable oil for greasing
-1 tsp green cardamom pods
-1 cup raw cashews, coarsely chopped
-1/2 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
-1/2 cup sliced almonds
-2 cups granulated sugar
-1/4 cup honey
-1/4 cup white corn syrup (I used regular corn syrup and it was very good)
-1/4 cup water
-1/8 tsp kosher salt

1-Lightly oil 2 sheets parchment (each approx 15 inches square).

Set 1 sheet, oiled side up, on heatproof work surface.

2- Crush cardamom pods with side of knife. Scrape out seeds. (You should have about 1/2 teaspoon.) Discard pods. Coarsely crush seeds with side of heavy knife.

3- In medium bowl, toss cashews, pistachios and almonds to blend.

4- Bring sugar, honey, corn syrup, water, cardamom and salt to boil in medium pan on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Boil, stirring occasionally, until mixture is caramel brown or reaches 350F, about 10 minutes. (Watch carefully. Mixture can turn dark brown and burn quickly.)
5- Add nuts, stirring constantly with wooden spoon until mixture returns to boil, 30 to 60 seconds.

6-Pour onto prepared parchment. Cover with remaining sheet of parchment, oiled side down.

7-Immediately roll out mixture between sheets to 1/4-inch thickness, pressing firmly with large rolling pin.

8-Cool until firm enough to hold its shape but still pliable, about 5 minutes. Remove parchment on top. Lightly oil blade of pizza cutter and score surface of brittle into 1-1/2 inch squares. Cool completely. Invert. Peel off parchment. Break brittle into pieces.

Store in airtight container between layers of parchment or waxed paper, at room temperature.
Makes about 1-3/4 pounds.

Enjoy them yourself or package them as gifts!

Until we bake again...



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