After my relative success with a sugar thermometer (result: chewy salted caramels), I thought to myself, "You're on a roll, genius, bring on some more salty sweetness!". So along comes this brilliant and easy-to-make salted peanut brittle.
This recipe combines the best of sweetness (ie. caramel) with the best of salty (ie. peanuts and salt flakes). There is no more heavenly combination.
Salted Peanut Brittle
makes about 1kg of brittle
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup water
120g (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup liquid glucose or light corn syrup
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
340g (12 oz) roasted salted peanuts (or other nut, such as cashews, pecans, etc)
Sea salt flakes (eg. pink salt or fleur de sel), for sprinkling
1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with baking paper. The sheet size depends on how thickly you spread the brittle mixture. I used a 30cm x 20cm sheet for brittle about 1cm thick.
2. Have the nuts and baking soda measured out and at the ready.
3. Combine the sugar, water, butter and liquid glucose in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the caramel hits 149 deg C (300 deg F) on a sugar thermometer. This will take about 10 minutes.
4. Turn off the heat and carefully stir in the baking soda.
5. Then stir in the nuts and immediately pour the brittle into the prepared baking sheet. Make sure the baking sheet is on a heatproof surface, as it will get hot. Smooth out the brittle with the back of a spoon into a thin, even layer.
6. Sprinkle with salt flakes.
7. Let the brittle cool completely (about 30 minutes).
8. Break the brittle into large shards to serve.
Brittle can be stored in an airtight container (do not refrigerate) for up to 1 month.
Recipe adapted from foodandwine.com
Ingredients and implements: Note the large saucepan - the caramel mixture will bubble up, so you don't want it to boil over.
Apologies for the lack of photos of the making of - it was pretty difficult to balance a camera while watching the thermometer then mixing in the nuts before the mixture hardened (excuses, excuses..!)
Heat the caramel to 300 deg F - or 'hard crack' stage. Sounds like something a sniffer dog would unearth. By the way, 260 deg F is 'hard ball', which is what the magistrate plays when you are caught with 'hard crack'.
And I love pink salt.
To crack up the incredibly hard crack brittle, I turned the cooled brittle over and used a meat mallet and sharp (old) knife.
Hint: Rinse your large saucepan, stirring spoon and thermometer with boiling water before washing - the hot water will melt the hardened caramel, no problems.