Nut brittle

Nut brittle

By
From
Lucy's Bakes
Makes
1
Prep
15 mins
Cooking time
5 mins
Photographer
Jacqui Melville

I stayed some years ago on the Greek island of Symi; we walked all over the island taking our lunch to enjoy in quiet bays. It is really hard to f ind something sweet to take as it is so hot and food melts, but they sell wonderful pistachio brittle, which is perfect in hot weather! When we returned to the UK, I set about making some brittle and soon decided that many recipes had too much caramel for me – what I like is lots of nuts with just enough dark caramel to hold them together. You can use any nuts – toast them first for the best flavour and texture.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
300g mixed nuts of your choice
80g water
250g granulated sugar
good pinch salt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line a 20 cm shallow baking tin with baking paper.
  2. Bake the nuts on a baking sheet for 7 minutes, or until browned but not too dark. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  3. While these are cooking, put the water and sugar into a saucepan and heat very gently until the sugar has completely dissolved, stirring from time to time. Do not allow to boil at this stage.
  4. When the sugar is dissolved, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. It will bubble a lot – this is the water evaporating and this must happen for the sugar to get to a high enough temperature to caramelise. Stir from time to time.
  5. It will start to change colour, stir gently and watch it change from pale gold to a medium brown – you can smell the caramel as it turns. You need it a nutty brown colour so it has a hint of bitterness, but do not allow to burn. As soon as it is ready, throw in the nuts and salt, stir quickly and turn the mixture into the prepared tin. Leave to go completely cold and hard.
  6. Using a small hammer or a rolling pin, break the brittle into bite-sized pieces for eating, or crush in a thick plastic bag to make praline to sprinkle on cakes or desserts.

Note

  • This recipe is vegetarian and dairy-free.

What the testers say

  • BEN COLEBY – ‘I used pistachio nuts to make my brittle – I know nothing about caramel but I managed the recipe without a disaster, but you definitely need to wait until it smells a bit burnt before you put the nuts in or it is a sweet, sticky mess.’

    HATTIE CUFFLIN – ‘I love this – I made my caramel quite dark and I think that is what gives it flavour, so don’t take it off the heat too soon.’

    SIMON EBBS – ‘I love anything nutty but had never made nut brittle before – it turns out it is nothing to be scared of!’

Tip

  • For a shortcut, use salted roasted nuts – no need to toast these. They add a saltiness to the brittle which I really like.
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