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Sunday, October 10, 2010

SMS: Roasted Cashew Brittle


This week, it's my turn to host Sweet Melissa Sundays!  Last time I hosted it was August 2, 2009 so I was so excited to finally host again.  We have been baking along to the Sweet Melissa Baking Book since April of 2009, so a good deal of the recipes from the book have already been selected and baked.  We've made so many delicious things over the past year and a half!   Can you believe we've been doing this that long already?

For the recipe this week, I selected the Roasted Cashew Brittle.  I've never made brittle before and I love cashews so I thought this would be a fun recipe.  I prepared the recipe word for word from the Sweet Melissa Baking Book, no substitutions or changes.  I'm hosting, so I didn't want to mess anything up!  It was actually a rather quick and easy process.

I've only tasted commercially prepared brittle before so I didn't really know what to expect of the homemade kind.  I'm not sure if mine came out like it was supposed to... some pieces were soooo chewy, particularly the less nutty - more caramelly ones, that they were absolutely UN-chewable and I wound up having to spit them out!  The pieces with more nuts were crunchier (obviously) and edible - and quite good!!!  Did anyone else have this, or know what caused this?  I noticed that Melissa mentions you can also chopped it into fine chunks or grind it into a praline to sprinkle on top of ice cream.  I think I might try this since the au natural variety is a bit rip-your-fillings-out chewy.  If I were to make this again, I might increase the amount of nuts to increase the crunchy factor.  

How did the recipe go for all of you?  I'm so curious to find out!  

Waiting for the mixture to reach 348 F (such a high temp!)

Finally got to 348 degrees.  Notice the color of the mixture now!  Yum!

After baking soda has been added - it fizzles up!

Letting it cool in the pan.  So hard to leave it alone!

It took some serious banging to break it up... sorry neighbors!!!



This last picture is after it has sit in an airtight container for a few hours untouched... it became a solid chunk of brittle!  VERY sticky.  No wonder it is so hard to chew!

Melissa's Roasted Cashew Brittle
Makes about 2 pounds of brittle

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, sifted
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups sugar
1/2 pound roasted cashews
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Lightly butter a jelly-roll pan or rimmed cookie sheet.
1. In a small bowl, whisk together baking soda and salt.
2. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together corn syrup and sugar and bring to a boil. When its boiling, cover for 3 minutes to melt any sugar crystals stuck on the sides of the pan and prevent crystallization).
3. Remove the cover and cook until it reaches 348 F on a candy thermometer.
4.  Remove from heat and stir in cashews. Stir in baking soda mixture.  BE CAREFUL - the mixture will bubble up and is really hot!  When the mixture starts to settle, stir in vanilla and butter briskly until it disappears.
5. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Spread evenly with a buttered spatula.  Let cool to room temperature.
6.When its completely cool, crack the brittle into irregular chunks by banging the pan flat on the counter.

Do not refrigerate or freeze. Brittle keeps in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three weeks.

Be sure to visit the Sweet Melissa Sundays page to see the other bakers who participated this week!  And check out the Sweet Melissa Baking Book for this recipe and all the others we've baked along the past year and a half!


Tracey said...

Sorry I couldn't bake along with you this week Stephanie. Your brittle looks fantastic! Bummer that it was such an odd texture, I'm curious to see how it turns out for everyone after reading all the comments on the P&Q's this week.

I can't believe we're almost to the end of the book!! It's flown by!

Hanaâ said...

On the pictures, your brittle looks really good. I have no idea why it's chewy. The only thing I can think of, is that somehow moisture got to it. Given that you've packed it airtight, I have a hunch that the relatively large amount of butter (which is 20% water) didn't help. Maybe the water didn't evaporate.

Thanks for hosting. I'm still thinking of making the brittle later today but I'll probably stick to my go-to recipe.

I can't believe I get to host again later this month.

Fallon said...

I love cashew brittle! Looks like this maybe one of the holiday treats I'll whip up this year.

thedaintyapron said...

I'm also sorry I didn't join you guys this week. I have a major fear of making caramel. Every single time I have tried has ended up being a failure. Your brittle looks super yummy even though you had the texture issue.

Shandy said...

LOVE the cashew brittle; great choice for this week!!! Mine is chewy too. I put a couple of pieces in the refrigerator for a couple of minutes just before anyone nibbles on them.

Every ONE of your photos is awesome. Thank you for hosting =).

Julie said...

Stephanie - Sorry I didn't post this week. I made the peanut brittle. Lots of challenges, I thought with this recipe. I will be posting for peanut brittle.

Your photos are wonderful!! Sorry it's chewy! Mine is very hard!

Ms Fifikins said...

I went to make this knowing I had some corn syrup in the pantry... you see corn syrup is really hard to come by over here and I paid $10 for my bottle. Then I find Miss 12 has used it to make fake blood! She saw how to on YouTube and didn't know how expensive my corn syrup was! Oh well! Will try and find another botthle!

Gloria vs Fred! said...

Thanks for hosting this week. I'm sorry I couldn't bake along. I bought all the ingredients so I will definitely be making this! Can't let good cashews go to waste. Your brittle looks delicious. I love the deep caramel color.

margot said...

Hi Stephanie, thanks for hosting this week. Your brittle looks great, you would never guess it had a strange texture. I wonder if it's all the butter?

I actually ended up making cashew brittle from a different recipe after seeing the mixed reviews of this one, but I didn't end up posting.

Hanaâ said...

Just wanted to let you know that I uploaded my Brittle post on Monday night ( Sorry for posting late.

keri said...

Your brittle looks fantastic! The photos speaks for itself. You did it perfectly.
dining table

Flourchild said...

Google..something should come up....

french-fridays-with-dorie greenspan.
It's a new cooking group based around Dories new cookbook Around my french table. Her cookbook is can order it on Amazon. The rules are very low key and we post of Fridays(French Fridays) I hope you will join up!!

Eliana said...

Sorry I wasn't able to bake along with you on Sunday but your brittle looks amazing and is making me hungry.

Ingrid said...

Hmmm, it looks good.

I've wanted to make brittle but haven't gotten around to it. I'm going to keep in mind that I need to up the nut factor.

Happy Friday!

Ms Fifikins said...

I made it tonight and followed the recipe to the letter and it worked!


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