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!