27 February 2010

Salted Cashew Brittle - Better Late Than Never

Remember how I promised to share the most amazing Cashew Brittle with Fleur de Sel back in December? Yeah, well, time got away from me and I never got around to typing up this post.  I am sorry.  But maybe now the sugar shock of the holidays has worn off, and you will be interested in actually making a candy recipe?  This brittle would make a lovely addition to an Easter Basket or a sweet surprise for someone with a spring birthday.  It is a pretty straightforward, easy candy to make.  Be sure to have a candy thermometer before you try to make this recipe!  I also found it was best to have all the ingredients measured and ready to go.  When caramelizing sugar hits the desired temperature, it waits for no one.  It also can burn the heck out of you - so be very, very careful while making this candy.

The cashews are amazing in this candy, and they are the perfect match to the fleur de sel.  I used salted cashews because I prefer a rather strong salty contrast to my sweets, but any unsalted or salted nut would probably work fine in this recipe.  I highly recommend using fleur de sel or another interesting sea salt.  It really stands out in this candy.  My parents more or less threatened each other over who got the last bite of this brittle, insisting I make a second batch.  We all burnt our fingers in our eagerness to taste nibbles of the brittle as it was cooling- delicious.

Cashew Brittle with Fleur de Sel
adapted from Food & Wine via Eggs on Sunday

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 stick unsalted butter
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 ounces salted cashew pieces
Fleur de sel or crushed Maldon sea salt

Measure out your nuts and baking soda and set near the stove. On a heat-proof surface, set a rimmed sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Combine the sugar, water, butter and corn syrup in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until the caramel is light brown and registers 300 degrees F on a candy thermometer (approximately 10 minutes).
Turn off the heat and carefully stir in the baking soda (the mixture will bubble).
Stir in the nuts, then immediately scrape the brittle onto your parchment-lined baking sheet. Use the back of a large spoon (oil it lightly if it sticks) to spread the brittle into a thin, even layer. Sprinkle evenly with fleur de sel (don't be shy!) and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Break the brittle into large shards.
Makes 2 pounds of brittle.


grace said...

i don't think any nut benefits from a little salt as much as the cashew. what a tremendous candy this must be! so caramelized sugar waits for no man? that's good--the sooner i can eat this treat, the better!

anna said...

That looks so great! I love cashews! And caramel! And salt!!

Josie said...

Yeah pretty much salt + sugar = heaven :) (and if there are some cashews mixed in, even better)

If you try the recipe, let me know what you think!

Lisa Michelle said...

OK..you have some seriously yummy treats on your site. I have ti wipe the drool from my mouth after perusing through your recipes and photos! I am in super super lust with this salted cashew brittle!! I just finished a can last night :( If only I knew about this beforehand!

Cate O'Malley said...

I'll bet the sea salt addition makes them absolutely perfect - sounds delicious!

Sherry G said...

I think everyone's been saying it but... yay for salt and sugar! Salty nuts kind of rock my world... (I mean this in the cleanest way possible!)