Thursday, December 17, 2009

I believe in Father Christmas

I have been making nut brittle during the holidays for several years now and have always relied on Gale Gand's version, which is easy, tasty, and offers something different than the usual cookies. This year I decided to try Nigella's brittle from her Christmas book, recently released in the States, but which I ordered last year from Amazon UK. What I found appealing was the use of golden syrup, an ingredient I became slightly addicted to once I started using Rachel Allen's books. Sweet, sticky, with an almost caramel-vanilla flavor, it is quite different than light corn syrup. I don't know if it is interchangeable with corn syrup; a bit of research I've done online has some people saying go for it with others not having quite as good a result. Please note that the recipe link above for Nigella mentions the American version of the brittle (using corn syrup), which I have not tried.

Anyway, I decided to make two batches; the very shiny top one came out exactly the way I like it: very crunchy with beautiful sharp edges when broken into chunks. I made that one with Brazil nuts and I think they finally may get the respect they so deserve.

The bottom batch I made with walnuts and a pinch of cinnamon; I also mistakenly added two tablespoons of butter to the mix at the end instead of one. This resulted in a very soft, rather toffee-ish texture, chewy, but really tasty. To me, walnuts and cinnamon have a natural affinity for each other and definitely belong in holiday baking.

The only other change I made to the recipe was the omission of vanilla at the end. I have found that adding vanilla to anything using golden syrup often renders the finished product a bit cloying. So I left it out and don't believe the recipe suffered.

I'm taking both batches to a cookie swap today. I'm looking forward to hearing what other people think. We shall see.


Chow and Chatter said...

yummy, posting your yummy pasta just now have fun had the cookie swap

Love Rebecca

Bridget said...

I love Brazil nuts, but it never occurred to me to use them in a brittle. Duh!

dodi said...

hey -- I ate these!!! I vote for the top pic - YUMMO!!!!

Would you share the recipe??? :)