Thursday 26 September 2013

Hazelnut Brittle

I've been gathering hazelnuts while out on my walks.  When I bring them home, my husband patiently removes them from their shells, spreads them on cookie sheets, and toasts them in the oven.  Once they're toasted and cooled, he gently rolls them in a kitchen towel to loosen some of the brown skin from the outside of the kernels.  

The prepared nuts are bagged or packed in mason jars and stored in the freezer.

Preparing the hazelnuts is time consuming work and I appreciate my fella doing it while I'm at work.  It's a chore I'm glad to cross off my list! 

I wanted to thank my guy for his time and effort so I used some of the nuts to make him a batch of hazelnut brittle.  It's quick and easy to make, and he loves it.

To make hazelnut brittle, you'll need:

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped, toasted hazelnuts
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, cut in small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

You'll also need:
  • A heavy saucepan with a tight fitting lid
  • A small baking sheet
  • butter or oil to prepare the baking sheet for candy making
  • a candy thermometer
  • a pastry brush
  • a small bowl of ice water
  • a wooden spoon

Begin by buttering or oiling the cookie sheet and spreading the chopped nuts fairly evenly over the surface of the pan.

Once that's done, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water in your saucepan and cook it, uncovered, over high heat, until it comes to a boil.

When the mixture has come to a boil, put the lid on the pan and let it boil for two minutes.

Remove the lid and brush the sides of the pan down with ice water. 

Attach your candy thermometer to the side of the pan.

Continue boiling the sugar mixture until it reaches 285F.

Remove the pan from the heat, add in the butter, and swirl the mixture around in the pan (don't stir it) until the butter dissolves.

Return the pan to the heat and cook the sugar/butter mixture until it reaches 290F.

Remove the pan from the heat again and immediately stir in the baking soda.  Be careful!  It will foam up.

Once the baking soda is stirred in, quickly spread the sugar mixture over the nuts on the prepared pan.  It probably won't cover the entire pan.  If any nuts are left uncovered by the sugar mixture, pick them up and gently press them into the candy before it sets.

Allow the brittle to cool completely, then break it in large pieces and store it in an airtight container.