This festive season I managed to burn myself no less than six times. Five times in the kitchen and once at work while absentmindedly pouring boiling water into my tea cup. Despite this, I decided it would be a rather smart idea to whip up some salted peanut brittle for small Christmas gifts.
Brittle is super simple to make (if you’re not prone to burns). It’s basically sugar, water, butter and nuts. There are a couple of tricks to getting the right consistency, but nothing too difficult.
The real trouble came in packing the gift bags. I tried to be thoughtful; I tried to really consider what each person would enjoy. But I don’t know a single person that wouldn’t like peanut brittle. In the end, I closed my eyes and packed each bag blindly. There were no complaints, so either they enjoyed their gift, or swapped up a storm behind my back.
3 cups of nuts (I used a mix of peanuts and almonds)
4 cups of caster sugar
2 cups of water
150 grams of butter
2 teaspoons of sea salt
Line a baking tray and roast nuts at 200 degrees celsius for ten minutes. Grease and line a 20cm by 30cm baking tin. It also helps to grease the baking paper so the brittle is easier to remove. Place the roasted nuts in the baking tin in an even layer.
Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Try to stir continuously and don't bring it to the boil until the sugar grains have disappeared.
Take the spoon out and boil for 10 minutes, or until it turns golden brown. Don't stir at all or you'll find the sugar will crystallize. Brush down the sides of the pan regularly with a wet pastry brush.
Working very carefully (more carefully than me), stir the butter and salt into the toffee mixture. Pour the mixture into the lined tins with the nuts and leave to harden for a couple of hours.
Once the brittle is set, turn out onto a board and break with a hammer or a mallet. Place into sealed bags. Will keep for a couple of weeks.