Jan 10, 2013

Almond brittle

This time it worked. And I gave up on the idea after my last experience on Sunday. I wasted over 2 cups of almonds and I didn't learn anything. I still didn't know how to make caramel or how to toast almonds to the perfection. Even Julia Child didn't come to rescue. Her caramel recipe just said to add "some water". Not good enough for me.

And then last evening, I was browsing through some recipes. Hania felt like some plain cake again. I'll do that next. But the almond brittle showed up. It had the exact water amount, 2 Tablespoons. And, like most of the recipes on this site, there was a step-by-step picture gallery and a video with Sonia, the chef. I still had some problems with the almonds. Mainly, because they took longer in the oven then Sonia said and I was delaying my dinner that needed oven heat as well.


I used whole almonds with skin. To take the skin off, I put almonds in the boiling water for 1 minute. Not longer, or they become cooked and wet. I strained them and peeled them, two almonds at once. One in each hand, easy. Then I spread them on a the biggest baking sheet I had, lined with parchment paper. I placed them in the hot oven for about 15 minutes. Sonia said, 5 minutes in 150 C/300 F. That wasn't nearly enough. I started with 180 C/355 F in the middle of the oven. After about 8 minutes nothing happened. So I raised the temperature to 230 C/430 F on broil and I put my sheet in the top part of the oven to speed up the process. And then I didn't take my eyes away from the almonds. I squatted down and looked and waited. At one point, after 5 minutes or so, I opened the oven and I noticed a nice almond smell. That was a good sign, but there were still too white. So I put them back, and as soon as they changed the color just a bit (1-2 minutes), I took them out. They had a caramel color, just like I wanted and tasted great. Not burned, with a full almond aroma.


I put sugar with water and lemon juice in the heaviest saucepan I have. I turned the stove top on low (4, on my induction stove top that goes from 1-10). I mixed the dry mix till it started melting and then I left it alone for about 10 minutes. The carmel should not be mixed during cooking. It was bubbling at a perfect speed. When the color became blond, I took it off the heat immediately and poured in the almonds. Caramel burns fast, so when I saw the color I wanted, I didn't hesitate for a second to stop the cooking.

Now, we have a home made candy to enjoy. My first one!

Recipe adapted from Giallo Zafferno
time: 30 min
300 g (2 cups) whole almonds
350 g (1 3/4 cups) sugar
2 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 180 C/355 F. Line the biggest baking sheet with a parchment paper. Line another rectangle baking form 33/21cm (13/8inch).

Prepare the almonds. Peal them and toast them. Please, refer to the text above. Chop the almonds coarsely. I chopped only half of them.

Prepare the caramel. Please, again, refer the text above. Mix in the almonds for about 1 minute and pour the mixture into the prepare rectangle form to cool completely. Press it with a spoon to make it flat and even.

Watch it! The caramel is very hot, don't try to dip you finger to taste it or you might loose your finger.

And don't worry about the post-caramel-cooking-impossible-to-clean pot. If you leave it overnight with water in it, in the morning you'll have no trouble.

The brittle started to get sticky after a couple of days, probably because of the moisture in the air. I should have put it in an air tight container. 

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