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Nut & Chilli Brittle

July 10, 2022

My favourite sweet snack from Ottolenghi’s OTK book. Beware, it’s addictive.

Serves 8
Cook time: 50 minute

I find the quantities of nuts and seeds to be a bit low, so feel free to go over a bit when measuring them out, or add another type of seed in that you like.
To save time on tempering your chocolate, microwave it on LOW power and keep checking it so that it does not burn. Take it out once it’s two thirds melted and stir to melt the remainder.
Use orange juice instead of orange blossom water if you don’t have it. I find that the orange zest alone provides a sweet orangey tang.

And finally, I find that the cooking times here are not quite enough, so keep an eye on your brittle and take it out when it’s golden brown.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp whipping cream
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g golden syrup
  • 70g butter, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp flaked sea salt
  • 1 tsp Aleppo chilli or ½ tsp regular chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp good quality orange blossom water
  • 15g orange zest / 1½ tbsp finely grated zest
  • 150g flaked & lightly toasted almonds
  • 90g pecan or walnut pieces, lightly toasted and finely chopped
  • 90g pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
  • 50g sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • 20g dried cranberries (OTK uses barberries soaked in 100ml boiling water for 10m then drained)
  • 30g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 145°C fan. Line a large, 40cm x 30cm baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Add the cream, sugar and golden syrup to a medium saucepan on a medium heat. Cook just until it starts to bubble, stirring occasionally, until it is very lightly golden and smooth. Remove from the heat, add the butter, vanilla, salt, chilli, orange blossom water and orange zest, and stir continuously until the butter has melted. Stir through the toasted nuts and seeds until well combined. If using cranberries, mix them in now, then transfer the mixture to the prepared baking tray. Use the back of a rubber spatula to spread out the mixture into a thin rectangle that covers the base of the tray.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the tray and bake for 15 minutes more. Sprinkle evenly with the barberries if using, pushing them gently into the mix with the back of a spoon and return to the oven for another 2 minutes. Set aside to cool completely, about 30 -45 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, temper the chocolate. Put into a heatproof bowl set over a small saucepan of simmering water, with the base of the bowl not touching the water. Once two thirds melted, remove the bowl from the heat and gently stir until the chocolate is completely smooth and melted – this helps the chocolate set at room temperature.
  5. Drizzle the melted chocolate all over the surface of the cooled brittle, then leave to set completely, about 30 minutes, or refrigerate to help it set faster. Break the brittle apart into randomly-sized large pieces and serve piled on to a plate or board.

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