Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Sunflower and Pumpkin Seed Brittle.

I had some sugar syrup left over from making Italian meringue.  It had gone completely solid in the pan but I thought it would still be possible to turn it into caramel and embed seeds in it to make an interesting seed brittle.  Anyone feeling wary - this is the only candy my mother made when we were kids, and she really did not like cooking.  It is simple; just be careful of the hot caramel as any of that on your skin will burn badly.  The actual quantities don't matter much - if you have lots of seeds and only just enough caramel to coat they will fall apart better and be better for you - too few seeds and you have more caramel to suck or crunch between the seeds.  Chose whatever type of nut or seed you have handy and like.

I took a couple of handfuls of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds and toasted them briefly in a hot pan.
toasted seeds
Keep an eye on this - they should only just be tinged with gold and be beginning to fragrance the air.  Put them into a cold bowl when they are done.  If you just turn the heat off and ignore them they will carry on cooking and be likely to burn.

I put the solid clear syrup onto a medium heat and watched as it began to go liquid.  I didn't stir.

melting syrup
It gradually went completely liquid and then began to turn golden on the edge.

beginning to go golden

When it was a light amber colour I turned off the heat, tipped the seeds in and tipped the whole mass onto a pan lined with a sheet of baking parchment. You can just grease the pan but it is a lot more reliable to use baking parchment.

seed brittle

broken into pieces

This very easy to make.  You do have to pay attention and shouldn't try to do other things at the same time. Get your pan ready before you begin making the caramel as you have to handle the caramel and seed mixture swiftly when it is ready.  Store in an airtight container.

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