Oolong

Nut Brittle

 

 

At the New Amsterdam Market this winter, we served our house made nut brittle. Not only did it accompany the oolongs beautifully, it surprisingly generated additional foot traffic to our table. In some cases the nut brittle became more popular than the main attraction. Reflecting upon the amounts of “Wow’s”, “That looks good”, and “Can I try it?” from the market goers, we decided to dedicate some time to write down the recipe so you can make it at home - to accompany you while you have a moment to sip some oolong or beverage of your choice, which should be oolong anyway...
 
What is good about this recipe is the flexibility you have in switching out the ingredients to your own taste. Say if you don’t like walnuts, you can always use almonds or pine nuts.

 

The brittle itself.

Grease a sheet pan or just line it with parchment paper so you can eventually pour your brittle mix on it after it’s done. We pour ours onto something called Silpat. It comes in handy since you don’t need to use any grease. Try to use a pot with a large surface area for heating the brittle mix, so it's easier to stir. You definitely need a thermometer.
The portion noted here makes enough for you to give some away or savor it throughout the week…
Brittle
  • 400 grs of Nuts*
  • 40 grs Butter
  • 300 grs Sugar
  • 215 grs Corn Syrup
  • 70 grs Maple Syrup
  • 235 grs of Steeped Oolong Tea (Save the leaves)
  • 6 grs Baking Soda mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
  • Fleur de Sel to sprinkle
Nuts**
  • 80 grs Pepitas or Pumpkin seeds
  • 70 grs Toasted Sunflower seeds
  • 100 grs Toasted Hazelnuts
  • 100 grs Toasted Marcona Almonds (This is the fancy ones)
  • 20 grs Tea Leaves (The ones used to make the Steeped Oolong Tea)
  • 30 grs of Puffed Rice
**The nuts in this recipe are all toasted and chopped into small pieces. You can substitute or use as many or little as you wish.
  1. Place the sugar, steeped tea, corn syrup and maple syrup in a large pot over high heat. Stir with a spoon (don’t use metal) until the sugar dissolves. Let this mixture cook, stirring occasionally until the temperature reaches 240F/250F. This takes about 10 minutes or so, depending on what kind of burner you are using.
  2. When the temperature reaches the 240F/250F, add your butter, your nut mixture, and the tea leaves as well, leave out the puffed rice. Now the brittle needs your full attention. Stirring with all the nuts in gooey sugar is a good way to exercise your arm. Keep stirring on high heat until the mixture reaches an absurd temperature of 300F. Do NOT try to put your fingers in there… you will get some serious burns.
  3. Once the brittle mixture is at 300F, remove the pot from the heat and add your Baking Soda water and puffed rice while stirring. The baking soda is intended to create air bubbles in the brittle making the brittle very light and airy. Quickly mix everything in and pour the brittle out of the pot onto the sheet pan or slipat (whatever you are using). Spread it evenly across the surface with a spatula. Sprinkle with Fleur-de-Sel while the brittle is still hot. You may need a hand from a friend for this step.
  4. Allow the brittle cool completely. After it is completely cold you can either spread with your favorite (melted) chocolate or eat as is. If you decide to spread it with chocolate just be aware that you might need to temper the chocolate so it creates a nice glossy finish on your brittle... Then have fun breaking it into pieces.
  5. Steep some oolong - enjoy!