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Oh So Brittle

December 21, 2009

If you are itching to make some last minute edible gifts, I have just the thing! Nigella’s fabulous peanut brittle. Well actually she says it’s a simplified version of American chef Art Smith’s recipe.

I had planned to make all sorts of things this Christmas, but after a very disappointing (disastrous) attempt at icing cookies on Saturday morning (I spent so much money buying the requisite equipment, and found at the end of the day that I was still missing many key items. Poo.), I decided I should not try to be too clever when working under time pressure, but instead just make a few simple but delicious items.

So I went through a number of cooking magazines and books, and landed on two Nigella recipes that felt good to me. One of which was this excellent peanut brittle recipe.

I have little else to say about it, except that it’s fairly easy to make (just be sure not to burn the sugar), and it’s so good!

So without much further ado, the recipe.

Nigella’s Peanut Brittle with Art and Soul


  • 200g caster sugar
  • 60ml water
  • 150g golden syrup
  • 150g salted peanuts
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 25g soft butter
  • 1¼ tsp baking soda

Directions (mostly verbatim, but with a few tiny modifications/additions)

1. Get out a large sheet of parchment paper and place on a cookie sheet. Sit it nearby.

2. Put the sugar, water and syrup into a saucepan, bring to the boil gently, then turn up the heat and let it boil for 5 minutes or until a rich, deep amber, swirling (but not stirring) the pan a couple of times, until the syrup has turned gold in color. It will be smoking by then, so be warned!

*Two very important points: bring to boil GENTLY, and SWIRL the pan a couple of times. I did both these things for the first batch and it turned out perfect. I failed to do both these things for the second batch and it became a big pot of scary burnt black nastiness after 6 minutes. (The reason I even had it on the heat for over 5 minutes was because the original recipe in my book said to boil it for 10 minutes!! I just found out online that she’s made an amendment to the recipe, so what I’ve put here is the amended version. Oddly though, when I made the first batch I had it on the heat for almost ten minutes but it turned out great anyway.)

3. Take the pan off the heat and, with a wooden spoon, stir in the nuts, followed by the vanilla, butter and baking soda. You will have a golden, frothy, hot and gooey mixture.

4. Pour this briskly onto the waiting parchment or foil, using your wooden spoon to coax and pull it to make a nut-studded sheet, puddle-shaped though it may be, rather than a heap.

5. Leave it to cool, then break into pieces and store in at airtight container or box; or bag up to give at once as presents. You’ll get about 400g in total, and it’s up to you how much you want to put in each bag. I find it easier to do several small batches like this, rather than multiplying quantities as I cook.

*To break the brittle into pieces without dirtying your hands, just roll back the parchment paper at the places where you want the brittle to break.

And you’re done! It’s really yummy, so you’ll have to try not to munch on too much of it before giving it away.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Chocolate girl permalink
    December 23, 2009 2:41 am

    Wooo love brittle! super easy and super yummy. actually almost too yummy esp with all the sugar in it =P Used to buy them all the time from the armish market. YUMs.

  2. Constance permalink
    December 24, 2009 5:14 pm

    ha…i ate up everything in one go. :-). thanks!

  3. mrsmultitasker permalink*
    December 26, 2009 2:18 pm

    ‘Welcome Constance! We just ate your delicious fruit cake. Hubby liked it =) =)

    Chocolate girl: You might get a little surprise later =)

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