I know. I know. Almond brittle is definitely not Indian food. I am not sure when my mom started making brittle, but we have had it around the house for as long as I can remember. When the Kiwi first came to visit my parents for the initial meet-the-parents, my mom made her usual peanut brittle. The Kiwi ate all of it, which meant that now whenever I go home, my mom sends me off with a packet of peanut brittle for the Kiwi. Of course, the Kiwi forgets we have it in the house and after a month I am left having to eat it. The problem with that is I actually don’t like peanut brittle.
So the last time I went home I was determined to put an end to this peanut brittle business, until my mom suggested that since I love almonds she could just make me almond brittle. It was delicious and I came home with some in my suitcase, just for me.
I thought about this this weekend as the Kiwi and I recently moved—hence the lack of regular posts. I like our new place. It is bigger and closer to work. But there is one problem: our new house has an electric stove. I have never—apart from for one year of my life—used an electric stove. I have to admit, I am a little intimidated about using it. So, I figured I would start small. Almond brittle is perfect for that. All you need to use your stove top for is roasting the almonds and melting the sugar. The whole use of the stove top is under 15 minutes. And most importantly, there is no need to regulate the heat.
My almond brittle didn’t come out like my mom’s. I could blame the new stove, but that would be churlish and untrue. Most of the problem was that the almonds weren’t all chopped to a similar size, since we don’t have a food processor and I was crushing them in my mortar and pestle. If you do want uniform pieces of brittle you need your almonds to be of relatively equal size. Mine came out more rough, as you can see from the photo below. But the brittle may not have looked as pretty as my mom’s but it was still as delicious.
The process is easy. You roast the almonds on medium heat either on the stovetop or the oven until they start browning and you can smell almonds if you stick your nose in the pan—not too close though. On a separate burner on low-medium heat you place your sugar and stir. The sugar will slowly start melting and begin turning a nice rich brown color. Once it does that take it off the burner, throw your almonds into the liquid sugar mixture and immediately spread it thinly on a sheet of aluminum foil. You have to move fast before the sugar starts to set.
Wait for it to partially dry before scoring it with a big chef’s knife. Once it is completely set you can use the scoring lines to cut evenly shaped pieces. That’s it. The whole process—apart from waiting for the mixture to dry—took 20 minutes. The only possible hiccup—apart from the evenly chopped almond—is over browning your sugar. If you keep the sugar on the stove too long your brittle will have a slightly bitter aftertaste. You want the sugar to be a rich light brown color when you mix in the almonds.
1 c chopped almonds
Slightly less than 1 c sugar
Roast almonds over medium heat and then chop in even sized pieces. On separate burner, place sugar over low to medium heat, stirring regularly. Once the sugar has become a rich brown, place chopped almonds into sugar and mix. Thinly spread the mixture onto aluminum foil and let it dry. Cut into even sized pieces.