Spiced Cashew Brittle and Chocolate Crunch Bark
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 15 MIN plus cooling
- SERVINGS: about 2 pounds
Cayenne-spiked cashew brittle is delicious alongside crunchy chocolate bark.
- 1 1/2 cups whole raw cashews
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies or feuilletine
- MAKE THE BRITTLE Preheat the oven to 325°. Spread the cashews on a small baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes, stirring once. Keep the cashews warm.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with buttered parchment paper. In a saucepan, bring the sugar, corn syrup, butter and water to a boil. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until a deep amber toffee forms, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the baking soda and cayenne; it will bubble up. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the warm cashews.
- Pour the hot candy onto the baking sheet and spread it as thinly as possible. Let cool completely, then break into large shards.
- MAKE THE BARK Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, melt two-thirds of the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate reaches 130°. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate until melted and the temperature drops to 85°. Return the bowl to the saucepan and warm the chocolate to 90°, stirring. Remove from the heat. Fold in the Rice Krispies. Spread the mixture on the parchment in a 1/4-inch-thick layer. Let harden completely, then break into large shards.
Luscious, toffee-scented tawny port: Graham’s 20-Year.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.