Saturday, April 30, 2011

matzo brittle



As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to make this Passover-oriented recipe for an Easter party, because I do things like that. But it was really just a Doctor Who party (the best kind of party), and the Doctor is all for cultural sharing. I checked out a couple of different recipes, but based most of my brittle on this one.


3-4 sheets matzo (use the strongest, thickest, saltiest ones you can find)
2 sticks (one cup) unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chocolate chips or shards (semisweet or dark)
1/2 cup nuts (I used cashews), roughly chopped or crushed (plastic bag + ladle works wonders)


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with foil, coat with cooking spray, and lay out the matzo (break up the pieces until they fit). Boil the sugar and butter in a small, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil for three minutes, continuing the stirring, to form caramel.


Pour the caramel over the matzos and stick the sheet in the oven for 12-15 minutes (let it bubble for a couple of minutes, but don't let it burn). Remove from the oven and let it cool for a minute, then sprinkle the chocolate evenly over the caramel. Return to the oven for another minute or two, then take it out and use a spatula to smoothly spread the melty chocolate over the whole sheet. Sprinkle on the nuts, cover with something solid (I used a plastic cutting board) and gently press down for a moment to make sure the nuts get embedded in the chocolate. 


Let the brittle cool for thirty minutes on top of the stove, then stick it in the fridge for at least an hour. When it's firmed up, flip the whole thing over and peel off the foil. Use a knife to break up the brittle into bite-sized pieces (I went along the lines between the pieces of matzo and then chopped each one into about nine bits). The brittle should last about a week in a sealed container in the fridge.





I thought this stuff was waaaayyyyy too sweet, but two separate groups of people devoured it practically before I had a chance to apologize for that, so maybe it's just me. Kelly said it reminded her of dark chocolate HobNobs, which are the best cookies ever. So that's cool. My suggestion to use strong, salty matzo comes from the fact that I felt like all its flavor and texture was lost to the sweet components, but the matzo I was using is definitely of a thin, mild variety. You could also use less caramel/chocolate and add some salt between the layers. Like the other brittle I made, I'd like to try out different versions of this. Predictably, I want a spicy one. Crushed chilies mixed into the chocolate? Mmm.

This was pretty messy to break into pieces and I ended up with a lot of little crumbled bits that would probably make an awesome topping for a cake or a bowl of ice cream. Try it out and let me know.

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