Basic things to know about a nut brittle recipe.
A brittle recipe is basically the combination of caramelized sugar and practically any type of nuts that are available, from sesame seeds to brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and whatever else takes your fancy.
The brittle recipe will slightly change depending on which nut you choose.
Nuts in general come in all sizes, a brazil nut is very large, whole hazel nut medium, sesame seed is tiny and it the difference in size of the nut that does in fact determine just how much sugar will be needed to make up the brittle.
Basically it works like this:
The larger the nut the less sugar is needed.
If you take a look at the quantities of these two brittle recipes you will notice that the amount of nuts is the same but the amount of sugar is different.
The reason for this is because the larger the nut the less amount of surface there is to coat with sugar.
To explain it better, if I were to use 600gr of sugar with 500gr of walnuts, it would result in that the extra sugar would run away from the nuts, leaving you with pieces of brittle without nuts.
If you were to invert the quantities and use less sugar for the chopped hazelnuts, the result here would be that you will find it difficult to cover all the hazelnuts evenly with the caramelized sugar.
So when you are choosing a type of nut bear this in mind. Nothing will go drastically wrong if you were to use more or less sugar, simply make a note of your results for the next time, that's exactly how I worked out these quantities myself.
No matter which type of nut you choose I do recommend that you toast them, for extra flavor.
The quantities I have noted are for shop bought chopped hazelnut. As you can see in the photo they are chopped quite small. You can of course use the hazelnuts whole, just remember you will need slightly less sugar.
It wasn't until I tasted a walnut here in Sardinia that I realized that they were so delicious. The only difference was that the ones I tasted here were fresh.
Walnuts are very oily and they do not last from year to the next, they go off quite easily and their taste becomes rancid. There can't be anything more degusting in taste.
So be extra careful when purchasing walnuts. If you can taste one before you buy all the better, if not check to see if the package has a confection date or harvest date.
Walnuts are quite a soft nut and once you have toasted them, they will crush easily in your hands.
After crushing, you will notice that some of the flaky skin on the nut will separate itself, brush this to one side as it will make your brittle taste a little bitter.
No matter what type of nut you wish to use to make a brittle, I find that they taste so much more yummier if the nuts have been toasted.
Gattò is a almond brittle recipe very popular here and our unique way of serving them does give the brittle even more of a tastier taste which you can apply to any type of nut brittle recipe.
If you fancy a go at making up a nut brittle then see my almond brittle recipe. You will find a step by step guide with lots of pictures of all the stages.