by Emma Chow
I love any candy that involves nuts and seeds encased in hard, caramelised sugar; it tricks one into believing they are eating something healthy while getting the sugar hit that a busy mother inevitably needs.
Chinese, Japanese and Korean versions of this candy are usually made with black and white sesame seeds and peanuts and often eaten and given as gifts around the New Year.
What with peanut allergies being a major concern in regards to children, particularly in kinder and at school, I thought I’d make a version with pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and sunflower seeds. Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, zinc, protein and omega 3 oils. Sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E, copper, vitamin B1, manganese, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus and folate. This makes a good energy snack for both parents at children; I give my four year old a piece after swimming lessons and find that on those days where I barely eat breakfast and definitely don’t have time for lunch, the jar of seed candy on the counter saves my life.
It is not actually very sweet tasting, more nutty and toasty.
This recipe requires no sugar thermometer and is very quick to make, if a little labour intensive on your stirring arm.
This recipe is gluten free and nut free.
1.5 cups mixed sunflower and pumpkin seeds (you could substitute in almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds, flax, or cashews)
½ cup white sugar
¼ cup rice bran syrup
1/2 cup water
Pinch of salt
Prepare a silicon mat on a baking tray or line the baking tray with a greased piece of baking paper.
Pour the seeds into a large shallow heavy based pan and put on medium heat.
Add the sugar, rice bran syrup, water and salt and stir.
You’re going to stir this continuously for about 8-10 minutes until the seeds are toasted and coloured, the sugar mixture has thickened to a dark caramel colour.
Pour the mixture onto the silicone mat or baking paper and spread with a clean silicone spatula.
Allow to cool to just warm before turning onto a cutting board and cut the brittle into your desired shapes.
Store brittle in an airtight container or jar for up to 2 weeks. That is if you can stop yourself from just munching on this all day.