We are entering the second week of Blogging Marathon and my theme for this week is Chinese recipes that can be made at home. We love Chinese food, Indo-Chinese fusion food and anything vegetarian we can find with an Asian twist. My immediate thought was noodles and rice and then I paused for a moment and realized that there are desserts in the Chinese cuisine that I have made at home. That is how I shortlisted this Chinese Peanut Sesame and Ginger brittle recipe.
Making a brittle has always scared me as we have to make sugar or jaggery syrup in the right consistency. In India, the brittle is mostly made with jaggery and we have to bring the syrup to the perfect hard ball consistency to get the right texture. Here is the link to my Indian Peanut Ball recipe using the jaggery. When I was reading this recipe here, I was excited that there is no syrup making here. We just have to make a basic caramel and then switch off the flame and add the ingredients and flatten it.
The procedure sounded too simple and I had my doubts about the texture when I began making the recipe. It took me only 30 minutes from start to finish (including the time taken to roast the peanuts, remove the skin and so on). The actual brittle making time if we have all the ingredients prepped and ready is just about 10 minutes.
I was not too sure about using ginger in the recipe, as my older son is not too fond of the ginger flavor. I still wanted to give it a try as I myself have not tasted it and wanted to see how the ginger worked out in the recipe. The flavor of the ginger was very mild (maybe I added too little) and worked fine for my family. If you love ginger, then go ahead and add a little bit more.
With the Chinese New Year coming soon, I realized this would be a great dessert / snack to make to celebrate the occasion. Also stay tuned for more of Chinese recipes that I enjoy making at home.
In the meantime, these Chinese Cocktail buns - Gai Mei Bao would be a great choice for evening tea. Also definitely take a look at the Chinese New Year Dumplings to make for the New Year. If you are a street food lover, like me, then this Chinese Scallion Pancakes with Ginger Soy dipping sauce would be something to take a look at.
Preparation time - 15 minutes
Cooking time - 15 minutes
difficulty level - medium
Recipe adapted from - Healthy Nibbles and Bits
Ingredients to make Chinese Peanut Sesame Ginger Brittle - (makes about 24 medium pieces)
- Peanuts - 1 ½ cup (I used raw peanuts)
- Sesame seeds - 3 tbsp
- Ginger - 1 tsp (grated)
- Sugar - ¾ cup
- Prepare a wooden board lined with some parchment to pour the brittle. Keep a rolling pan (lightly greased) along with it to flatten the brittle.
- In a wide pan, roast the peanuts until they are aromatic. I used the peanuts with the skin and roasting makes it easier to remove the skin from them. You can use roasted unsalted peanuts as well to make this brittle. The peanuts don't have to change color when roasting. This takes about 8 minutes on low to medium flame. Make sure you keep tossing the peanuts around when roasting.
- Remove the peanuts on a tray and let it cool down a bit.
- In the same pan, slightly roast the sesame as well (just for about 30 seconds). Remove it in a separate bowl.
- Once the peanuts are cool to touch, start rubbing them against your palm to remove the skin. If you impatient like me and want to remove the skin right away, then wear a mitten and start rubbing them. Blow off the peeled skin and keep the peanuts aside. It is not essential that the skin has to be taken off in every peanut. A few skinned ones here and there is perfectly fine.
- Grate the ginger and keep it ready.
- In the same pan, add the sugar and heat it in low to medium flame without stirring.
- Once the sugar starts to melt (will take about 3 to 4 minutes), mix it up to make sure that all the sugar melts evenly. The sugar will melt into a golden brown liquid. Make sure that the flame is not too high as otherwise the caramel will burn.
- Once the entire sugar has melted, turn off the flame. Add the grated ginger and let it cook for about 10 seconds.
- Now add the peanuts and the sesame and give it a quick stir. The mixture will solidify very quickly, so make sure you have all the ingredients ready before starting to make the caramel.
- Drop the mixture onto the prepared board and roll it with the rolling pin to flatten.
- Cut the pieces when the brittle is still warm as it will be hard to do it when they cool off.
- Once the brittle cools entirely, break off the pieces and store in an airtight container.