I’m finally back with a recipe this week, with this quick and easy Microwave Peanut Brittle! Microwave cooking is a blessing at this time of year, when it’s just too rushed and busy to do anything complicated. Why is it that Christmas (one of the most enjoyable holidays to cook for) is too busy for all those fab foods that I love about December? I have a list of recipes as long as my arm that I want to test out, not to mention a brand new cookbook sitting there, but not a moment to get to grips with any of them. And I haven’t even started the shopping, the planning for meals, or even made a list of people I need to buy for.
Luckily however, this Microwave Peanut Brittle takes about 10 minutes to throw together and cook, and then you can relax while it sets into hard, glossy, brittle perfection. The best thing about it was that I had all the ingredients in the cupboard. No the best thing about it was that instead of standing over the stove for an hour or two, I cooked it in the microwave!
Most recipes for hard candies and brittles and so on seem to call for corn syrup. I can’t buy it here, but I have an almost superstitious aversion to it anyway. It seems to sum up everything that is wrong with mass-produced junk food culture, in just a few little syllables. But it’s easy to replace corn syrup with other inverted sugar syrups, and here’s a little-known fact for you, Golden Syrup is an inverted sugar syrup. (I know this because an Italian friend was fascinated by it one night at dinner, and I was completely unable to explain what it was, so we read the label!)
So I found a recipe, and replaced the corn syrup with golden syrup – you just replace it on a 1:1 basis. Then you pretty much whack it all in the microwave. You do need to think about what temperature your microwave can go up to – mine goes up to about 850 Watts on high. Then you need to adjust the recipe according to that. If yours goes higher, you might not need to cook it so long, and of course if it’s lower, you’ll need to give it a bit more, so that the sugar really melts and boils to a high enough temperature for the candy to go brittle.
My other big tip is that once you’ve poured it into your prepared tin, let it cool just a little bit, around 5-10 minutes, and then score the top of it with a knife, just enough to leave lines in the surface. This will help make it easier to break neatly later. I did this in order to make these nice neat squares. But it’s also fun to just break it apart into shards as well! But if you’re packaging it up for the neighbors for Christmas, you might want to break it into squares.