This brittle is absolutely delicious, and it’s another recipe from Fire Islands: Recipes form Indonesia by Eleanor Ford. I can’t stress just how good this is!
I made two batches of this for vegan friends. The first was with margarine, which turned out not to be vegan, and a second batch with vegan butter. They were largely similar and delicious, but I do wonder how great they’d be with real butter.
Besides eating the brittle as candy, the author recommends breaking the finished product into granola-sized pieces and sprinkling over ice cream.
Note that you’ll want a candy thermometer or a similar instrument to measure the sugar/butter temperature. Also, have all your ingredients measured out ahead of time (mise en place) because when the sugar reaches its target temperature, you’ll not have time to measure ingredients.
What you’ll need:
- 350g (1.5 cup) caster sugar
- 1T golden syrup*
- 125g (0.5 cups) butter (one stick)
- 0.5t salt
- 200g (4 cups) toasted, unsweetened coconut flakes**
- 1t vanilla extract
- 0.5t baking soda
*There’s a recipe for that in this post, but I have a suspicion you could get away with not using it.
**I don’t think you can buy toasted coconut flakes, but there are plenty of instructions online on how to toast them It’s pretty easy: add the coconut flakes to a clean, dry frypan over low-medium heat. Maybe toast them in two batches, as 4 cups is a lot. Continually stir and mix the coconut flakes, and you’ll notice that they start browning. Don’t overcook them, and don’t let then sit more than 15 seconds without mixing them. Stop toasting then when they look fairly uniformly and lightly toasted.
What to do:
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium saucepan, add 0.25 cups water, the sugar, golden syrup, butter and salt and cook it all gently without stirring until the sugar melts.
Turn the heat up to high. The sugar will start to bubble, then caramelize and eventually reach the hard-crack state of 309 degrees F. 309 is the magic temperature, for when it reaches that temp, quickly remove the pan from the heat and mix in the toasted coconut flakes. Still moving quickly, add the vanilla and baking soda and mix them in, just enough to be distributed.
Still moving quickly, dump out the mixture onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Using the back of a large spoon, smooth out the coconut/sugar thinly and evenly across the sheet pan. Don’t worry too much about neatness and evenness, as it’s going to be broken up, anyway. The batch I made covered an entire half-sheet pan (13” x 18”), and it was still pretty thick. Let it cool and harden.
When it has hardened, break it up into whatever-sized pieces you like, or smack it into shards for putting on ice cream.
Keeps in an airtight container for up to 2 months.