Monday, August 10, 2009
Here is recipe for your dentist to laugh all the way to the bank...Chinese Peanut and Sesame Brittle.
I cannot help remembering the alter offering of candied peanut and sesame fingers that our mother used to buy from the 'kit ai tiam' (local grocery store) and placed in front of the wooden shrine of the Kitchen God(deity). Under the flickering candle sticks and the burning incense, she prayed with a humble offering of huat kuih (rice cake) and oranges. Sometimes she added a piece of Char Siew ( Chinese BBQ roast pork). In hard times, the offering was only a bowl of rice and three sake-sized cups of tea, with each containing a dried red date, because that was all she had for an offering. As an adult I no longer drool over the thoughts of those peanuts and sesame goodies, but the prayer she whispered as she clasped her palms in perpetual motion still echoes in my mind: "Chao Kun Kong, Po pi, po pi gua a kia-ji kian hong peng aun bo tai chi" ("Please Kitchen God, I invoke you for the sake of our children's health and well-being"). Well, mum has gone home to her gods but I am pretty sure she doesn't mind if I still have those sweet teeth-breaking indulgence except I have to visit the dentist more often. Here is a recipe for your dentist to laugh all the way to the bank.
How to make Chinese Peanut and Sesame Brittle.
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup raw sesame seeds
2 cups skinless raw peanut
Some recipes call for roasted peanut instead or raw. I am using raw peanut and sesame because they are actually roasted in the syrup as it cooks, infusing the candy with flavor.
Bring sugar, vinegar and water in stainless steel sauce pan. Bring to full boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Continue to boil until mixture is golden and reaches 300° F on a candy thermometer. Add peanuts and half of the sesame seeds and boil until sugar crystallizes (about 10 minutes). While the sugar mixture is still caramelizing, line a square baking pan with foil and generously grease the foil. Pour the hot mixture onto square baking pan.
Smooth the surface by pressing down with another pan of smaller size, grease the bottom.
Sprinkle the top with the remaining sesame seeds and cool slightly. While candy is still warm, remove from baking pan by lifting the foil.Allow to cool and cut into square.