Originally from the holy city of Qom in Iran, this almond brittle, perfumed with saffron and decorated with barberries and pistachios, is even more tempting than the classic peanut variety. The amber tinted caramel gives it a festive look, and makes it a perfect gift idea for Christmas.
- 3 tsp rosewater
- pinch of saffron threads
- 125g unsalted butter
- 60 ml (¼ cup) pouring cream
- 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 115 g liquid glucose
- 2 tbsp slivered almonds
- chopped pistachios and dried barberries (see Note), to decorate
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time 1 hour
For this recipe, you’ll need a sugar thermometer.
Combine rosewater and saffron in a small bowl. Grease and line a 19 cm x 29 cm lamington pan with baking paper.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in cream, sugar, glucose and ¼ tsp salt, and cook for 5 minutes or until mixture starts to turn golden brown. Stir in almonds and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the mixture reaches 175°C on a thermometer or when a spoonful of mixture dropped into a glass of iced water forms a hard ball. Remove from heat, stir in saffron mixture and stir until bubbles start to subside.
Pour into the prepared pan and immediately scatter over pistachios and barberries. Set aside for 1 hour or until hardened, then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container, in single layers separated by baking paper, for up to 1 week.
• Available from specialist and Middle Eastern food shops.
Photography by John Laurie.
As seen in Feast magazine, December 2011, Issue 4.