Peanut and cashew brittle with Sichuan pepper and chilli

Karen Martini
Sugar and spice: Peanut and cashew brittle is a nutty delight.
Sugar and spice: Peanut and cashew brittle is a nutty delight. Photo: Marcel Aucar

The Sichuan pepper adds such fragrant spicy floral notes to this and, along with the pleasant flush of heat from the chilli, balances the sweet and richly nutty brittle.


1 egg white

1/2 tsp salt flakes

1 tsp ground chilli flakes

1/2 tsp finely crushed Sichuan peppercorns

150g salted cashews

250g salted peanuts

1/3 tsp baking soda

30g unsalted butter, softened

265g castor sugar

120g honey


1. Preheat your oven to 180C fan-forced or 200C conventional.

2. Lightly whisk the egg white in a large bowl until foamy. Mix in the salt, chilli and Sichuan pepper. Add the cashews and peanuts and mix to thoroughly coat the nuts. Spread in a thin layer on a large tray lined with baking paper and roast for five minutes, then stir through and roast for a couple more minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

3. Crush a large handful of the nuts to a rough powder in a mortar. Mix the crushed nuts and the baking soda through the whole nuts in a large bowl. Add the softened butter and set aside.

4. Bring the sugar, honey and 100 millilitres of water to a simmer in a medium pot. Cook until it forms a caramel and reaches 145C on a candy thermometer. Tip in the nut mix, stirring through until the foaming subsides and the butter is completely incorporated. Immediately pour the mix on to a tray lined with baking paper and, working quickly, spread flat with an oiled spatula. Lay a piece of parchment on top of the brittle and press down with a second tray until as flat as possible.

5. Set aside to cool completely before breaking into pieces. Store in an airtight container.


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