University (and GCSE and A level) exam season is starting in the next few weeks, so we'll all need that little bit of extra "brain food" (i.e. sugar) to keep us going through the long and seemingly very sunny days (and nights!) of revising for exams and meeting coursework deadlines. Throughout the next few months, it will be very important for anyone taking exams to look after themselves and eat and sleep properly, so breakfast is a must, as well as little snacks throughout the day. This apricot and almond brittle is a snack idea that I found in Home Sweet Home from The Hummingbird Bakery, and for any vegans out there, it's vegan-friendly too!
Ingredients (to make 1kg of brittle)180g (6 1/2 oz) flaked almonds
200g (7 oz) dried apricots, thinly sliced
100g (3 1/2 oz) dark chocolate chips (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
600g (1lb 5oz) caster sugar
400ml (14 fl oz) water
- Line a large baking tray with baking parchment and preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius (325 degrees Fahrenheit), or gas mark 3.
- Spread the flaked almonds onto the lined tray and toast them in the oven until they are a light golden colour - this will only take a few minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Once the toasted almonds are cool, add the sliced apricots and chocolate chips to the same tray and use your hands to mix them in evenly.
- In a medium saucepan, dissolve the caster sugar in the water. Bring to the boil and continue to boil for 15-20 minutes or until it forms a rich caramel colour. Do not stir while the mixture is boiling or the caramel will crystallise; just gently swirl the pan from time to time.
- Carefully pour the hot caramel over the nuts, fruit and chocolate, making sure to try and cover all of the ingredients evenly in sugar. Carefully set aside as the tray will be hot, and leave the brittle to cool and set completely.
- Once cooled, break into pieces to serve.