I’ve had my fill of saccharin sweet toffee this holiday season. I thought it was about time to make a new toffee recipe using natural sweeteners that didn’t leave me feeling so “off” after indulging. I recently came up with this alternative while designing a menu for an organic meat and cheese company. The idea was to integrate their products in a new and deliciously interesting way. Usually I don’t use meats in my dessert, I don’t think many cooks do, but somehow this combination of flavors and textures came to me. Sweet, Salty, Nutty, Bittersweet, Crunchy and Chewy. Generally I steer towards mostly plant based foods, for health and ecological reasons namely. When I do incorporate meat, it’s in a very particular way, and always in small quantities. Brown Rice syrup is one of my go-to natural sweeteners, and you’ll find it hardens beautifully in this recipe, just like sugar. You can find it in the baking section of most health food stores.
My favorite sweets are always a delicate balance of sweet and savory. I find this combination is utterly satisfying and I hope you enjoy it too. I myself plan to keep this in my arsenal for next year’s stocking stuffers.
Peanut brittle with Bacon, Chocolate and Fleur de sel
Makes about 2 cups
½ cup butter
½ cup brown rice syrup
3 Strips organic bacon, about 3 tablespoons chopped finely
3.5 ounces 70% dark chocolate
1/3 cup roasted peanuts
few pinches fleur de sel
1.In a heavy bottomed pot, melt the butter. Then add the brown rice syrup and bring to a simmer or medium high heat stirring with a wooden spoon frequently.
2.Once the mixture starts to pull away from the sides of the pot, using a spoon place a drop in a glass of cold water to test if it hardens. Once it does, you know it’s done. Watch over it carefully as it will start to burn quickly. Add the bacon bits and peanuts and stir until combined.
3.Spread the mixture over a silpat or parchment lined sheet pan so that it is no more than 1/8 inch thick. Allow to set in a cool place.
4. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate over low heat. Once the toffee has set, pour the chocolate over the toffee and spread in a thin layer overtop, sprinkle with fleur de sel and cool in the refrigerator. Once set, break into smaller pieces and enjoy!