x la cupeta
Almond brittle: La Cupeta
Every once in a while a recipe comes along that seems easier than it should be, so easy in fact that you almost feel cheated that anything that good could be that simple: this is that recipe. Humidity is the enemy of la cupeta so store any leftovers in an airtight jar. This also makes a great gift. And you can use other nuts as well, most famously, hazelnuts.
Same amount of sugar, plus 30% more
Most recipes call for equal amounts sugar and nuts but I find the coverage lacking. Pour nuts onto single layer on parchment paper. Gently heat the sugar until caramelised, keeping it as blonde as possible. Pour the lava-like liquid onto the nuts, covering as best as possible (many add the nuts to the liquid, stir and then pour it onto the parchment paper: you do get better coverage but you also make more mess).
Cut the lemon in half and use it as you would a spatula, not squeezing but just smearing the hot liquid down into any remaining holes. Allow to cool. Break with a hammer, the handle of a knife or any other heavy object, remembering that you are aiming to crack, not pulverize.
*A word of warning. This liquid sugar will be very hot and any spills will not only burn through you but will head straight to the core of the earth. Be careful.
A variation: You can pour out a third of the sugar at the blonde stage, then go up to red head and finally to brunette, assuming you like your sweets with a bitter edge. Breaking up the cupeta, you’ll have all three flavours together.