It's "Starters and Nibbles" at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) this week. I've missed out on last week's theme, "Mediterranean Magic". Well, I did make a dessert from The Kitchen Diaries, but it was a disaster! It is no fault of the recipe, it's ME!! Recipe calls for gelatin sheet, and I have replaced it with gelatin granules, and obviously I have made a wrong estimation and the dessert turned out a floppy mess! And since I did not have a back-up recipe planned, and the "floppy dessert" was made at the last moment, I have to skip last week's theme at IHCC, and not very happy with myself as I try not to skip any themes if I can.
So for this week I'm going nuts with "Starters and Nibbles", you can't go wrong with these easy peasy nuts!
A word of caution though ! These are addictive!! Crunch! Crunch!
Recipe calls for pecan nuts, but I do not have enough of pecan nuts, so I have mixed with some whole almonds. I've made about slightly more than half a recipe (I did not weigh the nuts). Firstly crack some cardamom pods to release the seeds and mix the seeds with the nuts and ground ginger in a small frying pan. I do not have enough of ground ginger and have mixed some ground nutmeg. Heat over medium heat for a minute or two, then pour over some tablespoons of granulated sugar over the nuts, continue heating until the sugar melts, bubble and caramelised. Pour the nuts into a bowl, dust with some ground cinnamon and a sprinkle of sugar over. Roughly stir with a spoon, leave nuts until completely cool. As it cools, the nuts will clump together, separate them when they have cool completely. I ate some, they are sweet but in a very sweet delicious way, and thought it needed something else. I got it! Salt! I sprinkled some sea salt over, toss to combine.
And what a difference! The salt really brings out the sweetness and spice! It was so good and really addictive, I've got to stop myself from eating more, or there will be none left for my photos!
These are so easy to make, and so fun and yummy to eat! Great for nibbling, and to pass around, especially with the World Cup season right now, these would be great with a glass of cold beer!
My notes : I will definitely make this again, though next time I will reduce the amount of cardamom or I might just omit it altogether, as the taste is quite strong when you munch on the nuts with the cardamom seeds stuck to them, though I do not mind that at all, my son do not like the taste of the cardamom seeds. I thought the ginger and nutmeg with the cinnamon makes a great combination. And the salt, please do add the salt, the one that blends the spices and sugar so well together! I like the light crunchiness of the pecans with the crispier crunch of the almonds, they are perfect together and the next time when I make this again, it will be with the combination of these two nuts.
Spiced Caramelised Pecans
(adapted from bbcfood.com, nigel slater)
1 tbsp cardamom pods
1 tsp ground ginger (mixed with pinch of ground nutmeg)
200gm pecans (mixed with whole almonds)
6 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt (my addition)
Break the cardamom pods and remove the seeds.
Add them to a frying pan with the pecan nuts and ground ginger, cook over a medium heat for one minute.
Pour five tablespoons of the sugar over the pecans and let it melt, bubble and caramelise.
Tip the caramelised nuts into a bowl and dust with cinnamon and a final sprinkle of sugar.
I'm linking this with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week is "Starters and Nibbles"