This is a great little "mouth adventure" for you to try. Make the peanut brittle - crack it up and dip them in the sauce to serve! We are going to have it with Venge's 2008 Oakville, Napa Valley Late Harvest Zin. If this is the only thing you make on the menu, make it! And please let me know you liked it!
Pine Nut Brittle & Chocolate Sauce
Pine Nut Brittle Recipe
Ingredients: Makes about 1 pound
1 cup pine nuts, toasted in oven 8-10 minutes
1 tbsp fresh Rosemary, rough chopped
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup corn syrup 4 tbsp fresh unsalted butter
3/8 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 piece of fresh lemon
Toast the pine nuts in a 350 degree oven until slightly golden. Remove from oven and transfer to a plate add the chopped rosemary and toss. Set aside until needed.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and oil rub some oil all over the paper to have it ready for when brittle come out of pan. This all happens in seconds - so take my advice - get set up and ready early because when it's done, it's done. You don't have time to think about it later. Make sure you have half a lemon piece sitting right there, because you'll use that as your "spreader".
Here goes; put the sugar water and corn syrup in a medium pot. When sugar dissolves, add the butter. Do not stir this mixture at all. Simply swirl the pan once in a while and try not to touch it too much. Continue to cook for about 8-10 minutes until a nice golden brown.
Remove pan from the heat. (This part goes very quickly so be ready everything is in place to make it easier.) This is the final step and it’s one fell swoop! Whisk in baking soda, and salt. Quickly add the pine nuts and rosemary. Stir quickly to coat all the nuts. Immediately pour the mixture onto the prepared parchment paper and spread it around using the piece of lemon and flatten the mixture to your desired thickness. (I spread mine as thin as it would let me.) Let cool. It will harden in about a hour. Then crack it in the bite size pieces. Good news: you can have this as a treat all week. It keeps well in a airtight container at room temp for about that long.
Easy Chocolate Sauce
You can add any herb flavor to this sauce that you like, or just leave it plain. This great, rich, not-too-sweet sauce goes well with anything. I used Rosemary in this recipe. Feel free to experiment a bit and have some fun. Try new things.
6 oz bittersweet or extra bittersweet chocolate at least 70 %, finely chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
Chop the chocolate and put it in a heat-proof bowl. Then, set aside. Heat the cream in a pot, and be sure this pot has a tight fitting cover. Add your herb of choice and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cover tightly. I used one sprig of rosemary ( I wanted just subtle rosemary flavor) and let steep for 30 minutes. Discard the herbs and set aside. Meanwhile get a pot and add the sugar and water. Put over medium heat and stir only to dissolve sugar. Leave it alone - only swirl the pan once in a while. Cook until a golden amber color.
Remove from heat at this stage and add the cream. Mixture will bubble up. Stir and put back on heat for just a minute to be sure all the caramel is melted in. Pour this mixture over the chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted thoroughly. (You can store this sauce in fridge up to a week until needed.) You can reheat this mixture care fully in a metal bowl over lightly simmering water. Don’t let the water touch the bowl or it could seize the sauce. When heated through and liquid again remove from heat and keep warm until you need it.