Monday, November 28, 2016

Microwave Chickpea Brittle

Most people who know me cannot believe I manage to either bake or make candy. As logical and literal-minded as I am about most things, the kitchen is my playground - never mind that "baking is a science" claptrap. Give me a basic recipe, and my mind will start running wild with variations - mostly those designed to cater to various allergies and preferences in my social circles - and thanks to enough experience in the kitchen I can generally (though not always) reckon something will turn out.

Just look at the bubbles!

Sometimes, though, I come to a conclusion that I believe is completely new and groundbreaking, only to figure out someone beat me to the punch. That was the case here. I had been toying with using roasted chickpeas or soybeans in place of nuts in a candy for a few months, and my mom had mentioned a craving for the British sponge toffee she had eaten on vacation. While I love making candy for holiday gifts, sponge toffee and brittles with baking soda have never entered my sphere of experience. I started Googling toffee recipes and found some peanut brittles that looked similar, which reminded me of the roasted beans. Just as I was patting myself on the back for "creating" a new recipe, I came across this one from Abby that promised to be much, much easier and quicker. I was nervous, since the microwave eliminates the ability to use a candy thermometer, but the original's recipe timing was spot-on, resulting in a candy that was light, bubbly and crunchy, melting on the tongue around just-salty-enough chickpeas. It makes a great snack on its own or crumbled onto ice cream or yogurt, and it's 100% school safe too! 

Microwave Chickpea Brittle

The best part though is how fast it is to make. In fact, it's probably dangerously quick - no need to slowly heat up sugar and babysit it at all - and so easy that you (or your supervised children) can whip up a batch after school and have it ready for dessert. As long as you're armed with a SilPat and a big ol' bowl, candy is yours!

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays

Microwave Chickpea Brittle
Makes ~460g, 10 servings
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup Lyle's Golden Syrup or corn syrup
1 cup salted roasted chickpeas (bought or homemade, see below)
1 tsp shortening
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
  1. Line a cookie sheet with SilPat.
  2. Combine sugar and golden syrup in a large, microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 4 ½ minutes.
  3. Stir in the roasted chickpeas and microwave on high 3 ½ minutes.
  4. Then stir in shortening and microwave for 1 ½ minutes.
  5. Carefully add the vanilla and baking soda and beat until light and foamy (this happens fast and splatters - wear gloves if the bowl is shallow!).
  6. Pour onto cookie sheet and spread to a thick but even layer.
  7. Cool completely, then break into pieces.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 160.8
Total Fat: 0.6 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 140.8 mg
Total Carbs: 38.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
Protein: 1.3 g

Roasted Chickpeas
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Pour drained, cooked chickpeas (canned or home cooked) on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer, patting dry with a kitchen towel or paper towel. Sprinkle with salt.
  3. Roast for 20-25 minutes, shaking the pan every 10 minutes. The chickpeas are done when golden, dry and crispy.