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Peanut brittle...why the water?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I've seen quite a few peanut brittle recipes and they're all basically the same
2c sugar
1c corn syrup
peanuts to taste (a specific amount is given but one source said if you want to add more or less, go ahead)
1t baking soda
butter (i've seen 1T, 2T, 3T, 4T and even more) I guess it depends on how buttery you want it
water (1/4C, 1/2C, 1C)

What difference will the amount of water make?
The only brittle I had is the Payday candy bar. So I can't even begin to describe exactly what I want because I don't know. I just want to try making brittle because I have nothing else to do. In the past I've made carmel and toffee and brittle is the only thing left.

Oh, one other question. One book I read said to make candy your own by doctoring the recipe. She said you could use honey instead of corn syrup. She mentioned this when talking about carmels.
If I use honey instead of corn syrup in this brittle, the honey will only affect the taste and nothing else, right? And the better the honey the better the taste?
post #2 of 3
Water boils at 212F. Brittles are cooked to hard crack, maybe 290-300? (Google it or check your candy cookbook.) In any case the water gets boiled out.

The water is there in the first place to help prevent sugar crystals. Steam from the boiling water washes down the sides of the covered pot as the sugar cooks and takes with it, down into the boiling sugar, any crystals that form or are thrown onto the sides of the pot.

Preventing crystallization is also one reason for including corn syrup. I don't know offhand whether honey will work similarly.
post #3 of 3
Just what MaisieBake said. icon_smile.gif

Here's the chemistry behind making peanut brittle:

http://tinyurl.com/2rd95a

HTH
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