As I'm sure you know by now, we love to forage! This time of year is the most lucrative in terms of fruit; berries and very soon - nuts!
Nuts are particularly good to forage with the family as they fall to the ground making it easy for little hands to pick up; their hard shells protect them from creepy crawlies; and once you've gathered them they will keep for ages.
Cob nuts (or hazel nuts) can be found growing wild in hedgerows and woods, but they are also often used as municipal planting so you can commonly find them in residential streets and parks. It's a little early for them right now as they are still green in their husks, but soon enough they'll be turning brown and falling.
I made this recipe using some of last year's haul and it's a quick and simple make. Delicious served with coffee as a sweet treat, or use the shards to decorate a cake - imagine this on a chocolate hazelnut torte. Or wrap it up in cellophane bags or pretty boxes for a gift. Because it only uses two ingredients (or three if you want it salted like mine) it's great for a last minute gift, and of course you can substitute shop-bought hazelnuts or any other nuts. It also works well with salted peanuts.
There's no real recipe as such, use whatever quantity you wish, as a general rule of thumb I use equal weight of sugar to shelled nuts, but use more sugar if you want more caramel, or more nuts if you want a chunkier nut brittle.
Shell your nuts first - obviously! You don't have to, but I think this tastes better if you lightly toast them first. Place on a baking tray in the oven at about 190 degrees for 5 minutes. You can remove more of the husk when they're warm too by placing between two tea towels and rolling them under your palm, but I don't worry too much - if you want perfection you'd buy them from the shop!
Once it's liquefied, toss in your cob nuts, swirl around and pour straight out onto a piece of greased paper on a flat surface. While it's still hot, sprinkle a little sea salt over the top, for that whole salted caramel thang that's going on.
Leave it to set and cool, then break up into shards.
Please do take a look at the foraging hangout video where I share this. Such a lovely chat about why we love wild food, tips on where to find it and what to make - the links are below.
Life at the Zoo shared her blackberry and apple jam and her forager's cake
Plus 2 Point 4 showed us her beena cordial
Bear Blue Wood had elderberry cough syrup and lavender ice cream
I also shared blackberry jelly and fruit cordial
Kids Chaos showed us how to freeze fruit and a delicious pear cake, as well as a non-edible tie-dye bag with blackberries.