Friday 13 September 2013

Salted caramel cob nut crunch

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!

Place your sugar in a pan (use any white sugar - caster or granulated it doesn't really matter), and pop the heat on high.  Leave it until it melts to a caramel - you can give it a gentle swirl but DON'T STIR IT!  Keep a careful eye on it too as it can burn easily.

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 and apple cider vinegar
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.

Link up your recipe of the week

Romanian Mum
Homemade Thursday


  1. Oh God that looks so delicious! I wish it wasn't a fast day for me *weeps*

  2. Ooooooooohhhhh my! I want some!! Have tons of cobnuts on our tree so will be trying this out! x

    1. You've got your own tree??!!! *stamps foot*


  3. Hi Liz,
    I really enjoyed the Hang Out video. Next time I will make sure to have a cup of coffee, since it felt like we were all sitting around a kitchen table having a coffee chat. Your brittle looks yummy. No hazelnuts here in Southwest Louisiana, but I can try peanuts or pecans. Have a great weekend. Linda @Wetcreek Blog

    1. Hi Linda, so glad you enjoyed the hangout. They're such a lovely bunch, it's just like having a chat and I forget people are watching sometimes!

      Please do try with pecans or peanuts x

  4. Your blog posts make me peckish.yummy

  5. I bet this can be done with other kind of nuts too! so crunchie and sweet but not at all good for my expanding waist line :(
    thanks for linking up with the #FridayFoodie Round Up lovely x pinned , g+ and tweeted

  6. That looks really good! We are loving foraging at the moment. I noticed some sloes the other day so they are next on my hit list :-)

    1. What are sloes? (asked an American). :>} Linda

    2. Googled it. Always thought it was a "slow" gin fizz! Jokes on me the teetotaler. Linda

    3. Ohh sloe gin is amazing! Have you tried it?

  7. Wow. These look just amazing. I really want to crunch into a piece right now.

    Thanks for linking up to #recipeoftheweek. Pinned and Stumbled. There's a new linky live now if you want to join in :) x

  8. This is fab! I bought some cob nuts a few weeks ago took some lovely photos then didn't know what on earth to do with them!!!

  9. That looks amazing! I...erm.... have a tendency to burn sugar/caramel, but I really want to try this. I'm not a massive hazelnut fan, but I'm guessing it would work just as well with other nuts? Mmmmm!!!

    Thanks so much for linking up to #homemadethursday!