Shiny Happy Cashews
I love flicking through cookbooks, it really is one of my favourite past times, it may sound really depressing, but it’s really quite inspiring. It’s my version of leafing breezily through a chick mag…or porn, depending on how sordid your life is. I have a few favourites that I’ve learnt the basics from; Pastry from Michel Roux, comfort food from James Martin, and all the classic British-ness from Constance Spry’s giant brick and the good ol’ Delia collection. Yet, no matter how many times I peruse those well-battered pages, I still manage to get myself into a bit of an excitement at the thought of buying a new bit of cooking equipment recommended by the authors.
I will readily admit that I am so easily led by kitchenware suggestions in cookbooks. I’m not sure if it’s just the idea of a new toy to play with, or whether I like to think that i’m more adventurous then I actually am. Either way I just watch myself as if my consciousness and common sense were removed from the scene and i’m witnessing a comedic, gullable character ponder over how much I really need a knife shaped like a hand so I can karate-chop my vegetables (yes, it really >exists<).
This whole thing stemmed from this crappy weather in England at the moment. Because it’s been raining so damn much I can’t do the normal summery events, like frolicking in fields of daisies – my back garden – or have a barbecue. Thus I have been resigned to sitting in my window reading cookbooks all day, catching the brief glimpses of sunshine between the parting clouds and hoarding the vitamin D like a bear scoffing salmon, ready for a winter of hibernation. So because of this, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands to read.
I’m sorry, I’m getting distracted here! Back to the post for today. Seeing as it has been raining, and it has been really muggy and humid, my appetite has pretty much entirely gone. The only thing I’ve really wanted is cashew nuts, a cashew nut that’s had something special done to it. A warning, from henceforth there will be a lot of talk of my nuts. I dare you to keep a straight face…
Shiny Honey Cashews
2 handfuls nuts/about 400g (I used cashews because they’re awesome, but pecans, hazelnuts…whatever, they all work)/1 cup
100g (ish) sugar/0.5 cups
2 tblsp honey
80ml (ish) water
– Put the honey, sugar and water into a pan and heat until it starts to gently boil on the hob (not too high on the heat!), this’ll take about two or three minutes maximum. Make sure it’s not too runny and the liquid has reduced slightly. The first time I made these I put it in too early and my nuts almost got scorched after a too lengthy cooking.
– Stir in the nuts and stir them constantly for about five minutes, until the water has all evaporated off and the nuts are covered in thick honey goo.
-When it looks sorta like caramel you’re sorted, pour them out onto a covered baking sheet and spread them apart from each other pretty pronto, the caramel will be completely cold in about 3 minutes and you’ll have to snap them apart (doesn’t make them taste any different, they just become a little…spiky?)
– Let them cool.
This recipe is really easy, it just required a little attention, you really do have to look after it otherwise it’ll burn. It’s also quite versatile, you can add spices to the mixture at the start, cinnamon works particularly well, a good pinch of cayenne does too. I hope you enjoy them! I’m wishing for sunshine for the whole UK so I can get a little more creative.