Monday, December 5, 2011

Homemade Banana's Foster Peanut Brittle de Chef Tess

It's food storage Monday.  Remember that tomorrow morning I'm teaching a freezer dessert and breakfast cinnamon roll and sticky buns class! I call the class "My rolls are cool!"  It will be freezer to oven rolls that you can make ahead of time for the holidays. Class starts at 10 AM at the Honeyville Farms store in Chandler. 

It's also December and here we are on the cusp of the ultimate month of goodies!  Consequently...You will either love me or hate me by the end of this week. I've decided to share candy recipes. I'm voting you'll love me by the end of the week though. As for today. Ace loves peanut brittle. It may be his favorite candy next to My Homemade Toffee. However this isn't my standard peanut brittle recipe. It's freakin' tricked out.  Here's why. My friend Michelle  was looking at a can of Dehydrated Banana Chips the other day at the store. 

She's so dang cute. Her question to me was, "What do you do with them in food storage besides trail mix?" In all honesty it was a classic example of stump the chef. My brain went totally blank ( I know you're shocked to hear that. Bwhahah). I had used them as a garnish for banana cakes in the past, since they didn't go brown on the top of the cake. However, in all honesty, that was as far as they ever went. So...I took some home and decided I needed to play. After all. Monday is always food storage day. To be honest, I cook with food storage every day. It's part of my wholesome upbringing. I'm trying not to be so obsessive about sharing it all the time though. I have to admit, that I'm helping write a cookbook on the subject so it is on the forefront of my giant brain.  I think food storage should look like this... 
Oh...and of course after the banana conversation with Michelle, I couldn't stop singing the banana song.  Ace showed me this Banana song on a ding-a-dang Sesame Street "Sing Yourself Silly" Song video back in 1995 on one of our first dates. How's that for being romanced ladies? {Insert eye brow raise.} Sesame Street on a date. That's right up there with taking me to a Day Care to see if I'm good with kids, right? Crank up the music with the Merengue beat! Boom-chicka-waa-waaa! Everybody sing! One banana...two banana...(You know you want to!). Putting on my frilly polk-a-dot apron and dancing through the kitchen flailing my arms in a very unflattering manner. Just a minute.You better do it with me.

In all honesty. If you don't play that song during the whole time you make this won't turn out as good as it could have been. That may or may not be totally true. All I know is this turned out really beautiful. 

This is a play off  the actual  original flavors of Bananas Foster. If you've never had it, it's a banana dessert that started  at Brennan's Restaurant in 1951. That dessert got it's name from Chef  Paul who created the  dessert for Richard Foster, who served with the founder of the restaurant (Owen Edward Brennan) on the New Orleans Crime Commission. Richard Foster was a very good friend of Owen. It wouldn't be the first time in history a dish was named after a person. Shall we just call the brittle " Bananas Tessalicious"? It's got just the right amount of peanut, crisp banana chips, and crunchy sweet lightly spiced rum candy to almost make you pass out. I'm only saying this so you know that you may need to plan ahead to give it away. {Hint. Hint. I'm almost totally out of brittle...} I for one had to hide it in a closet and lock myself in a different closet...just to avoid the temptation. Evil. Evil. Evil. That's all I can say. Shall I share the recipe then?
I think so.
Banana's Foster Peanut Brittle De Chef Tess
1/2 cup salted peanuts
1/2 cup honey
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 T butter
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp rum extract
1/4 tsp Chef Tess Wise Woman of the East spice blend (or Saigon cinnamon will work)
Step One. Stop eating the peanuts.
Step 2. Put peanuts in a nice dish and take a picture. Hey...I think you may want directions on how to make the brittle huh? Geesh. What am I thinking?!
Step 3 errr...One. Lightly oil a jelly-roll pan (AKA a cookie sheet with edges so hot molten candy doesn't flow all over your kitchen counters). Spread the banana chips and peanuts onto the bottom of the pan. Pause and survey the scenery. Bask in the banana glow. Try not to get totally caught up in Chef Tess' insane world. (Too late...)
Lightly oil a heat proof spatula and set it aside.  Take a picture of You can skip that step. The picture step, not the oiling step. I oil the spat. The candy won't stick to it. It's a genius step. Do it. Be a genius. 
Now. I need to just give you directions. I can't count much higher. Really I can count higher but I don't want to confuse myself any further than necessary...Dang I'm typing small. Why are you reading the fine print? 

 In a 2-quart kettle or large saucepan, mix together sugar, honey and  and water. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Insert candy thermometer if using, making certain it does not touch the bottom of the pan. Bring mixture to a boil, without stirring. No stirring. I did maybe once, but that was it...and it was just at the beginning. NO stirring after that. Don't do it. You'll get really gritty grainy candy.
Clamp your candy thermometer onto the side of the pan, into the syrup but not touching the bottom of the pan. You want to read the syrup temperature, not the pan temperature, right?
Early in the cooking process, you can "wash down" any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush. I use a silicone brush so I don't get any loose hair in there too.
Remove from heat precisely at 295° F (temperature will continue rising), or until drops of syrup form hard, brittle threads in cold water. After boiling action has ceased add butter. It will steam. Stir a few seconds until it's melted. Now add the Rum flavor, spice blend and baking soda. It will bubble up!  Stir it to mix in the soda. Don't stir too much because you want all that bubble action.  USE CAUTION WHEN ADDING FLAVORING TO AVOID RISING STEAM. Pour mixture over the bananas and peanuts in the oiled molten-roll-over proof pan. Allow to cool 20-25 minutes. 
I score it with a sharp knife after about 5 minutes so that it will break in clean cuts. You don't have to do that if you prefer a more jagged brittle. 
The squares look really nice though. Don't you think so?
There you go! Make some magnificent peanut brittle! I'm looking forward to some cool candy making this week as well! You won't want to miss it! Get today's recipe printer friendly Here

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

1 comment:

aswesow said...

Since I have a huge bag of peanuts I was going to make peanut brittle, now I'll have to put it off until I get some banana chips. A pizza cutter works well to score candy before its brittle