So I finally finished my first semester in medical school! What a semester it has been - learning about the cells that make up our body and how they work, seeing patients, meeting my amazing classmates, and having a lot of fun with exploring the city.
I admit that it was stressful, but I enjoyed myself. Still I look forward to the holidays - a time when I can recover with reading novels, listening to new music, cooking, baking, and eating.
When I think of the holidays, one of the first things that comes to my mind is candy. Traditionally, one sees peppermint candy canes, chocolates of various sorts, and boxes of truffles. They make a great gift for the ones that you love (although I'm sure they'd prefer something shiny).
But, what takes it up a notch and trust me will gain bonus points from the people you care about is when they are homemade.
I personally had always been scared of making chocolates and candy. Burning hot sugar that can scald you, and that is so temperature-sensitive that the consistency can be altered by a few degrees. Plus, the need to be lazy overpowered me.
So when a friend of mine proposed that we attempt this challenge with the impending holidays, I said what the heck. Let's do it. He took on the recipes for chocolate truffles and I took on more sugar based recipes.
The recipe that I took on was the almond brittle. A long time ago in India, I used to love peanut brittle that is still a traditional Indian dessert. It is sugary, delectable, and rich, but I decided to swap out the peanuts for almonds because I didn't have any. But you can certainly do it with any kind of nut you like - however, use unsalted, toasted nuts.
Making the almond brittle was a cinch especially considering the fact that there is a fantastic video for it here. I followed the directions to the "t" and it turned out amazing. The consistency was perfect and it set quickly. Granted, I did get a few battle scars in the process, but it was absolutely worth it. The brittle sets within ten minutes and breaking the brittle is a fun activity. They were delicious and we got so much out of it that we were able to give a lot to everyone.
Almond brittle, anyone?
We ended up assembling several pieces of almond brittle, chocolate bark, truffles, and salted apple cider caramels for everyone. It was a tremendous success. I encourage everyone to try this recipe and you will get impressive looks from your family and friends.
Happy Holidays everyone!