Sunday, 10 July 2011


I've been following the latest series of Masterchef Australia, and as much as I think it's become more of an entertainment/game show/soap opera at times, it's still good for getting ideas on what to make or try out in the kitchen. So, after seeing lots and lots of desserts that had been finished with some sort of shard or toffee garnish, I decided to make caramelized pistachio shards to go with some ice cream for dessert. I don't usually have that much of a sweet tooth but I packed these full of nuts and they were perfect!

All you need is salted pistachio nuts (80g) and castor sugar (200g). Here's how to make it:

1. Line a baking tray (or chopping board) with foil. Coarsely chop up the pistachio nuts and spread them out in an even single layer. Alternatively, you can crush them using a mortar and pestle which is what i did. It's good to still have big chunky pistachio bits so don't go overboard with the chopping/crushing.

2. Put the castor sugar and three tablespoons of water into a small saucepan and stir over a low heat until all the sugar dissolves.

3. Increase the heat to medium and simmer, without stirring, for approximately 4-5 minutes or until it becomes slightly golden in colour. You need to make sure you keep an eye on it as there is a very fine line between golden caramel and a burnt disaster.

4. Pour spoonfuls over the pistachio nuts and leave to cool completely for 1 hour or until set.

5. Break up into shards and serve with ice cream or your favourite dessert (or if you have a really sweet tooth - just eat it on it's own!)


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