DJ Foodielow-carb, low carb, sugar free, sugar-free, gluten-free, gluten free, primal, paleo

Macadamia-Coconut Brittle

Prep: 5 min | Cook: 15 min | Total: 60 min | Servings:12..

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Macadamia-Coconut Brittle
Macadamia-Coconut Brittle
Macadamia-Coconut Brittle
I have a tendency to undersell things. I've been told this my whole life. I tend to present things that I feel could be better, as if they are "less than", even though they're actually still pretty awesome, in some way. I think that what happens is, I form these fantasies of what something COULD BE, in my mind. Then, when the reality isn't as good as the fantasy, I'm always little dejected. Other people don't share my looney fantasies. They are just presented with something generally pretty great, but with a healthy slice of my lackluster delivery. They usually respond something like, "Hey, whaddyamean!?! This is FANTASTIC!"

It is with this in mind, that I say ... this was not what I'd hoped it would be. Don't get me wrong ... it was delicious. It was sweet, a little salty and full of flavor. It was also stunning to look at! It was beautiful, but ... it ... just ... wasn't ... brittle.

It just wasn't! I'm sorry!

The texture had that very subtle grainy quality that stems for an over concentration of erythritol. It also had the "cooling" sensation. I tried to bulk it out with some tagatose, but I was afraid to use too much (it's rumored to give the pooties if eaten in excess, but I did not experience this). I wanted to play with the tagatose, but do it without any of the negative qualities or nasty side effects. This recipe is likely to serve more as a novelty or source of interest, as opposed to coming from me as a highly recommended recipe. I do think it's an incredibly interesting idea and perhaps there is something to it. Maybe with more tagatose, it will take on a greater sense of "brittle", but the caramel was so thin when I made it. tagatose colors more quickly than sugar does. As a result, it's my fear and belief that it would burn before it reaches the same level of "hard ball stage" needed for a true brittle. Erythritol, as awesome as it is, did crystallize. This is somewhat to be expected. I mean, it's almost all pure "sugar"! It's not like a baked goodie or an ice cream, where the erythritol is more evenly distributed in and amongst other stuff. This is just pure concentrated sugary-like stuff! When it cools, it crystallizes because it's not been sufficiently diluted in other stuff.

So ... in the end, I leave you with some beautiful photos of a sweet, slightly salty, and action packed toasted coconut and macadamia nut brittle. It was awesome, but ... just ... not what I was hoping it would be.

On that note, I realize I now have a few recipes posted to the site that I personally feel were failures. I don't do it often (I have MANY more failures than this site lets on), but I tend to think there's a lesson in here, somewhere. Please post in the comments if you think there's merit to posting a recipe like this, or if it's just kind of a big bait and switch and a bit of a downer. I'm curious. Let me know!

Tagatose Note: I couldn't find very good information related to calculating the "net" carbs for the tagatose. However, the manufacturer states that "Only 15-20 percent of tagatose is absorbed in the small intestine." As a result, I'm going to to suggest that 25% is, just to play it safe. The net carb count will be calculated, thusly.

. .
IngredientsCaloriesFatProteinCarbsFiberSA'sNet Carbs
1 cups (83.75g)  macadamia nuts, toasted and salted601.2563.756.911.887.504.38
1 cup (72g)  unsweetened coconut, flaked (Buy Now) 400408161600
1/2 tsp (1g)  salt0000000
1/4 tsp (1g)  baking soda0000000
1 cup (191g)  erythritol, granular (Buy Now) 00019801980
1/2 cup (95.5g)  tagatose, granular (Buy Now) 0001980148.549.5
1/4 cup (60g)  water0000000
1 tbsp (14g)  butter1001100000
Totals (of 12 Servings):1101.25114.75g14.9g423.88g23.5g346.5g53.88g
Per Serving:91.779.56g1.24g35.32g1.96g28.88g4.49g *

Method:

  1. In a bowl, toss together your macadamia nuts, coconut, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. Add buttered parchment or a silicone mat to a baking tray with a rim. Also, lightly butter a heat resistant plastic spatula. The idea is, you want these ready and standing by, when the time comes.
  3. In a medium sized sauce pan, place your water, erythritol and tagatose. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally.
  4. Once it begins to boil, reduce temperature to medium-low. Allow to continue boiling until it becomes a dark tan, caramel color.
  5. Remove from the heat and add your nut mixture and butter to the pan. Mix in and stir until the butter is fully melted. This happens fast and is a little bit dangerous. That sugar is much hotter than boiling water and it likes to stick to things. BE CAREFUL!
  6. Once the butter is melted and the nuts are fully mixed into the sugar solution, pour the mixture evenly over the surface of your prepared baking tray. Make sure it's an even layer.
  7. Allow to cool, then break into pieces and eat!

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* Learn More: More about this recipe and nutrition ...

Comments

What is Tagros, sorry forgot spelling 

 Michelle Ver Elst   10/27/2015

 (Reply)

Hi Belle, if you read through my blog, you'll see I wrote a review of many different sweeteners, a few months ago. Here's what I had to say about Monkfruit in the Raw:<br /><br /> This product contains Dextrose and Monk Fruit Extract. Frankly ... this product makes me mad. The first ingredient is dextrose, which is glucose, which is instant blood sugar. It's worse for you that straight up table sugar. It's enhanced with some monk fruit. The dextrose comes from corn, so it's a "natural" ingredient, with a cutesy name suggesting something, somewhere along the way may have accidentally rested near something raw. It measures like sugar, but ... really ... the ratings for it stink, it's just "Super Sugar" branded in an appealing manner and hidden behind laws to take advantage of people that don't know any better. Pass this one up. It runs about $23 a lb. Because dextrose is lighter than sugar, it actually runs closer to $9.50 per lbs of sugar equivalent sweetness. The more I read about this company, their products' ingredients and overall product line ... I'm officially saying that this company is mired in bull-pucky. Their products are expensive, purporting to be natural, but are all highly refined and packed with flaked glucose. They've also got an agave product. They are capitalizing on trends and charging handily for it. Smart and devious people are at work here ... taking advantage of buzzwords. Bleh. Skip any and all "in the raw" products ... in my opinion, of course.

 DJ  9/29/2014

 (Reply)

Has anyone here tried "MONK FRUIT IN THE RAW" as a sweetener?? It is a real sweetener but still low carb. I just haven't bought it yet but it is on my list.

 Belle  9/28/2014

 (Reply)

Deb … you are correct! If I had to guess, I would guess that I copied the erythritol information and then reduced it by 25% for the total to count for the sugar-alcohol. My mistake! Yes, according to the label, it’s essentially 1 carb per gram. This is the same as sugar. Sugar weighs about 198 grams per cup and has 48 tsp. So … my math needs corrected. I should have total carbs set at 99 and sugar alcohols set at 74.25. This would mean a total net carb count of 24.75, for a 1/2 cup of tagatose. This means the full recipe has 29.13 net carbs, for a total serving net carb count of: 2.43 net carbs. Good catch! Thank you for letting me know!

 DJ  9/10/2014

 (Reply)

I love your blog and have learned so much from your recipes. I am interested in adding tagatose to your sweetener blends. I'm trying to figure out the carb count for it and on this recipe for 1/2 cup of Tagatose you show 196 carbs. On the nutrition label it shows 4 carbs per 4gm, which I think is 1 teaspoon. Since there's 24 tsp in 1/2 cup and 4 time 24 equals 96, shouldn't the carb count be 96 instead of 198? I'm probably wrong--math isn't my strong suit! Could you clarify please?

 Deb  9/10/2014

 (Reply)

Thanks, Theresa! That's exactly my reasoning behind posting some of the less than stellar recipes and being up front about it. It creates a fun starting point/challenge for people. A random aside ... I think this would do well with the coconut sugar, but I read in the darker corners of the internet that coconut sugar's glycemic index is boosted by caramelizing it. I have no idea if there is any truth to that, but if you're someone who monitors their blood sugar ... be aware that the extra heat may breakdown that particular sugar into a new type of sugar, which may have a higher hit to your blood sugars ... maybe. Just an aside. In any event, if you come up with any new tasty or clever ways to turn this into a super fantastic brittle, please report back! Thanks! :)

 DJ  3/29/2014

 (Reply)

I think, absolutely post recipes like this! I don't know about everyone else, but I often use recipes as a starting point and try out different combinations & ideas with them. If you post something that's "less than perfect", you now have all of us to play with it, test it out, make changes, etc. I was pondering xylitol and I see I wasn't the only one! I don't like processed sugars but I do use coconut sugar, so I might fiddle around with it that way too. Maybe mix the two to lower the carbs….We can all use your fabulous ideas!! :)

 Theresa Scholtz  3/29/2014

 (Reply)

My pleasure, Megan! ;)

 DJ  3/1/2014

 (Reply)

"...the pooties..." Thanks for making me laugh :)

 Megan  3/1/2014

 (Reply)

Paula, that's really interesting! I don't use xylitol very often, because it's got a GI higher than zero. I'm happy with erythritol. If/when I've wanted a caramel flavor, I've always browned butter. I am a bit surprised about the Just Like Sugar, though! Now I feel like I should really play with it. I've never really considered it, because I've used another, similar product called "Sweet Perfection", which ... I didn't much care for. It wasn't very sweet and really felt more "chalky" to me, than anything ... As a result, I've always discounted these types of sweeteners. I think they're great in blends (like what you've done), but as a standalone ... meh. You've made me rethink this. Thanks! :)

 DJ  2/11/2014

 (Reply)

DJ - I make a killer caramel and have overcooked it into toffee before. Use an equal amount of Xylitol and Just Like Sugar...caramlizes well and tastes great - not minty sensation like Swerve and those types have.

 Paula  2/11/2014

 (Reply)

Thanks for the info, Faye. I can believe it. Now I need to go and Google "Sin Free Sugar" and "Xylose". News to me. Thank you! :)

 DJ  2/11/2014

 (Reply)

I've actually been experimenting with caramel and had some good luck using 1:1:1 of swerve:tagatose:xylitol. I hate that gritty thing from the erythritol So far pretty good results. There's a new sweetener out there that I want to try: sin free sugar. It's made from xylose. Haven't tried yet.

 Faye  2/10/2014

 (Reply)

Hi Lee. It is. In fact, I think the recipe would likely increase in quality, by using a higher ratio of tagatose. Don't feel like you need to buy it for this one recipe and then you'll have the rest of it lying around forever. You'll wind up using it ... if even just in things like coffee. It won't go to waste. Plus, its kind of fun to play with! :)

 DJ  2/10/2014

 (Reply)

Is tagatose absolutely necessary?

 Lee  2/10/2014

 (Reply)

Unknown ... WHOOPS! Sorry about that! It's a tiny amount. Just 1/4 tsp. Fixed! Thank you for pointing it out!

 DJ  8/3/2013

 (Reply)

Sharon, someone asked me that on Facebook. I honestly have no experience with that sweetener. Have you tried caramelizing it before? It might work, but ... couldn't even begin to guess!

 DJ  8/3/2013

 (Reply)

Baking soda? how much? it is indirections, but not listed

 unknown  8/3/2013

 (Reply)

Do you think Just Like Sugar would work? It would be great to have around the holidays.

 Sharon Looper  8/3/2013

 (Reply)

Hi Sandi! Unfortunately, I don't believe that would work. Erythritol, in high concentrations, will crystalize when it cools. In this case, it's been fully dissolved, melted, heated and caramelized. It wouldn't matter if we started with a tiny grain, or large crystals. It's been so broken down that the original grain size wouldn't much matter. What needs to happen is ... a greater percentage of "other stuff" needs to occur, in order to remove the gritty sensation. This will dilute the erythritol, which will allow it to stay dissolved. So, you could use more tagatose, for example. Maybe some additional inulin? I should conduct another experiment which would give the perfect texture. The downside of trying to acheive a perfect texture is, it usually implies more carbs or ... more gastric distress. I'll return to this one, though. I really want to make a great brittle!

 DJ  8/3/2013

 (Reply)

DJ, could you have used Confectioner Swerve instead of granular erythritol so that you don't get that slightly gritty texture that you mentioned in the post?

 Sandi DeFalco  8/3/2013

 (Reply)

THANK YOU, NIKKI!!!! THAT MADE MY DAY!!! WOW! I do try and present things as I see them. I'm definitely not perfect and screw up on a fairly regular basis. About 85% of what I cook makes it onto the website, and of that 5% isn't something I'd recommend. I tend to think there are little lessons in the mistakes. Theoretically, if I learned something from the mistake, someone else might, too! I also tend to think some of these "boo boos" can be used as a starting point for someone else's creativity. I'm glad people are seeing some of the good that comes from the mistakes. I'll keep posting them! Thank you, again! THANK YOU!!! TOTALLY brought a big giant smile to my face! :D

 DJ  6/5/2013

 (Reply)

Dear DJ, I like that you post the stuff that you are not super happy with. You warn us (extensively LOL) that it wasn't what you thought it would turn out like but that it may have it's own merits and then....you leave it up to us :) I like that. And I also like that when you fess up to not always being perfect (which, by the way, your blog and recipes definitely are) it gives the rest of us mere mortals hope of approximating your cheffy perfection :) Thankful greetings from sunny Amsterdam!

 Nikki  6/5/2013

 (Reply)

Hi Karen. Good eye! I'm in such a habit of using Swerve that I typed it into the directions. However, I didn't use Swerve for this one. I wanted a more pure sample of ingredients, just to see what would happen. I used pure granulated erythritol. If I had to hazard a guess, Swerve would be an improvement, as it's got other ingredients in it which would allow caramelization and bulk, outside the erythritol. I should give it a shot with Swerve, to see what the end result would be. Because this is an almost "pure sugar" candy, the results can be really hit or miss. Swerve could be the magic ingredient, but it may also just simply not work. I have a hunch it would work and be quite good, but ... have no proof of it. If you give it a shot, please report back! Also ... I just switched the directions to erythritol. It is what I used for this one ... THANKS! :)

 DJ  6/4/2013

 (Reply)

DJ can Swerve be used solely for this recipe? You mentioned in in your directions but it was not in the ingredients.

 Karen Johansen  6/4/2013

 (Reply)

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