Ametilles Garapinyades, or sugared almonds

Food & drink
Frank Camorra’s sugared almonds

The list of ingredients here is impressively short, but the technique is fiendishly difficult and needs a lot of concentration, good timing and, inevitably, a few botched attempts before you get it right.

It’s worth persevering, though.

Almonds coated in a crust of crystallised sugar?

What could be better than that?

Put 155g of almonds and 230g of golden caster sugar into a small frying pan with a heavy base and add about 250ml of water.

Stir and heat over a medium to high heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture starts to bubble and thicken.  This will take about eight minutes or so.

Eventually, the bubbles will become bigger and slower to burst.  At this point, turn the heat down and stir for another minute until the mixture turns white and frothy.

Pull the pan right away from the flame, leaving only the barest sliver of the underside of the pan in contact with the flame.  Sugar will start to crystallise along the sides…stir the crystals back into the mixture.

Keep stirring, and when crystals start to form more quickly, take the pan away from the heat completely.

As you stir, and as the sugar cools, you’ll see large sugar crystals start to cling to the nuts.  This will happen very quickly.

When the sugar has completely turned, crank the heat up again and blast the pan for a couple of minutes to melt some of the crystals and to let them caramelise.  Be careful to only let about a fifth of the crystals melt, and stir the caramel around so that it oats the nuts in a fine layer, locking in the remaining sugar crystals.

Be careful here.  It’s very easy to melt too many of the crystals.

Quickly tip the nuts out onto a baking tray and let then cool before breaking them up into individual nuts.

This is another recipe from Frank Camorra’s Movida Rustia.