Nut and seed brittles are a popular Vietnamese sweet, sold at bakeries and even airports. When I hanker for some, I make a small, fast batch to ensure its freshness. A candy thermometer doesn’t work well with such a modest quantity. Instead, I carefully monitor the sugar syrup (no texting!) during the 10 minutes of cooking. My brittle has always turned out great, and I’ve become a better cook too.
Cashew halves and pieces lay flat and look handsome in brittle. The recipe calls for raw nuts and seeds, which yield nuanced flavor; if you use roasted ones, cut back on the final cooking a tad to avoid a burnt flavor.