30 Jul2008


The last time I made brittle, peanut brittle, using a recipe credited to the legendary kitchen of El Bulli in Spain, I thought it was such a breeze, and yet yielded such superb brittle that I have been waiting for an opportunity to try it again. So when I obtained then blanched and peeled some pili nuts a few days ago, I naturally decided to go for a pili nut brittle. And as an added touch of chi-chi-ness or sophistication, I decided to use Artisan Chocolatier’s suggestion of enrobing the brittle in dark chocolate to keep the brittle from softening in our wicked humidity and to provide that added touch of richness and flavor to the treat…


To make, I just roughly chopped up the peeled pili nuts and proceeded with the recipe as described in the previous post on peanut brittle. You just have to make more sugar syrup to coat all of the pili nuts… adjust based on the volume of nuts used. A word of caution, however. Pili nuts that were recently blanched appear to have more moisture so it may take a few minutes for the melted sugar to suddenly crystalize. And it isn’t just the moisture, I think pili nuts are also just much fattier. At any rate, instead of a very thin brittle, I made one with more volume due to the larger pieces of pili nut. These are roughly an inch square and roughly 1/5th of an inch thick. Remember to slice while they are still cooling. And never slice with a pizza cutter over a silpat mat. Ours ended up literally in shreds…


Once the pieces had cooled completely, I picked the nicest looking pieces and decided to make a few dozen treats dipped in chocolate. I just melted good dark chocolate over a double boiler or bain marie, then dipped the brittle into them and laid them on some parchment paper to harden. If you tempered your chocolate properly, it should solidify at room temperature. Or it could use some help in the fridge. But I think I rushed my tempering, so I needed to put these in the fridge to harden, and they lost some of their glossiness once chilled. No matter on aesthetics, the taste was pretty darned good!


If I were to do it over, however, these would be my suggestions… make the pieces thinner so they aren’t so hard to bite. Temper your chocolate properly, see several results on google for how to temper chocolate. I liked this combination, but to be totally honest, I think I like just plain pili or peanut brittle the best. In fact, as I type, I have an open bottle of brittle on my desk and it pairs perfectly with a hot cup of black Earl Grey tea!


If you want a totally over the top ice cream treat, smash some pili nut brittle into smaller bits and sprinkle over vanilla ice cream. Add chocolate sauce if desired. Yum. Brittle will keep several weeks in an airtight container…




  1. grace says:

    The last time my mom was here for vacation we used your brittle recipe to make some almond and pistachio brittle. She’s coming back for a few days and this post is just in time to ask her to bring some pili so we can try pili brittle too.

    Jul 30, 2008 | 4:18 pm


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  3. AleXena says:

    Peanuts and chocolates!!!!

    perfect combo!



    Jul 30, 2008 | 4:28 pm

  4. AleXena says:

    I mean Pili nuts and chocolates=)

    Jul 30, 2008 | 4:29 pm

  5. siopao says:


    another tip: adding about a teaspoon of baking soda toward the end of cooking would make the mixture foam up and result in a airy-light brittle.

    Jul 30, 2008 | 5:04 pm

  6. Vanessa says:

    My teeth hurt just looking at this! :-)

    Jul 30, 2008 | 5:31 pm

  7. goodtimer says:

    these look wickedly good!

    Jul 30, 2008 | 6:28 pm

  8. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Here are other suggestions….

    1) dip only one side of the bar with chocolate
    2) drop the chocolate chunks after you coat the nuts with the caramel and mix well (make sure the fire is off)
    3) throw in some marshmallows as well to really go over the top!!

    Jul 30, 2008 | 9:47 pm

  9. Jescel says:

    hmnn.. my mouth is watering just looking at the pics.. i love pili nuts!!

    Jul 30, 2008 | 11:11 pm

  10. kate says:

    wow! this sort of reminds me of a local home made version of almond roca :) looks so yummy :)

    Jul 30, 2008 | 11:20 pm

  11. kitkathie says:

    Yummy! am already gaining calories just by looking at it!

    Jul 31, 2008 | 3:56 am

  12. eej says:

    Oh my, dark chocolate over peanut brittle! My dentist will kill me.

    Jul 31, 2008 | 4:41 am

  13. Apicio says:

    Not as hard on your dental work because the sugar binder coats the individual nuts (instead of setting them in a solid bar) pili praline is also a great way of getting your pili nut (and sugar) fix. Can also be chopped up into a flavorful and versatile paste.

    Jul 31, 2008 | 6:12 am

  14. linda says:

    Peanut brittles are so morish,once you start eating them,it’s so hard to stop and with pilinuts nothing can stop me!

    Jul 31, 2008 | 7:00 am

  15. Foodelity says:

    The dark chocolates looks so yummy! I’m diabetic but I don’t care if I break the rules for a time.


    Jul 31, 2008 | 8:31 am

  16. zena says:

    another suggestion: add chocolate to your brittle mixture so it will be a chocolate brittle of sorts. not as sweet (i used bittersweet) and not your usual caramelized brittle. no more dipping in chocolate.

    Jul 31, 2008 | 9:58 am

  17. joey says:

    Oh my heart! These look divine!

    Jul 31, 2008 | 2:56 pm

  18. Emily says:

    Finally succeeded in making a batch of brittle after an initial disastrous attempt (the pan was too small, so let that be a tip!)
    Another tip I read in the joy of cooking so that the soft ball stage is reached faster, is to STOP stirring the sugar syrup once the sugar has melted. This prevents the sugar crystals sticking to the side of the pan, which have a different structure, from going into the syrup and slowing everything down. It worked too!
    I used two Teflon baking sheets (they’re paper thin – don’t know how this compares to a silpat mat) to roll out the mix, and chanced upon a happy variation – the bit that sticks to the top sheet after it’s pulled off is very delicate, lacy brittle (also paper thin!) and would probably look great on pastries or cakes. Just lovely – I took pictures if you’d like me to send them.

    Jul 31, 2008 | 8:08 pm

  19. Gladys says:

    Hi marketman,

    It’s funny I was just telling my sister about this recipe dream I had about pili having just come back from my vacation in Bicol. Wouldn’t it be something if someone made barquillos then the other half would be dipped in dark chocolate then rolled on to crushed pili? The thought of this dessert just makes me feel totally excited! Perhaps you or one of your readers might want to try to make this, I for one would definitely buy dozens and probably inhale them in a few hours. Yummmmmm… :)

    Aug 5, 2008 | 11:35 pm

  20. lee ann says:

    waaah Gladys!!! i would also love love love that!

    but i enjoy eating pili nuts more as is, unaltered.
    sugar covers the flavors of raw pili nut goodness!

    i crack pili nuts in our backyard in san mateo. :D di na kailangan pumunta sa bicol. hehe. i love pili!

    Aug 6, 2008 | 12:59 am


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