For me, the meal isn’t over till I’ve had something sweet. It doesn’t need to be a full dessert, even a mouthful will do; hence my love of Indian and Middle Eastern dessert sweets, tiny, viciously sweet little morsels that they are. I love petits fours in restaurants: handmade rosewater marshmallows and filled chocolates and air-spun confections that make the perfectly passable dessert that went before seem suddenly dull and heavy in comparison. Most of all, I love all of these little delicacies served alongside a pot of hot, strong black coffee, with little cups and silver spoons. I can’t think of a more elegant way to end a meal.
This cardamon and pumpkin seed brittle makes for a memorable end to dinner: it’s glossy, distinctive and vividly green. It’s also surprisingly easy – and fun – to make. Hammer it into shards at the table for extra impact and serve with vanilla ice cream. To up the ante even further, put out several different brittles at once – hazelnut, salted pistachio, peanut, macadamia, pine nut & rosemary.
Cardamon & Pumpkin Seed Brittle
125g bright green, plump pumpkin seeds
250g caster sugar
Six cardamon pods, dehusked
Tiny pinch of salt
1/4tsp cream of tartar
125ml cold water
Place a sheet of long-life parchment or lightly oiled tinfoil on a baking sheet and set aside. Dissolve the sugar in the water with the cream of tartar, cardamon and pinch of salt, over a low heat. Once dissolved, bring up the heat. Do not stir. Boil over a medium heat for about then minutes or until the caramel turns a light amber colour. Do not walk away for even a second or it could over-caramelise/boil over/ruin your pan. Once it turns golden, whip it off the heat and stir in the pumpkin seeds. Quickly transfer it to your parchment, spreading it out as best you can before it starts to set. Allow to cool completely and then break into fragments and serve.