Roomborstplaat (Cocoa-Flavored Brown Sugar Candy)

Course : Candy
Serves: 1
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2 ounces shelled hazelnuts -- (filberts) or walnuts
3 tablespoons butter -- softened
1/2 cup light cream
1 1/2 cups superfine powdered sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa dutch cocoa -- preferably imported

Preparation / Directions:

Drop the nuts into enough boiling water to cover and boil for 2 minutes. Drain into a sieve and, while they're still hot, rub the nuts vigorously between two dish towels to remove as much of the skins as possible. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and bake them in a preheated 350F (180C) oven for 5 minutes, or until lightly brown and aromatic. Chop the nuts coarsely and set aside. Spread 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the butter evenly over the sides and bottom of false-bottom or spring form cake pan 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter and at least 2 inches (5 cm) deep. Heat the remaining butter and the cream in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat until the butter is melted and small bubbles appear around the edge of the pan. Reduce the heat to low, and gradually add the powdered sugar, cocoa, and brown sugar, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until all the ingredients are completely dissolved, then raise the heat a little and cook undisturbed for 15 minutes until it reaches a temperature of 300F (150C) on a candy thermometer. If you don't have a candy thermometer, drop a tiny bit of the mixture in a cup of cold water. The sugar should be at the hard crack stage, and should immediately form hard, brittle threads. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chopped nuts. Pour the mixture into the buttered cake pan, smoothing it evenly with a spatula. Set aside at room temperature for about one hour, until the candy is firm, then remove from the pan. Traditionally, this candy is never cut, but broken into irregularly shaped pieces before eating. Makes about 1+1/2 lbs (650

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