VIETNAMESE COFFEE SUNDAES WITH CRUSHED PEANUT BRITTLE (for four)
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
½ cup water
1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons instant coffee mixed with 1-½ teaspoons of hot water
½ cup heavy cream
2 pints vanilla ice cream
- Lightly grease a baking sheet. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar with the water and bring to a boil. Cook over moderately high heat, undisturbed, until an amber caramel forms, about 9 minutes (watch this carefully – once it starts browning, things proceed quickly and you could easily burn the caramel). Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the roasted peanuts, cinnamon and salt until the peanuts are evenly coated. Scrape the caramel mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Let stand until the brittle is hardened, about 20 minutes.
- Break off four medium-size pieces of peanut brittle. Place the remaining brittle in a resealable plastic bag and roll with a rolling pin to crush the brittle into small pieces.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the sweetened condensed milk with the dissolved instant coffee. In another medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar at high speed until softly whipped.
- Scoop ice cream into 4 bowls and drizzle with the milky coffee. Sprinkle with the crushed peanut brittle and top with a generous dollop of whipped cream. Garnish with the reserved shards of peanut brittle and serve at once.
NOTE: The peanut brittle can be broken into large chunks and kept in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
adapted from Food and Wine Magazine, November, 2009