Who but the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (EatWisconsinCheese.com) would come up with this innovative pairing: Gouda cheese with pumpkin seed brittle! Serve it as dessert during “pumpkin season.”
The result, while seemingly simple, is a complex dessert that is creamy, crunchy, spicy and sweet. (If you don’t like spicy foods, leave out the pepper.)
RECIPE: SPICY PUMPKIN SEED BRITTLE
A seasonal “cheese course.” Photo courtesy Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
1. STIR together the baking soda and melted butter; set aside. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside a second sheet the same size. Butter the parchment on one side.
2. COMBINE the sugar, water and salt in a heavy 2-quart saucepan; bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; wash down any sugar crystals on sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Simmer the syrup 10 to 12 minutes until it reaches 240°F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat. With a wooden spoon, add the pumpkin seeds and pepper.
3. RETURN the pan to medium-low heat while stirring; melt again until mixture turns amber brown and reaches 290°F (if the syrup becomes granular during cooking, continue to cook until it remelts). Remove from heat; stir in butter-baking soda mixture with wooden spoon.
4. POUR the mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet; cover with the second parchment sheet. Press the mixture with a rolling pin to 1/4-inch thick. Remove the top layer of parchment; cool completely; crack brittle.
5. STORE the brittle between layers of parchment in a sealed container for up to two weeks. Plate with a wedge of Gouda cheese, or serve alongside a platter of assorted cheeses.
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