Last Friday we posted a recipe for Brazil nut turron, one of my favorite cakes. When I made it a few days ago, I was left with a few cups of spare nuts, and I immediately started brainstorming recipes, because I never like to throw or waste food. Brazil nuts are also quite expensive in Peru, so even a bigger reason to put them to good use.
As I was browsing through my cookbooks, I remembered a recipe I learned at the first cooking class I took when I moved to Lima over 30 years ago. This was a traditional sweets class with the famous cooking teachers Ada and Maricarmen, where I learned to make mana, chocolate melcochas, and this chewy nut balls. From the first time I tried them I was hooked.
These sweets are very easy to make, and last for many days. For example, when I made them this time around, I prepared a large container that I kept in the fridge, and formed the balls only when I felt like having one -or many-. The best part of doing this is that they actually become tastier, and the texture becomes chewier and more addictive as the days go by. This is probably the result of the nuts slowly releasing their oils into the mixture.
If you´re a coffee drinker like me, try putting 1 or 2 of these tiny treats next to your steaming cup. They look beautiful and are the perfect complement to your afternoon pick-me- up, as they are not cloyingly sweet. They will also make your friends feel very special if you do this when you have them over for coffee or tea, or use them at business meetings to look extra professional and meticulous.
Another thing you could do with them, is pack them in a pretty decorated box and bring them along to your next birthday party, baby shower, or any other special occasion. I assure you your friends and family will love you for it, and the candy won´t last long. You can even cover half of them in melted chocolate, and put them in the frige until the choc hardens. Mixing these with the regular ones in your gift box will add a dramatic touch, and make you look like Martha Stewart.
- 2 cans condensed milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 2½ cups Brazil nuts, coarsely grated, divided
- Put condensed milk, eggs yolks and 2 cups Brazil nuts in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.
- Cook, stirring all the time until you can see the bottom of the pan.
- Transfer the mixture to an oiled plate and cool completely.
- Toast the remaining ½ cup Brazil nuts until lightly golden and fragrant.
- When the milk-nut mixture is cool, put a little vegetable oil in your hands, and form balls with ¾ teaspoon of the mixture. Roll the little balls on the toasted Brazil nuts until completely covered.
- Put in candy paper cups.