Champagne Brittle with Goji Berries

Today is day two in my champagne series for the new year.  Yesterday, I made vegan champagne "Jell-O" shots, which look like they're ready for a party at Gatsby's mansion.

This champagne brittle is a lot like my previous beer brittles, but maybe a touch sweeter.  The goji berries pair well with it - and they don't get too sticky, unlike dried cranberries.

I don't want to sound like a broken record.  But if I could tell you a few things about making brittle, it would be:

1. Get a nice, heavy bottomed pan.  I have one of those Martha Stewart Dutch Oven types and I really like it.  It's great for making soups and brittle.

2. Invest in a candy thermometer.  I was cocky and I thought I could manage without it...but I couldn't, haha.  I suppose once you get really good at it, you can visually identify the stages, but I'm not there!

3. Cook it, and then cook it some more.  You might think it's done, but it's probably not.  It should be teetering on a fine line between done and almost burned.

Ingredients:
Adapted from The Food Network

1 1/2 c. organic cane sugar
6 oz. champagne (perfect for your leftovers!)
1 1/2 T pure maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. goji berries

Directions:
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray it lightly with olive oil or coconut oil.  Set aside.

Using a large, heavy-bottomed pan, attach your candy thermometer to it.  Over medium-high heat, combine your sugar, champagne, syrup, and vanilla.  Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Your thermometer should read at least 220 degrees before you even consider mixing in the berries.

 Before your eyes, you should see the mixture change from a watery mix, to a bubbly boil, to a dense, viscous liquid.  Stir with a wooden spoon regularly.  This process should take no less than 30 minutes.  Click here for more detailed photos.

When it's ready, add in your berries.  Stir a few more times (if the mixture will allow).  Remove the brittle from the heat and pour it onto the prepared cookie sheet.  Spread the brittle out and smooth it as evenly as possible.  

Allow it to harden at room temperature.

These chunks of brittle are delicious and make good use of leftover champagne.  Enjoy :-)

Cheers!
-Aileen

This post is part of A Vegan Holiday, a collaboration among vegan and veg-friendly bloggers. Follow along on social media with #AVeganHoliday. Want to learn more or become a contributor? Find out more here or here