So let’s try something a little sweeter.
My cricket brittle is more than just a conversation starter, it’s a tasty treat that is surprisingly easy to make and fun to pass out.
But first, a very serious word of Warning:
If you are allergic to shrimp, or any type of shellfish, you will also be allergic to this dish. Why? Both insects and shellfish are classified as ‘arthropods’ – having an exoskeleton and segmented bodies. Any insect that has an outer shell is a part of this classification and should be treated as a potential allergen and you should NOT eat it.
Crickets in Hell are surprisingly not easy to procure, which is why I suggest finding a good supplier. Although any pet store would be more than happy to get you a few hundred for a few bucks, I have to encourage you to invest a little money and pick up a bag of freeze-dried. Not only will you NOT have to kill them (a problem you’ll face if you pick up freshies at the local pet shop) but they’ll remain crunchy all through the cooking process.
Soggy crickets in brittle is a nasty no-no.
Personally, I use the guys at Thailand Unique. I’ve covered them before in my post about eating insects, but feel free to check them out on your own…but a word of warning, it takes about a month to get your shipments from them as anything they send to the States has to go through customs…so plan ahead!
Hopefully, you’ve got your bugs already procured, so let’s get started.
For cricket brittle you will need:
- 1 1/2 Cups sugar
- 1/2 Cup water
- 3/4 Cup light corn syrup
- 1 Cup freezed dried crickets (for the less adventurous soul, you can also substitute peanuts…you cowards.)
- 1 Tablespoon butter (I prefer unsalted)
- 3/4 Tablespoon salt
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cooking spray
You will also need:
- Tin foil
- baking sheet
- Candy thermometer
- 4-quart saucepan
Start by first lining your baking sheet with tin foil and spraying it with the cooking spray.
Spread your crickets out in a single layer on your sheet.
Then, in your saucepan, combine your sugar, water, and corn syrup. Over medium heat, stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.
Turn up your burner to medium-high and cook your mixture until you reach 260F/126C.
Once it reaches temperature, add in your butter and salt and stir well.
Turn the temperature down to medium.
Continue to cook the candy (stirring frequently) until it reaches 295F/146C. As you cook it, the color will darken to a rich gold and you should be able to smell a sweet caramel aroma coming from the pot.
As soon as the candy reaches temperature, remove from heat and stir in your vanilla.
Drizzle your candy onto your prepared baking sheet, covering your crickets.
Try to spread your brittle as thin as possible.
Optional: To achieve the thinnest brittle possible, you can pull the brittle. Allow it to cool for a few minutes. While it’s still flexible (but hopefully not scorching hot) carefully pull the brittle between cooking spray coated hands, stretching it as thin as you can.
Allow it to fully cool and then break into small pieces.
The brittle stores well in an airtight container for up to two weeks…if it doesn’t get eaten before then.
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