I am no Nigella Lawson! When she gives a dinner party for friends she gives the impression that she wanders in from work and throws together a fabulous feast. When I have a dinner party it takes me all week to move the billion and one toys out of the downstairs living space to be hidden out of sight upstairs. Then the dusting, which has been put off for more weeks than is reasonable, has to be undertaken. Then the sweeping and the mopping. I don’t want my friends to see how slovenly I really am! So last week was a week of preparation for a gathering of friends at our house on saturday night.
I love having friends over and hearing the house ring with laughter and I love cooking something for everyone to share. These nuts went down well with everyone. Watch out though, one or two handfuls and you are hooked…
150g caster sugar
1 tsp fennel seed
1½ tsp cumin seed
½ tsp crushed chilli
salt and pepper
400g mixed nuts and seeds
Place the sugar and water into a heavy based pan and heat over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved. Turn the heat up and bring to a boil and boil for about five minutes until the mixture has turned darker and is syrupy. Add the spices.
Place the nuts onto a silicone sheet on a baking tray (a silicone sheet prevents the nuts from being stuck forever to your baking try) and pour over the syrup, being very careful as it is extremely hot. Put the baking tray into a preheated oven at 200°c, gas mark 6 for 5-6 minutes until the nuts have toasted. Leave to cool and the syrup will harden. Break up into chunks and serve with pre dinner drinks.