Alegria - Mexican Popped Amaranth Candy
yields 64 pieces
55 minutes, or 20 minutes (if using popped amaranth)
- 5 cups (190 g) popped amaranth cereal
- ½ cup (62 g) pepitas, lightly toasted
- ¼ cup (36 g) sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 ¼ cup (271 g) Redpath® Demerara Sugar, packed
- ½ cup (120 ml) water
- ¼ cup (60 ml) honey
- ¼ tsp (2 g) salt
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) lime juice, fresh
- 2 tsp (4 g) lime zest, finely grated
- ½ tsp (2 g) ground cinnamon
- In order to pop the amaranth, heat a deep saucepan over medium-high heat. Place a tablespoon of amaranth into the bottom of the dry pan, and cover with a lid. Turn off the heat and shake pot vigorously to keep the amaranth from sticking. After 20 seconds the amaranth should be popped. There may be some unpopped grains, which will give the candy a crunchy, nutty taste. Pour popped amaranth into a large bowl. Make sure that the saucepan is re-heated, before proceeding with the remaining grains.
- Grease and line an 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 centimetre) baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2 inch (5 centimetre) overhang on all sides (for easy unmolding).
- In a large bowl, combine the popped amaranth cereal, pepitas and sesame seeds. Set aside until needed.
- In a medium saucepan combine the Redpath® Demerara Sugar, water and honey. Stir to combine. Place saucepan over medium to medium-high heat, and gently stir to combine. Heat until a candy thermometer reads 250℉ (120℃). Turn off the heat, stir in the lime juice, lime zest and ground cinnamon.
- Immediately pour the sugar mixture over the amaranth mixture. Stir until the amaranth mixture is well-coated in the sugar mixture.
- Immediately transfer and press mixture firmly into the prepared baking pan, using a rubber spatula or the back of a wooden spoon.
- Set pan in a cool area to harden. Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut the cooled mixture into bars.
*Instead of pepitas, feel free to use almonds, hazelnuts or any mixture of nuts. You can also use dried fruits.
*Toasted black sesame seeds can be used in place of regular sesame seeds.