Inspiration and adaptation. This time, a recipe from Shelf Love, the latest cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi, has driven me to make some brittle. I haven’t made a brittle before, according to the history of CamilleCooks.

Let’s not undervalue a confection such as this. While simple to prepare, we end up with layers of flavorful nuts and spices, atop a sweetness that’s not as sweet as honey, and not as distinct as maple syrup.

My own collection of nuts -- “hanging out in my cupboard” -- include a combined 13.5-oz. of almonds, pistachios, cashews, hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds. I do toast all of them.

A 145°C oven is a 300°F oven. My jelly roll pan (15.5 x 10.5 inches) is the right size baking tray for this project.

Assembly begins. I use a large saucepan (rather than a medium pan), because I anticipate stirring the sticky, creamy, silky syrup with all of the nuts and seeds in the single pan. I need room.

Golden syrup is cane sugar syrup. Simple. It’s as thick as honey and tastes and looks a bit like maple syrup. Honey would be way-too-sweet for this project. Golden syrup is the ideal sweet.

Seventy grams of butter = 5 Tbsp.

Aleppo chili flakes are a Middle Eastern condiment coveted by many chefs, but I settle for regular chili flakes.

A bit of orange extract gives me what orange blossom water might. One-and-a-half oranges provide 1½ Tbsp. of zest. And here’s a little observation, if you didn’t already know: orange zest is more wet than lemon zest. No matter.

I say it’s a rewarding pleasure to slowly stir and melt butter into the syrup, off heat. See the transformation from mere stickiness to golden silk.

I soak sweet and sour dried currants, rather than using sour dried barberries. Barberries are another Middle Eastern ingredient that Ottolenghi and his peers often turn to. My currants are fine.

Pour out the whole mixture onto the pan’s parchment paper. Sure enough, you’ll smell sugar syrup and orange as you bake.

So, here’s what we get: a sweet crunchy treat, with distinct nuts in every bite. Lift a small, crunchy piece to your mouth, and smell and taste the orange. The subtle spicy aftertaste is indeed tantalizing. A neat surprise, from a mere ½ tsp. of chili flakes.

The crunchy brittle bite softens to a sticky candy chew in your mouth, like caramel. The texture of the softened currants remind me of softened raisins.

And yes, the chocolate drizzle. I opt for a drizzle of white chocolate, to offset the dark currants and the brown nuts in my brittle. While we don’t get any real chocolate advantage with the white stuff, we do get a nice visible contrast.

I cannot turn away from this brittle. I keep going back. I keep thinking about it…