Ghanaians use available ingredients to create simple candies, or "toffees." Here is a version of "peanut cakes" (recipe #44) and a similar "coconut cake" made with toasted dried coconut instead of peanuts (#45).
Recipe #44 Groundnut toffee (peanut cakes)
This relative of peanut brittle requires only 3 simple ingredients: peanuts (dry roasted, unsalted), sugar and a little water.
The only equipment needed: a measuring cup and tablespoon, a rolling pin (or meat tenderizer or something similar), some waxed paper or sturdy plastic or paper bag (optional), a heavy 2-quart saucepan, a long-handled metal or wooden spoon for stirring, a flat glass surface like a cutting board or a baking pan, a spatula, knife, or spoon, and a stove.
3/4 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup of sugar
2 Tablespoons of water
2. Wet a glass cutting board or pan (like a lasagna or cake pan) with a little water and set aside.
3. Also wet (or rub a little margarine or butter) on the spatula, spoon or knife and set it aside, too.
5. When it is a nice golden brown, remove the pan from the heat (turn off the stove) and quickly stir in the nuts.
7. As the candy cools it will harden. You can simply break it into pieces, score it while it is still warm into squares, diamonds or triangles and break them off when it is hard (top row in top photo, right), or take small spoonfuls of the warm, but not hot candy, and roll it into balls (top left in photo above)
A yummy treat that will also keep well.
Recipe #45: Coconut "cakes" (toffees)
To make coconut candy (aka coconut "cakes"), you will substitute unsweetened dried grated coconut for the peanuts.
The day I cooked these I sent a batch of both types of candy with my husband to share with his students and colleagues at Penn State. No candy came home with him.
Special thanks to Katie Cochrane for her help in the kitchen and with the camera this week.