Hello my dear readers! I hope all is well with you. I’m sorry that I haven’t been active on my blog for over a year. I have been shifting my time heavily towards my family, kids especially and their schools (from 0–>100% involvement), and thus I had to set aside my blog temporarily.
To make up for my negligence is this toffee that I just tried for holiday treats. I am not into sweets typically but toffee with dark chocolate is an exception! My whole family actually love it. This recipe I found on the web is pretty easy to follow– they even have a quick video of making it.
Here’s some tips for success~ Heavy saucepan, cook to temperature 315 degree, stir occasionally, medium heat. About the temperature, I tried it at 285 degree as suggested by the website, but found my toffee was not brittle enough with a bit of chewiness stick to my teeth. So I increased to 315 degree (by chance!), and the nrittle texture is just right for me. Now toffee is definitely on my holiday treats and giveaway list.
Merry Christmas to you and your family, and may your holiday season filled with love, warmth and peace!
Toffee with Dark Chocolate and Almonds
Dark Chocolate Covered Toffee (adapted from AllRecipes.com: Best Toffee Ever- Super Easy)
2 cups unsalted butter– cut into pieces
2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
15 oz (1 1/2 package) bittersweet chocolate chips
3 cups finely chopped almonds– toasted
- Put butter, sugar and salt in a heavy saucepan at medium heat. Stir in one direction until butter melts. Bring it to a boil. Cook until the mixture turns dark amber color, and candy thermometer reads 315°F. Stir occasionally.
- While the toffee is cooking, line a large baking pan (18 x 13 x 1 inch) with parchment paper. Leave some overhang parchment paper on both ends for easy lifting toffee later. Sprinkle 1 cup of chopped almonds on the parchment paper.
- When the toffee reaches 315°F, pour onto lined baking pan. Carefully spread to an even layer, covering all the chopped almonds on the pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over toffee, wait 1-2 minutes for chocolate to melt. Spread chocolate into a thin layer with a spatula.
- Sprinkle chopped almonds over chocolate, press in gently with a spatula or hand.
- Chill toffee in the fridge until it is firmed. Break or cut into pieces. Store in air tight container.
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First time I had GOOD buttery garlic shrimp was in Hawaii. The sauce was so yummy with steam rice. This is a very simple recipe that requires only 3 ingredients as stated in its name: Butter, garlic and shrimp.
Buttery Garlic Shrimps
1 lb medium head-off tiger prawns/white shrimps
4-5 tbsp butter
4 cloves of garlic– finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare shrimps ahead: Cut a slit along the back of the shrimps, remove any dirty vein (keep the shell & tail). Rinse well then soak them in cold water sprinkled with some sugar (this is to make the shrimps taste juicy and succulent). Keep chilled until ready to cook. Drain on paper towel and pat dry.
- Add butter to a fry pan and turn heat on high. Add garlic to the melting butter, stir until it gets aromatic. Add shrimps to the pan, turning half way until the shrimps are just almost cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste. Dish out and serve hot with steam rice.
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Crab season is here again. If you are tired of same old steam/boil crab, or the deep fry, saute version, try this buttery crab– it is finger licking good especially the sauce! This recipe requires very few ingredients, one of the must have is curry leaves. If you can get curry leaves I strongly recommend you to give this recipe a try.
Creamy Buttery Crab
Creamy Buttery Crab Recipe (original recipe from Rasa Malaysia— ingredients written in black is original version, with my modification written in blue)
2 lbs. mud crab (dungeness crab or stone crab is a great substitute)— I use 2 Dungeness crabs, about 2 lb each
1 1/2 cup evaporated milk— I use 1 small can
1 stick butter— will try to cut down to 3/4 stick next time
1 teaspoon sugar or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon corn starch
2 stalks curry leaves (you can get the curry leaves at Indian grocery stores)
5 bird’s eye chilies (lightly pounded)
2 cloves garlic– finely chopped (I add garlic for more flavor)
10 Chinese buns (mantou/馒头)— I served it with steam rice instead of buns
- Clean the crab and cut into pieces. Use paper towels to pat dry the crab. If serving with buns, deep-frying the Chinese buns or mantou to golden brown and set aside. Lay them over paper towels to soak up excess oil. Mix the corn starch with water and set aside.
- Heat up a wok to medium heat. Melt the butter in the wok before adding the curry leaves, garlic and bird’s eyes chilies. As soon as you smell the aroma from the curry leaves and bird’s eye chilies, add in the crab and stir continuously until the crab starts to turn color.
- Add the evaporated milk and cover the wok and turn the heat to low. Simmer for about 5 minutes, add salt and sugar to taste, then add in corn starch to thicken the creamy butter sauce. Dish out and serve immediately with buns or steam rice.
Note: I tried the recipe using jumbo prawns/tiger prawns instead of crabs, the result is good too but lack of the fresh seafood sweetness as with crabs.
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Cheesy, buttery and garlicky at the same time… Mmm, this is another easy recipe especially good for the party. Most of the work is about assembling the ingredients together, and the oven will do the cooking. Better yet it can be prepared ahead of time and baked near serving time. I always use Asiago cheese when I make this dish because the flavor is irresistible. A good substitute is grated Parmesan( I think Parmesan is saltier than Asiago). You can use Cheddar cheese too but the garlic bread will have a different flavor. I haven’t stepped into making artisan bread yet, so I bought the bread from the bakery… read the notes next to the ingredients for details.
Cheesy Garlic Bread
Cheesy Garlic Bread Recipe (makes 1 loaf)
1 loaf Pulgliese/Ciabatta/French bread– I prefer Pulgliese or Ciabatta because they are lighter as the bread has lots of holes in it. French bread is good too if you want to stuff yourself with lots of bread dough.
5-6 cloves garlic
2 cups grated Asiago cheese– this cheese gives flavor but it doesn’t melt nicely because it’s dry cheese.
2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese– this mild cheese gives the melting cheese look on the bread.
butter– I use real or whipped butter, not margarine or spreadable “stuff”.
- Slice bread lengthwise and place on a baking tray (crust side down). Finely minced garlic. Set aside.
- Spread butter generously on the bread. Then spread minced garlic evenly. Sprinkle Asiago cheese evenly all over then top with Mozzarella cheese.
- Place garlic bread in cold oven then turn oven temperature to 400°F. When temperature reaches 400°F, check on the bread. If the cheese on the edge turns bubbly and golden brown the bread is ready. If not let it bake for another 5 minutes or so (depending on your oven). Remove from oven. Cool for few minutes on the pan before slicing. Serve hot.
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