Thursday, March 28, 2013

Noona Cher's 5 Minute Toffee

Howdy folks!  Our long national nightmare is now over... I'm finally posting my toffee recipe!  The star of many a get-together over the past 30 years, shipped all over the world!  So strap yourselves in and let's GO!

Noona Cher's 5 Minute* Toffee

1 cup toasted slivered almonds (I use Trader Joe's brand)
1 stick cold salted butter (if you use unsalted, add 1/4 tsp. of salt)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup (no substitutions!)
6-8 oz. chopped dark chocolate
extra chopped almonds or sprinkles for garnish (optional)

1 quart saucepan
1 8" round cake pan
Heat-proof spatula or wooden spoon
Take everything listed above and throw it into a 1 quart saucepan (non-stick preferred) since it will boil over in a smaller pan.  Set a timer for five (5) minutes and turn on the heat to Medium.

Boil everything uncovered for 5 minutes without stirring.  The butter will have not melted completely, and there will only be a few bubbles on top of the mixture.  At the end of 5 minutes, stir the mixture until combined.  Set the timer for another 5 minutes.

Let it boil during the next 5 minutes without stirring, and then stir at the end again.  The mixture should be boiling vigorously and start turning a light nutty brown.  Set the timer for another 5 minutes.

Let it boil during the next 5 minutes, keeping an eye on the color until it becomes a darker brown.  Stir a few times to keep from scorching, but remove from the heat before the time is up if it starts browning too fast.

Immediately take the pan off the heat and scrape the mixture into the 8" cake pan (protect your counter first with a hot pad).  Some excess melted butter may rise to the surface, so lightly dab that away with a paper towel.  Just don't dab away too much, because that extra butter helps it from sticking to the pan.

Immediately sprinkle the chopped chocolate on the top of the hot mixture and let everything sit for another 5 minutes.  (Use 6 ounces of chocolate if you like a thin layer; 8 ounces if you prefer a larger ratio of chocolate-to-toffee.)

Take an offset spatula (or your choice of utensil) and spread the melted chocolate evenly all over the cooling toffee.  Don't worry if it hasn't completely melted, as your garnish will cover any chunks left over.

While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle your garnish across the top, and then set aside to cool completely.  If you're in some sort of freakin' hurry, you can also plop the pan in the fridge to chill instead. (I used colored Wilton sprinkles this time around since I made this pan for a birthday party this weekend.)  When cooled, run a small spatula around the edge of the pan to loosen and then turn the toffee out onto a cutting board or plate.  Break into pieces and ENJOY!!!

*See why I call it "5 Minute" Toffee now?  HA.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Nutella Cake (Gluten Free)

Hello chingus! This is my first post on this blog - thanks for adding me! I'm based in Switzerland, which means I'm used to metric measurements (like dl, cl, kg, g ...) and confused by that other stuff! Lucky for my American (and British) friends, however, the Nutella Cake recipe I've got is in oz and cups etc. and I had to go on the internet to "translate" everything into my measurements.
The basic ingredients
Saying that the Nutella Cake has a long tradition in my family would be a lie - no, a (male) friend of ours made this cake for his son on his birthday, where I first had it 3 years ago. Last year, I made it for my daughter's birthday (first time) and this year, I made it again. Unfortunately, it's for daycare ... so I will not get a single piece of it!!!!!!
Licked clean ^^
Prep Time: 30 min
Bake Time: 40 min (9" cake pan // 24cm )
Cool Off Time: 2-3 hrs


13 oz (370g) Nutella
1/2 cup (120g) Butter (unsalted)
6 Eggs
3 oz (85g) Chocolate, 85% Cacao (make sure to use Swiss chocolate! :)
3 oz (85g) Hazelnuts (I buy them ground, but grinding them yourself is much better)

  1. In a non stick pan, quickly roast the hazelnuts then set them aside in a plate to cool off. Be careful, they burn easily!
  2. Melt the butter and the chocolate (broken into pieces) in a pan, mix with a (wooden) spoon until melted, then let it cool off a little.
  3. Butter a 9" cake pan and preheat the oven to 350º F (= 180º C)
  4. Take a big bowl, and mix the Nutella and the Hazelnuts
  5. Separate the egg whites and the yolks, add the yolks to the Nutella-Hazelnuts mix, and mix the mix!
  6. In another bowl, whip the whites with a pinch of salt (using a mixer). The whites should have a firm consistency but still look wet, don't over do it!
  7. Add the butter-chocolate mix to the Nutella-Hazelnut mix, and mix the mix again!
  8. Carefully, in small increments (about 1/4 at a time), fold in the whipped egg whites. 
  9. You can add a tiny bit of baking powder if you want, but it is not necessary. 
Work until completely absorbed, then pour into the cake pan. Place in the oven and cook for 40 minutes, or until the sides of the cake will start separating from the sides of the pan. There is no need to poke with a toothpick to check if the inside is ready or not.

Be aware: the cake will come out of the oven nice and fluffy, but it will deflate to half the size during its cool off period, so don't be shocked!
out of the oven, nice and fluffy
You can now garnish as you see fit (powdered sugar works, for example). I usually use a chocolate frosting (bought in the store)