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Nutty Recipes

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Jackie
To: "Phaedrus" 
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2004 3:16 PM
Subject: Nut recipes

> Hello Phaed....
>    Was searching for the holiday nut recipes I see in the fairs 
> and bazzars--they are sweet walnuts or almonds and spicy nuts also.  
> Any  ideas you can pass on to me?
> Thanks ---- Jackie

Hi Jackie,

See this site for dozens of recipes:

Nut Recipes


Soft & Crunchy Toffee

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Anne
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 8:25 PM
  Subject: regarding toffee recipes

  Dear Phaedrus, 

  You certainly do work hard at your webpage. I am endlessly 
  impressed with your website and thought I'd visit it again 
  with a question of my own! 

  I saw that you had several recipes for Toffee and Butter Crunch 
  Toffee. Would you possibly know if any of the recipes on the 
  website are for a less crunchy type of toffee? I'd like to make 
  some this holiday season to take to a 94 yr. old Aunt who lives 
  in a retirement home. I'd hate to make something that might pop 
  out someone's teeth! So I'm seeking a softer "crunchy" toffee. 
  Once again, thank you so much for all of your advice and that 
  wonderful website of yours! You're a very special man, Phaed...Bravo!


Hi Anne,

It's extremely difficult to search for a recipe with a description such as "less crunchy". One must try to think of search phrases that will find the correct recipes while eliminating as many of the incorrect ones as possible. "Soft toffee" doesn't work, because soft toffee is a candy itself and is not what you want. "Less hard" and "less crunchy" did not work, either. Sometimes luck is on one's side and you just happen across a recipe that seems to fit the bill. Perhaps the one below, which is described as both soft and crunchy?


  Mahogany Buttercrunch Toffee 

  A chocolate and nut soft toffee. The name does not do it justice, 
  this confection will become a holiday tradition. Wrap large chunks 
  in colored plastic wrap and tie with a ribbon for your gift baskets. 

  2    cups blanched sliced almonds  
  1 1/4    cups firmly packed light brown sugar  
  2    tablespoons water  
  1/2    cup unsalted butter  
  1    teaspoon pure vanilla extract  
  1/4    teaspoon baking soda  
  6    ounces semisweet chocolate (coarsely chopped or chips)  

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2.  Place almonds on a cookie sheet and bake them for 5-10 minutes 
  until golden. 
  3.  Watch carefully, they go from getting hot to dark brown in just 
  a few seconds! 
  4.  Cool to room temperature. 
  5.  In a food processor pulse the almonds until they are finely chopped. 
  6.  Sprinkle half of the nuts over a 7 inch by 10 inch area of a 
  greased baking sheet. 
  7.  Set aside. 
  8.  In a medium, heavy saucepan combine the brown sugar, water and butter. 
  9.  Have your baking soda and vanilla extract ready. 
  10.  Over medium heat bring the sugar mixture to boil. 
  11.  Stir occasionally to prevent burning until the mixture reaches 285
  degrees F. (soft-crack stage). 
  12.  Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat as the temperature 
  will rapidly rise. 
  13.  Immediately add the baking soda and vanilla extract. 
  14.  Pour this mixture over the nuts on your baking sheet. 
  15.  Quickly scatter the chocolate over the hot toffee. 
  16.  Press lightly so it starts melting. 
  17.  After about five minutes, the chocolate will be soft enough to 
  spread with a long metal spatula in an even layer over the toffee. 
  18.  Spread the remaining chopped almonds over the melted chocolate. 
  19.  Cool completely and break into irregular pieces using a sharp knife. 
  20.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature for about one month. 
  21.  Makes one pound. 
  22.  Can be doubled. 

French Caramels

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Anne 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 8:25 PM
  Subject: regarding toffee recipes

  Dear Phaedrus, 

  I'm also seeking a caramel recipe that won't stick to one's teeth 
  so if you know of a recipe for that, feel free to let me know! 
  (I hear that the French make caramels like that but haven't found 
  a decent recipe yet.) 


Hi Anne,

A candy maker I'm not, but the below recipe for French butter caramel is said to be tasty and very unsticky.


  Caramel with Salted Butter

  1 cup half-and-half
  1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter
  1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel (see note)
  1 pound superfine sugar (about 2 3/4 cups)
  1/4 cup corn syrup

  Bring the half-and-half, butter and fleur de sel to boil in a heavy, 
  3-quart saucepan. Set aside.

  Stir together the sugar and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan. Bring 
  to a temperature of 293 degrees on a candy thermometer over medium 
  heat. As the sugar begins to melt, swirl the pan often until all 
  the sugar is melted. Remove the pan from the heat and add the 
  half-and-half mixture. Set the pan over medium heat and bring the 
  mixture to 248 degrees, stirring frequently. This will take 10 to 
  15 minutes. (The mixture will look like a caramel sauce.)

  Pour into an 8-inch-square nonstick pan and allow to set 2 hours.

  After the caramel has completely cooled, set the pan over very low 
  heat just enough to loosen the caramel, 30 seconds to 1 minute. 
  Invert the pan onto a nonstick surface. Cut the caramel into 36 
  pieces and wrap individually. Store in a dry place. 
  Servings: 36 caramels.

  Each caramel: 115 calories; 90 milligrams sodium; 16 milligrams 
  cholesterol; 6 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 16 grams carbohydrates; 
  0 protein; 0 fiber.

  Note: Fleur de sel, a sea salt, is sold at specialty markets. 
  (You can probably use another sea salt if you'd like...)

  From Alain Ducasse at the Essex House Restaurant in New York.  

Chile Chocolate Torte

From: "Laura" 
To: "phaedrus" 
Subject: Chile Chocolate Torte--Spicy Chocolate Cake request 11/10/04
Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2004 8:18 AM

Dear Phaedrus,

This comes from "The New Vegetarian Epicure", author Anna Thomas

I recently borrowed this book from the library, and fell in love 
with it...this is one of many wonderful recipes.  I believe this 
cake is right on target for what the poster is looking for:  
The cake is absolutely fabulous.

"Mole Poblano, the famous chile and chocolate sauce of Mexico, 
combines those essentially American flavors, and numerous other 
spices, with a strong emphasis on the chile. In this wonderful 
cake, the ratio is reversed, and Pasilla Chile Paste adds a subtle 
kick to the rich chocolate flavor. The effect is something like 
that of a true gingerbread, sweet but genuinely spicy. If you don't 
tell people what is is, they never guess."

Chile Chocolate Torte

 butter and flour for cake pan
 1 cup toasted almonds, with skins
 1/3 cup brown sugar
 2 TBS ground cinnamon
 1/4 tsp ground cloves
 2 tsp anise seeds, crushed in a mortar
 1/2 tsp salt
 9 oz dark (semi-sweet) chocolate
 3 TBS thick Pasilla Chile Paste (recipe follows)
 4 egg yolks
 5 egg whites, at room temperature
 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
 2 TBS unsalted butter
 2 TBS cream
 1 TBS light corn syrup

 Butter a 9-inch springform cake pan, and line the bottom with 
 a circle of buttered wax paper. Dust the pan with flour, tapping 
 out the excess.

 In the container of the food processor, fitted with the steel 
 blade, blend together the almonds, brown sugar, spices, and salt 
 until the texture resembles cornmeal. Add five ounces of the 
 chocolate, broken into bits, and blend again until the chocolate 
 is finely ground. Add the chile paste and the 4 egg yolks and pulse 
 briefly, then scrape the mixture out into an ample bowl.

 In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until 
 they hold soft peaks. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar and 
 continue beating until the whites hold stiff peaks.

Stir about a third of this meringue thoroughly into the chocolate 
mixture to lighten it, then carefully fold in the remainder. Keep 
folding gently just until there are no large streaks of egg white 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top with a spatula, 
and bake the torte in the center of a preheated 325F oven for 50-55 
minutes, or until it tests done. Let the torte cool a while in the 
pan, then remove it, invert it onto a wire rack, and let it finish 

In a double boiler or a steel bowl set over a pot of simmering water, 
melt the remaining 4 ounces of chocolate with the butter, cream, and 
corn syrup. Stir until completely smooth. Let this glaze cool until 
it is medium-warm.

 Set the torte, on its rack, over a large platter or a sheet of wax 
 paper, and pour the glaze over it. Smooth the glaze with a spatula 
 and let it drizzle down the sides. It thickens as it cools, so you 
 can adjust the look to your liking.

Transfer the torte carefully to a beautiful serving platter, and 
allow to stand at cool room temperature for 2-3 hours. The glaze 
should set and remain glossy.

Serve each slice of torte accompanied by a scoop of Orange and 
Mango Sorbet, or some other refreshing fruit ice.

 This is a moist cake, and keeps well for a couple of days if 
 covered with plastic wrap. You'll enjoy having some leftovers 
 of this.

Serves 16.

Pasilla Chile Paste

5-6 dried pasilla chile pods

Rinse the pasilla chile pods, break them apart, pull out their 
stems and seeds, and put them in a small saucepan with water 
just to cover. Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat to a 
simmer for a few minutes, then remove from the heat and leave 
the pods to soak for 30 minutes.

Puree the softened pods in a blender or food processor with 
enough of the remaining water to form a soft but thick paste. 
Put the puree through a strainer, measure out 3 TBS, and reserve 
the rest for another use, storing it in a tightly covered jar, 
in the refrigerator.

Note: When working with chiles, wear rubber gloves, or wash your 
hands very thoroughly afterwards. I find that rubbing my hands 
first with vegetable oil, and then washing them several times 
with soap and water, is very effective for removing chile oil.



Spiced Round of Beef

From: "Laura" 
To: "phaedrus" 
Subject: Spiced Round of Beef request 11/10/04
Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2004 8:02 AM

Dear Phaedrus,

I found this through a Google Groups search...I'll hunt around, 
also...I Know I've got at least one Southern cookbook containing 
a recipe/instructions.  Anyway, in the meantime, this should be 
close!  I believe that the beef used to be larded, with a larding 
tool, to ensure tenderness.  The spices, course, can be amended 
to suit taste, personally, I'd toss some ginger into the mix, also 
some cayenne pepper.  It's weighted, to compress the meat,  which 
allows you to slice it thinly.  It is utterly delicious!


Spiced Beef

6 pound piece of brisket, sirloin tip or eye of round
3 bay leaves. finely chopped
1 teaspoon powdered mace
6 finely ground cloves
1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
1 large garlic clove made into a paste with salt
1 teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons molasses
2 heaping tablespoons brown sugar
1 pound cooking salt (use commentary)
2 teaspoons saltpetre

Mix all spices and flavorings together. Place beef in a large dish 
and rub well all over mixture. Refrigerate in a covered bowl. Repeat 
this process every day for a week, turning the meat and rubbing in 
the spices which will now be mixed with the juices drawn from the 
meat. Tie the meat up firmly and rub a final teaspoon of ground cloves. 
Cover with water and simmer slowly for 6 hours. When cool enough to 
handle remove from the cooking liquid, place in a dish and cover with
a weighted plate. Slice very thinly and serve.  


Copyright (c) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Phaedrus