There are a number of reasons why food bloggers might plan a get together.

Perhaps it’s to finally meet long-time fellow food blogger friends in person.

Many times we get together for a worthy cause.

Since we love what we do, we are always looking for ways to learn and improve our craft; we’ll get together for that.

However, regardless of the circumstance that might bring us together there is one thing you can be certain of… rarely does one show up empty-handed.

Those who know me, know that I usually show up with a batch or two of french macarons. And, anyone who knows Rachael of La Fuji Mama knows without a doubt that she will most likely show up with a delicious batch of Fuji Nana’s Deadly Chocolate Almond Toffee.

Which, while we are on the subject I really think should be renamed to “Fuji Nana’s Dangerous Chocolate Almond Toffee” because:

a)You run the risk of not being able to control yourself once you have possession of said toffee.

b)You can end up with a chocolate dipped chin or a chocolate dipped lens.

c)You might turn your head at the bowl of oatmeal you had planned on having for breakfast, and have this instead.

So consider yourself warned…

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Toffee
inspired from Fuji Nana’s Deadly Chocolate Almond Toffee

1 cup roasted unsalted hazelnuts
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon hazelnut liqueur
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup finely chopped or ground walnuts

1. Line a baking sheet with foil or a Silpat, spinkle the hazelnuts in a single layer over the over baking sheet to cover an area of approx 9 X 12; set aside.

2. In a heavy saucepan or copper pan combine butter, sugar and salt. Cook over high heat stirring constantly until the candy reaches 300 degrees F (Hard Crack stage) this step takes between 5 – 7 minutes. Remove for heat, stir in hazelnut liqueur, and quickly pour candy over the hazelnuts; allow to cool completely.

3. Melt chocolate in the microwave oven in intervals of 40 seconds at 50% power and stirring inbetween until chocolate is soft enough to spread. Spread chocolate mixture over cooled toffee and sprinkle with your favorite ground nut. Allow chocolate to cool completely before breaking toffee into bite-size pieces.

Here’s a batch of Fuji Nana’s Deadly Chocolate Almond Toffee I made a couple of weeks ago. Mmm Mmm Mmm…

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Last Sunday was the last day to submit a recipe video for Paula Deen’s Real Women of Philadelphia Challenge, it also happened to be dessert week!

A friend of mine told me about this challenge a few weeks ago, but I hadn’t been able to participate because I was missing a key component; a video camera.

After a bit of persuasion and a touch of pouting, I was given the green light, and went out and bought a little flip HD camera, just in time to make a video for the very last round in the challenge.

Saturday morning I wrote out a quick script, rehearsed it a little, and then we shot the video. Sunday morning I worked on the editing.

Here’s how it went. I had a few clips that I needed to piece together, so I opened the video editing software, and had no idea where to start. I decided to search on-line for tutorials, after finding and watching a couple I was able to figure out the basics, well, kind of.

Honestly, I still had have no clue. After going through all that trouble I decided I was going to go forward and submit my badly edited video anyway.

I’m sure it won’t be picked but it was an interesting learning experience to say the least. If you are into self torture you can view the video (I’ve included the link to it below).

The recipe I chose is quick and easy to put together, it is also as tasty as it is rich.

Espresso Hazelnut Cheesecake Ice Cream

16 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup hazelnut spread

In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese, heavy cream, sugar, espresso powder, and vanilla extract.

Begin by beating on low until heavy cream has been incorporated, increase speed to medium-high and continue beating until cream cheese is smooth and creamy.

Transfer mixture to your ice cream maker and follow your manufacturer’s instructions.

Approximately 5 minutes before the ice cream is down microwave the hazelnut spread for about 50 seconds at 50% power until it has reached a pouring consistency.

Pour the hazelnut spread into the ice cream maker and as soon as it has swirled through you can turn it off.

Transfer ice cream to a resealable plastic container and freeze for at least 2 hours.

Espresso Hazelnut Cheesecake Ice Cream

Espresso Hazelnut Cheesecake Ice Cream

And, here’s my silly and very badly edited video submission to the Paula Dean’s Real Women of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Challenge.

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