CANDIED HAZELNUTS

here we go - let's try out some artsy hazelnut decorations!
first off, toast and peel your hazelnuts!

fun fact: in grocery stores (superstore for sure), hazelnuts are called filberts!
why you ask? apparently because they resemble full beards, where the word filbert comes from.
OR because hazelnuts mature on or close to St. Philibert's Day, August 20th
haha so if you can't find hazelnuts, find the filberts :)

to toast... simply stick them on a baking pan in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes!
then roll them around in a dry cloth to peel.

our NEXT step!
grab a bunch of skewers and gently twist the ends into the hazelnuts.
tip: avoid twisting skewers in the natural crack of the hazelnuts, they may split in half
once you've got that ready, it's time to make some caramelized sugar!
for me, this was the hardest part.
i followed different recipes, failed 2X - then came across this one
trust me - follow that recipe (the first way) and make sure once the sugar boils...
STOP STIRRING!!!

once you've got it, let the caramelized sugar sit to cool for a few minutes (to thicken)
then start dipping your hazelnut skewers into the sugar.
wait for a thin strand to drip down and then secure the skewer on the edge of your countertop
underneath a cutting board (make sure there are paper towels on your floor to cover for the mess!)

{ if the sugar in the pot starts turning hard, just place it over the stove on low again to heat up
and it'll be ready for more dipping }

a brilliant idea i read from another blog is to secure the skewers on the countertop over an opened dishwasher.  that way the dishwasher can pick up the mess and wash it out when you run it.

after 5-10 minutes of allowing the candied hazelnuts to harden,
use scissors to cut the tips as short as you want them (around 4 inches?)
then simply remove them from the skewers
(tip: if they're stuck too hard to the skewer, use scissors to gently cut 
the edge where the candied hazelnut meets the skewer to release)

place the candied hazelnut on your dessert, and there you have it!

i placed them on my mini nutella-banana crepe cakes.
click on the link above, or picture below to see that recipe!


MINI CREPE CAKES

this dessert is a gooder! 

NUTELLA BANANA mini crepe cakes

thanks to my sis-in-law, i tried my first crepe cake at her place in ottawa about a year ago & boy was it deeeelicious! i came home and have made a bunch of these cakes since then. it's definitely a favourite.
but this time i wanted to spice it up a bit and try making MINI crepe cakes. so, here we go.
first off, MAKE the crepes. CLICK HERE for the best crepe recipe out there.
(super chewy, must use this recipe!) the recipe above makes about 8 crepes - and using a 2 inch cookie cutter - you can get about 7-8 mini crepes in just 1 regular size crepe!
{that would equal to about 60 mini crepes}

you generally want about 20 crepe layers per cake to make it a decent cake.
so from the recipe above - it will only give you 3 mini cakes.

feel free to double, triple, quadruple the recipe above to get more mini cakes
but of course, the more you multiply - the more work for you!

below is about 3X the recipe above
after you've got your mini crepes all set to go - make your nutella filling!
of course, the amount you make will vary depending on how many crepes you make.

nutella filling (this amount is great for 9 mini cakes):
simply whisk 1 1/3 cups heavy cream with 1.5 cups of Nutella
(for us Canadians, since we can't buy heavy cream at our local grocery store 
- use this recipe to make your own - super easy)
so at this point - you have your mini crepes & your filling.
you are set.

remember TWENTY layers per cake.
start with a crepe, add some nutella filling with a spoon, add a crepe layer, add nutella
repeat over & over until you have 20 layers ending with the crepe on top (for now).
place in the fridge to cool & so the layers don't slip everywhere!
{ optional: slice bananas into thin slices to throw in the layers every third layer }

continue making all your mini crepes.

once finished - use the EXTRA nutella filling to pour over the top 
of each mini crepe cake for a nice finish.
**you can use a plastic bag filled with nutella filling and a cut hole in the corner to pour evenly**

LAST but not least, CLICK HERE to find out how to make the Candied Hazelnuts
as decoration for the lovely crepe cakes!

hope you enjoy.