Caramel Recipes

Che Sam Bo Luong Recipe Recipe

Che Sam Bo Luong Recipe

03.15.15 by Jackie

Several roots, herbs, seeds and grains are known for their medicinal properties called thuốc bắc in Vietnamese. There's a Vietnamese dessert that gathers a collection of these delicious ingredients known as healing in Asian culture. It's called chè sâm bổ lượng and consists of a mix of dried lotus seeds (sen), longans (nhãn), Chinese pearl barley, dried mung beans, dried jujube (táo tầu in Vietnamese, also known as Chinese dates), dried white fungus and ginseng roots.

The natural starch from the barley thickens the dessert. Even though the jujube and longans are naturally sweet, I added a bit more sweetener to the syrup of the dessert with Chinese rock sugar. 

On hot summer days, you could also serve this chilled with crushed ice; it's amazing. 

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Vietnamese Dessert with Lotus Seeds and Longans: Chè Sen Nhãn Recipe

Vietnamese Dessert with Lotus Seeds and Longans: Chè Sen Nhãn

01.17.14 by Jackie

According to the Lunar calendar, Tết (Vietnamese New Year) falls on January 30th, 2014. It's customary to serve chè (typical Vietnamese dessert) to offer to ancestors during prayers. Today's dessert recipe is chè sen nhãn. It's made from dried lotus seeds and dried longans, which are perfect for the winter season. 

I prepared a syrup sweetened with Chinese rock sugar. It can be thickened with tapioca starch but the quality of the dried lotus seeds and longans I used was so amazing, it was unnecessary. I feel very blessed because I always have family and friends bringing me delicious, exotic ingredients from their travels to Vietnam. I received lotus seeds threaded as necklaces and the longans had been sun-dried and unsweetened. They came out just perfect: perky and plump, with a hint of natural sweetness. I could have eaten bowls and bowls of this lovely chè.

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Tofu Dessert in Ginger Syrup (Tau Hu Nuoc Duong) Recipe

Tofu Dessert in Ginger Syrup (Tau Hu Nuoc Duong)

01.07.11 by Jackie

Tàu hũ nước đường is a Vietnamese tofu dessert in ginger syrup. The texture of silken tofu is very similar to custard, but without the calories. I used store-bought silken tofu (see tips) and paired it with clementine ginger syrup. The early crop of clementines we harvested from our garden are not extremely sweet. They have a hint of tartness, which is just the way I like them! The zest is so fragrant I had to use it in this syrup.

I have made my own firm tofu before, which is quite easy, but I've always wanted to make silken tofu. After a few searches, I stumbled upon Wendy's beautiful Chinese food blog, where she shares her technique on how to make silken tofu, using Glucono-Delta-Lactone (GDL). I haven't tried her recipe yet, because I first have to find this ingredient. I can't wait to make my own silken tofu; I will definitely keep you posted.

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Chewy Pecan Caramels with Cardamom Recipe

Chewy Pecan Caramels with Cardamom

12.14.10 by Jackie

The key utensil for making chewy caramels is a candy thermometer, as it's the only way to control the temperature of the sugar. A few degrees too high and the candies become hard.   

On a recent trip to San Antonio, we discovered these delicious Texan Pecan praline specialties. We brought a lot of boxes home but unfortunately they disappeared fast. Whenever my father-in-law or my husband come back from a trip to San Antonio, they bring back a boxes of the wonderful Texan delicacies. My mother-in-law always asks: "Honey, did you bring home my "magazines" from your business trip?" She refers to them as magazines because if the kids hear that there are caramels in the house they gobble them up right away.

This recipe is the result of several attempts to make the candies at home. To add my own touch, I flavoured the caramels with cardamom which pairs incredibly well with the crunchy roasted pecans. Until my father-in-law or my husband go back to San Antonio for their work, our family can enjoy these homemade caramels; they're perfect for the holidays!

Salted Caramel Recipe with Picture

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Ca Kho (Braised Catfish in Vietnamese Fish Sauce) Recipe

Ca Kho (Braised Catfish in Vietnamese Fish Sauce)

03.30.10 by Jackie

Cá kho tộ ("braised fish" in Vietnamese) is delicious catfish simmered in a caramelized sauce with garlic, ginger, green onions, fish sauce and red chiles. What I love most about the dish is eating steamed jasmine rice with the sauce made with coconut soda.

I love seafood, but the vegetarians in my home aren't always happy with the aroma of fish wafting through the house. Braising fish in nước mắm gives a strong smell to this dish, so I don't make it very often, even though I love it.

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