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Toffee Recipe & Video

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A good piece of Toffee should be savored. Savor its smooth and buttery caramel flavor, its crunchy texture, and its delicious coating of dark chocolate and toasted almonds. Often called Butter Toffee, Buttercrunch Toffee, or even English Toffee, it's so good that it's almost impossible to eat just one piece.

A few notes on equipment. First, use a heavy bottomed saucepan so the sugar syrup doesn't scorch while it's cooking. Also, buy a good digital candy thermometer with a probe, or a mercury thermometer with a metal clip so you can fasten it to the side of the pan. When using a candy thermometer make sure the thermometer or probe does not rest on the bottom of the pan as this can cause an inaccurate temperature reading.

When making a sugar syrup, sugar crystallization tends to be the biggest problem as it will turn a smooth sugar syrup into a grainy mess. This is caused by the formation of sugar crystals which can start a chain reaction of crystallization (the process of sugar particles clinging together) that makes the mixture grainy. So, to prevent this from happening, stir the butter, sugar, water, and corn syrup until they start to boil as this ensures that the sugar has completely melted. Then, stop stirring. Cover the saucepan with a lid for about one minute to allow the sides of the pan to wash themselves down and dissolve any sugar crystals. Then remove the lid and cook the sugar syrup until it reaches the correct temperature. Do not stir the mixture as it cooks, as introducing a wooden spoon to the mixture as it boils can cause crystallization.

After you make the Toffee, cleaning the saucepan is an issue. The best way to remove all that hard caramelized sugar is to fill the saucepan with water and bring it just to a boil. Then turn off the heat, cover the saucepan with a lid, and let it sit until the sugar dissolves.

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Toffee: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Place the almonds on a baking sheet and bake until lightly brown and fragrant (about 8 to 10 minutes). Let the almonds cool completely on a wire rack. Then place the almonds in your food processor and process until they are coarsely chopped. Or you can place the almonds on a cutting board and coarsely chop with a knife.

Sprinkle half of the nuts in a 10 inch (25 cm) square on a buttered or oiled baking sheet. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack.

In a medium-sized, heavy bottomed saucepan (10 cup) (2.4 liter), combine the butter, sugar, water, and corn syrup. Have the baking soda and vanilla extract ready. Bring the sugar mixture to a boil, on medium high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar. Then, cover the pan with a lid for about one minute to allow the sides of the pan to wash themselves down and dissolve any sugar crystals. Remove lid, and then clamp a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, making sure it does not touch the bottom of the pan. Cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 300 degrees F (149 degrees C) (hard-crack stage) on a candy thermometer. (If you find the sugar syrup browning unevenly, swirl the saucepan from time to time.) Remove from heat and immediately stir in the baking soda and vanilla extract. The mixture will bubble.

Pour the toffee evenly over the nuts on your baking sheet. (See video for demonstration.) Then place the chopped chocolate over the hot toffee. After a few minutes the chocolate will be soft enough to spread with an offset spatula (or back of a spoon) in an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining chopped almonds over the melted chocolate. Place the pan in the refrigerator until the chocolate is firm (30 to 60 minutes). Then cut the toffee into pieces using a sharp knife.

The toffee can be stored in an airtight container (to prevent the toffee from softening) at room temperature, or in the refrigerator, for about two weeks. It can also be frozen for about one month.

Makes about 1 pound (450 grams). Preparation time 45 minutes.

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Toffee Recipe:

2 cups (170 grams) slivered blanched almonds

3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

2 tablespoons (30 ml/grams) water

2 tablespoons light corn syrup (or golden syrup or liquid glucose)

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking soda

6 ounces (170 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

 

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