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.
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.
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.
pound (450 grams).