Thursday, November 29, 2012

English Toffee

Tonight I decided to switch it up a bit and take a break from cookies.  I made some homemade toffee.  I usually make this every year because it's a favorite of everyones around here.  It's so easy and so quick to make.  It's really just burned sugar and butter.  I'm amazed that so many candy shops charge so much money for toffee. 

I recently attended a chocolate show in Chicago and there was toffee stands everywhere, each one claiming to be the best. In my opinion it all pretty much tastes the same.  Some of the vendors used different nut toppings, some with different salts on top.  That was interesting but the toffee was pretty much the same.  I sampled a few but couldn't buy any at the show because I knew that I could do it just as easily at home.  Not to mention they were charging a fortune. 

I'm sure there are more intensive recipes out there for toffee.  I've seen some that use brown sugar or corn syrup.  I am thinking about trying one with brown sugar.  For now, I'm sticking with my tried and true recipe. 

Some toffee is very thick which I like as well.  My toffee tends to be a thin because I spread it out thinner.  My next batch is going to be a little thicker, I'll control the pour or get a smaller pan.  Like I said, it's very easy, I highly recommend you try it!

A few quick tips...use a heavy sauce pan or one with a thick bottom.  A thin bottom pan will heat up too fast on the bottom and burn.  Your toffee will end up with a burnt taste.  Use a candy thermometer.  I've never gotten good results trying to do the water test, hard ball test, etc.  I absolutely will not make toffee without my candy thermometer.  Also, resist the urge to stir constantly, stir only enough to blend the mixture.  Too much stirring will cause the toffee to take too long to reach the desired temp. 

The recipe is:
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips - approx. 1 cup 
Nuts - crushed (I used walnuts) for sprinkling

1.  Melt the sugar and butter in a thick bottomed sauce pan. 

2.  Continue to cook the sugar and butter until it reaches 300° F on a candy thermometer. Stirring occassionally. 

3.  Once the butter mixture has reached 300° F, pour the mixture onto an aluminum foil or wax paper lined jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with the sides on it like this one here

4.  sprinkle the chocolate chips all over the top of the toffee.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes until the chips are melted.  Spread the melted chips over the toffee to cover.  Sprinkle with the crushed nuts. 

5.  Let cool completely.  Break into bits.  I sometimes cut with a knife while it's still slightly warm in order to get some decent squared but the toffee usually breaks up anyway.  I get a few nice squares and a lot of broken pieces. 

So that's it.  Happy Baking and please excuse the bad photo.  I used my phone for the pic and the battery is dying so the shutter seemed a bit slow.  Neverthe less, the toffee tastes great.  Now I must go and brush my teeth because I ate tasted enough to rot these little buggers right out of my head.

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