Last year, my husband brought home some delicious toffee. I’m not a huge fan of toffee or candy in general, but this was quite amazing. What I loved about the toffee was the texture – each piece was crunchy but not jaw-breaking, light and not too dense. The toffee also had a nice layer of dark chocolate and some chopped mixed nuts on the top. Overall it was delicious and it inspired me to work on a recipe for it.
Making toffee isn’t difficult, but it does require some attention and timing, as sugar can be a little tricky to work with during the candying process. I find that adding some corn syrup helps prevent crystallization in the sugar. Also, make sure you turn off the heat once you hit soft crack phase, which is at 285°. 300° is hard crack, and some people would argue that it needs to hit this temperature in order to be proper toffee. I my opinion, 300° makes of the toffee a little too hard. Finally, another trick I use is adding a little baking soda to the recipe, which helps lighten up the toffee. With some extra dark chocolate and mixed roasted nuts on top, you won’t be able to have just one piece. Enjoy!
Toffee with Dark Chocolate and Mixed Nuts
Yield: About 1 1/2 lbs.
Non-stick baking spray
1 cup of unsalted organic butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of organic corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
6 1/2 ounces of finely chopped dark chocolate, preferably 65% cacao
1/2 cup of salted and roasted mixed nuts (peanuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, and cashews), finely chopped
Fleur de sel or flaky sea salt
1/4 sheet pan (8 1/2″ x 11″ at the base)
1. Cut a sheet of parchment paper to 8 1/2″ x 11″ to fit the bottom of the baking sheet. Line the baking sheet and spray lightly with non-stick baking spray. Set aside.
2. Have the vanilla extract and baking soda ready in small mise en place bowls.
3. Add the butter, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a medium heavy-bottom copper or an enamel coated cast iron pot. Heat on medium.
4. Gently stir with a wooden spoon until it comes to a boil. Stop stirring. Then attach the candy thermometer.
5. Get a small bowl of water and a pastry brush ready. Set aside.
6. Stir the toffee mixture occasionally as the temperature reaches 285° on the candy thermometer. You will stir about five different occasions. Do not overstir or the toffee will separate. Also, during this process, you will use the wet brush to mix in any sugar mixture that comes up along the sides of the pan. This helps prevents crystallization.
7. Once the temperature reaches 285°, immediately remove the pot from the stove and stir in the baking soda and vanilla extract. The baking soda will help lighten the toffee.
8. Pour the toffee mixture on the prepared parchment-covered baking sheet. Tap the baking sheet a couple of times. Let the toffee cool for 2 minutes.
9.Sprinkle the chopped dark chocolate evenly over the toffee. Let it sit for 1 minute.
10. Using an off-set spatula, gently spread the melted chocolate.
11. Sprinkle the chopped nuts evenly over the melted chocolate. Sprinkle a few flakes of sea salt. Using another piece of parchment paper to gently press the nuts into the chocolate.
12. Place the toffee in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes.
13. When is the chocolate has hardened, remove the toffee from the refrigerator. Peel off the parchment paper.
14. Break it up into bite-size pieces.
15. Store in an airtight container. You can also place them in small cellophane bags for gifts.