Toffee gone wrong!
Why oh why didn't my toffee harden properly? I simmered it constantly for 25 minutes and still, only firm goo at the end. Ideas?
Here are the ingredients:
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
Also, any tried and true recipes are welcome. Thanks!
It's usually not the length of time you boil the candy that's critical when making toffee, it's the temperature to which you get the molten sugar. A good candy thermometer is indispensable in candy making, especially toffee and all it's derivites. If your sugar mixture didn't get to the Hard Crack stage - 385* - it won't set properly. Do you know if you got to that temperature or not?
re: David Kahn
Yes, David, you are correct, according to the site cited below. Perhaps Gayla made a typo.
Nevertheless, Gayla's general information is correct. For candy making a good thermometer is essential. Also the weather, expecially the humidity, can ruin an otherwise well-prepared batch of candy.
re: babette feasts
Okay, I pulled out the toffee recipe that I've been making for 35+ years and that has been in the family for longer than that. It's basically a knock off of Almond Rocha. The recipe says to cook the sugar mixture to 300* watching carefully once it hits 280*.
I can tell you from experience that the temperature does increase rapidly from 280* to 300*. I can also tell you that if you use too high a constant temperature during cooking you will come out with a toffee that is very, very dark, that can also be somewhat bitter.
My preferrence is to make toffee using a gas flame as you can regulate the temperature better. But I've been pretty successful using an electric range as well, you just have to be a little more diligent with the temperature control. After making toffee for 35+ years I'm to the point where I can pretty much tell by smell and appearance when it's ready. But even after all those years, I still use a candy thermometer, especially towards the end so I can make sure I get it up to the right temperature.
As they say, practice - and a candy thermometer - makes perfect :-)).........