well, i made the english toffee...
after an extensive search for a great english toffee recipe, i found one. and last night i made it. it is perfect! the chocolate adhered to the surface of the candy, the nuts are perfectly done, and the toffee is not "pull out your fillings" sticky, but crisp and delicious.
the recipe directions say to let the candy sit for 8 hours before cutting so that is exactly what i did. this morning, i went to break a piece off, but realized that it needed to be cut. so i pulled out my favorite chef's knife and proceeded to cut right through the middle of my toffee and...
right through the middle of my silpat.
Where I'm from "english toffee" refers to a crisp and slightly chewy confection composed of sugar, butter and a pinch of salt boiled to the hard-crack stage usually topped with chocolate and or nuts. Picture here: http://www.ghirardelli.com/bake/recip... Unlike honeycomb/sponge toffee it doesn't contain baking soda so there aren't any bubbles :)
i used fleur de sel, ghirardelli 60% cacao chips and slivered almonds. next time i make this (tonight) i am going to make it with no nuts at all. however, next time i do add nuts, it will be pecans added to the chocolate at the end.
i found it interesting that you add the chocolate when the candy is still hot. very hot. i have to say that i think it helps it adhere to the candy.
i left my wooden spoon in the saucepan the whole time and towards the end, stirred the whole time.
this recipe is not chewy at ALL. it is hard and crunchy and delicious. i have to say that it is the best recipe that i have ever tried.
let me know what you think!! and be careful not to cut through your silpat. )c: i'm still crying.
1 lb unsalted butter (make sure it is fresh!)
½ tea. table salt
2 cups granulated sugar
3 tbsp. water
1 cup slivered almonds (do not use sliced almonds)
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (chips are fine)
1½ -2 cups lightly toasted pecans (or walnuts), finely chopped
Melt ¾ of chocolate over hot water or in a microwave oven at half power for 2-3 minutes. When melted, stir in remaining chocolate and set aside. Line a large jelly roll or half-sheet pan with heavy-duty foil and butter the foil.
Melt the butter with the salt in a heavy 3 quart saucepan over medium heat. Slowly add the sugar, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Add the water about halfway through this process.
After all the sugar is added, begin testing the mixture to see if the sugar is dissolved. Place a drop of mixture on wax paper; allow it to cool and rub it between your fingers to make sure it doesn’t feel grainy. If it does, continue to cook and test again. The mixture will probably be boiling at this point.
When sugar is dissolved, add the almonds, and increase the heat to medium high. Cook to the hard-crack stage, or about 310-320 degrees on a candy thermometer, stirring often to keep the candy from burning on the bottom. When it’s done, it should be a medium-dark amber color and have a caramel aroma. The almonds should have a toasted color but they should not burn. This is the tricky part, as there’s a thin line between perfect and overdone, and to some extent it’s a matter of taste.
Remove from heat and pour into the prepared pan, spreading as evenly as possible with an offset spatula. Be careful, this stuff is hot! Set the pan on a cooling rack. After 2-3 minutes, when toffee is just set, pour reserved chocolate on top and spread evenly. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, and press them in gently with a spatula or bottom of a glass to anchor them in the chocolate.
Allow the toffee to harden at least 6-8 hours—overnight is better. Break into pieces using a sharp pointed knife with a rigid blade, or you can use your hands. Store in an airtight container in a cool place. Makes about 3 pounds.