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Advice about making toffee and recipes

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Hello all --

We're figuring on making some toffee for presents for family. (It will be going with coffee so it will be "toffee and coffee"!)

I've looked at a few recipes. One of them had some baking soda in it and the recipe indicated that the baking soda made for a more soft airy texture. Think that's characterizing it correctly. Hope you know what that means. I think that was a Martha Stewart recipe.

What do you all think? Does baking soda in the mix make for a better texture? And what recipe would you use?

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  1. I found the recipe I was thinking of. It's called honeycomb brittle. I think I would add a layer of chocolate to it. Here's that recipe: http://www.marthastewart.com/342508/h...

    And here's another one I was thinking of that does not have any baking soda: http://www.marthastewart.com/349605/c...

    What looks better to you? Or would you use something else?

    1. This is my usual toffee recipe for an "Almond Roca" style toffee (I made 3 batches last night- it's super quick and easy:)

      1 stick of butter
      1 t light corn syrup
      3/4 c packed brown sugar
      1/4 t salt
      1.5 c toasted almonds, chopped
      chocolate or candy coating

      line a loaf pan with parchment and spray with nonstick spray

      in a medium saucepan over medium heat: melt the butter, add the brown sugar and the corn syrup and stir until the sugar dissolves

      stir constantly as it bubbles and boils until it reaches 290 degrees on a candy thermometer

      if it will stay at 290 and not climb I'll let it stay at 290 for a couple of minutes- if it is still climbing take it off the heat!

      Once its off the heat stir in 1/2 cup of the chopped almonds and pour into the prepared pan, it should be about 1/2" thick

      let the toffee sit for 3-5 minutes and use a paring knife to cut it into 1/2" x 2" rectangles. let them sit a half hour or so to totally cook and then dip them in the melted chocolate or candy coating and roll in the remaining chopped almonds (better if you chop these smaller than the pieces you added to the toffee.)

      I'm intrigued by the pic of the baking soda toffee, though... I think I'll go give it a try.

      3 Replies
      1. re: weezieduzzit

        If you do try that baking soda recipe, report back. I'll be curious.

        1. re: karykat

          Its kind of neat when it foams up upon adding the baking soda but no one here liked the end product. :( the honey made it smell great, though.

          1. re: weezieduzzit

            Wow! So you tried it already. Fantastic. What did it taste like? I see it's not as rich as the toffees with butter added. Did you feel like you were tasting the baking soda?

      2. I have never found one better than this one. Credit ones to Marilyn from the old CI forum. We have all made it for years now.

        Marilyn's English Toffee

        1 lb unsalted butter
        ½ teaspoon salt
        2 cups granulated sugar
        3 tablespoons water
        1 cup slivered almonds
        12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
        2 cups lightly toasted pecans

        1 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.
        2 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.
        3 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.
        4 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.
        5 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.
        6 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.

        2 Replies
          1. re: Becca Porter

            I used your recipe Becca and it was really good and came together easily.

            I skipped the almonds though and used about 10 oz of bittersweet Scharffen Berger.

            At first it looked like the boiled sugar wouldn't set after I poured it onto the cookie sheet but then it did just fine.

            The chocolate in the finished toffee was kind of soft and messy and not hard. But I just cooled it in the fridge a bit. It tastes great!

          2. No baking soda. Eu. Part of the allure for me is the texture and crunch of toffee, and baking soda makes it all wrong. Have you ever had the old fashioned sea foam candy? That's what baking soda gets you. That is not proper toffee as I've known it, ever.

            Here is my recipe. I make it by the double batch and then try not to eat it all before I can gift it.

            2 1/2c. sugar
            1/2c. water
            boil to syrup stage, then add
            1lb. butter
            1 tsp. salt
            cook to 280F, then add 2c. toasted chopped almonds
            cook to 300F
            dump out onto cooking spray coated parchment

            top with 8-10oz. melted chocolate and 1c. chopped almonds
            let cool, break into pieces and freeze/store. better if allowed to age for a week or so