English Toffee

This is a recipe provided from Andre’s cousin, Rhonda. Her mother, Ladeane Cobabe, is Grandma Julie’s sister.

2 cups (1 pound) butter
3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
12 ounces chopped chocolate or chocolate chips — bittersweet, semisweet, milk — your choice, or any combination.
2 1/2 cups almonds

Spread almonds on a baking sheet and toast at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, or until nicely browned. Chop 2 cups of the almonds coarsely and spread evenly on the baking sheet. Chop the remaining 1/2 cup very finely — use a food processor or blender for this. Don’t over process, or you’ll have almond butter, just enough so you have very finely chopped, almost powdered almonds. Set aside. (When I say baking sheet, I’m using a quarter sheet pan, and I don’t bother buttering or spraying it — the candy is buttery enough that I’ve never had trouble with it sticking once it hardens.)

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and corn syrup, and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture begins to boil. With a pastry brush dipped in water, brush the sides of the pan to wash down any sugar crystals that may be clinging there. VERY IMPORTANT — DO NOT STIR ONCE THE MIXTURE HAS COME TO A FULL BOIL. Allow the candy to boil until it reaches the color of a brown paper bag. I don’t use a candy thermometer — just go by appearance, but I think technically, you are looking for hard crack stage, or 300 degrees F (less at high altitude).

Once the candy is finished cooking pour over the almonds on the cookie sheet. Use a clean spoon or spatula (I use a silicone spatula) to spread the toffee over the baking sheet. Allow the toffee to harden slightly – about five minutes. It will still be very, very hot. Sprinkle with the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips. When the heat from the toffee has melted the chocolate, use a knife or spatula to spread the chocolate. Sprinkle the finely chopped almonds on top of the chocolate.

At this point, when we lived in Missouri, I put it out on the back porch to cool if it was winter. Here in Texas, I put it in the refrigerator or even the freezer to continue cooling, about 20-30 minutes. When the candy is completely cool, and the chocolate has hardened, use a knife to lift one corner of the block of candy. Break into desired sized pieces and don’t eat it all at once!

Just a note — most recipes I have seen for English toffee call for the same amount of butter and sugar by volume — 2 cups to 2 cups. When I made it this way, I found the candy greasy, and I even used paper towels to wipe the surface of the candy to absorb some of the extra butter. I’ve experimented with different amounts, and I like the 2 cups butter to 3 cups sugar ratio, but feel free to reduce the sugar if you want it more buttery.

Source: Rhonda Cobabe Marsden

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Published in: on February 9, 2010 at 3:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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