How-To: English Toffee

Each and every Christmas, I make batch after batch of English Toffee. And today I was thinking, why does it just have to be for Christmas? Wouldn’t it be just as good for Valentine’s Day? So, I dug out the photos I took last Christmas and never got around to posting.


My recipe is really my mom’s recipe, that is really her friend’s mom’s recipe from over 20 years ago. I’ve seen a lot of toffee recipes over the years, but mine works so well for me, that I hesitate to try a new one.

Although, I have shaken things up a bit–like using different kinds of nut, grinding them up, and using better chocolate. Below you will find the original recipe, my minor changes can be found in parentheses.

English Toffee

Ingredients:
1 stick salted butter
1 stick margarine–no substitutions, please
1 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp. light Karo syrup
3 Tbsp. water
1 large (1/2 lb.) Hershey’s milk chocolate bar (Or….1/2 of a pound plus bar from Trader Joe’s)
1 package sliced almonds (Or…1 cup finely chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds)

Instructions:
Prepare an 8″ by 11″ pan by laying sliced almonds (or chopped nuts) evenly across the bottom. (You can also use a 9″ by 13″ pan, but the toffee will be a little thinner.)

Chop the chocolate, or use the large holes on a cheese grater. (Chopping works better–trust me.) 
Place half the chopped/grated chocolate over the almonds. Reserve the rest for later.

Place the butter, margarine, sugar, corn syrup, and water in a heavy-duty pot (2-3 quart) with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a rolling boil and put the lid on. Don’t touch or remove the lid. Let the toffee cook undisturbed for 3 minutes.

Remove the lid carefully to avoid dropping any moisture back into the pot.

Without stirring, cook the toffee until it becomes dark amber in color. It may take as few as 5 minutes, or as many as 20. This is not the time to answer the phone or check your e-mail.

Swirl the pan occasionally, if needed, to prevent any one area from becoming too dark before the rest.

Once the desired color is reached, promptly take the pan off the heat. Pour the cooked toffee evenly over the chocolate/almond layers.  Sprinkle the remaining chocolate over the surface of the hot toffee. Let it sit for a few minutes until it’s melted.  Carefully spread the melted chocolate with a spatula and sprinkle with remaining almonds.

Let the toffee cool overnight before eating. (I’ve been known to refrigerate it to help speed up the process, but it’s better to leave it be overnight.)

To serve:
If possible, remove the entire piece of toffee from the pan and place on a cutting board. Use a knife handle to break the toffee into pieces. Or you can also use the tip of a knife to break pieces off while it’s still in the pan.

_______________________________________________________________
How-To Pictures and Directions:

Prepare an 8″ by 11″ pan by laying sliced almonds (or chopped nuts) evenly across the bottom. (You can also use a 9″ by 13″ pan, but the toffee will be a little thinner.)

Chop the chocolate, or use the large holes on a cheese grater. (Chopping works better–trust me.)

Place half the chopped/grated chocolate over the almonds. Reserve the rest for later.

For toffee:

Use a heavy-duty pot (2-3 quart) with a tight fitting lid.

Place the butter, margarine, sugar, corn syrup, and water in the pot. Bring to a rolling boil and put the lid on. Don’t touch or remove the lid. Let the toffee cook undisturbed for 3 minutes.

Remove the lid carefully to avoid dropping any moisture back into the pot.

Without stirring, cook the toffee until it becomes dark amber in color. It may take as few as 5 minutes, or as many as 20. This is not the time to answer the phone or check your e-mail.

Swirl the pan occasionally, if needed, to prevent any one area from becoming too dark before the rest.

Once the desired color is reached, promptly take the pan off the heat. Pour the cooked toffee evenly over the chocolate/almond layers.

Sprinkle the remaining chocolate over the surface of the hot toffee. Let it sit for a few minutes until it’s melted.

Carefully spread the melted chocolate with a spatula and sprinkle with remaining almonds.

Let the toffee cool overnight before eating. (I’ve been known to refrigerate it to help speed up the process, but it’s better to leave it be overnight.)

To serve:
If possible, remove the entire piece of toffee from the pan and place on a cutting board. Use a knife handle to break the toffee into pieces. Or you can also use the tip of a knife to break pieces off while it’s still in the pan.


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7 Comments

  1. I’ve had good luck this week getting my fudge out of the pan whole by lining it with parchment that hangs over the edge on the two long sides. I sprayed the pan underneath with a very thin coating of Pam to help the parchment stick to it. The two short sides (beyond the end of the parchment) came out just fine with the rest of the slab; the Pam made sure that their affinity for the slab was greater than their affinity for the pan.

    Anyway, I may not get to making toffee this week (just almond and hazelnut fudge, and plain and almond caramels), but when I do I’ll use parchment, and adopt your practice of chocolate-and-nuts underneath as well as on top.

  2. Hi

    Can you please tell me the tempeture the toffee should be if I were to use a candy thermometer.

    Please & Thanks !
    Arlene

  3. Hi, Arlene. I just made some toffee the other day using a thermometer. I cooked it to soft crack, which is 280. I didn’t adjust it for high altitude this time. It was perfect. It’s better to err on the side of caution though. Of course you don’t want it to be too light, or it will be chewy when you eat it. But don’t let it get too dark either, even if you haven’t reached 280 degrees F. It might end up tasting burnt.

    E-mail me directly if you have any other questions. I’d love to “chat” with you if you need some help. :)

    (cafejohnsonia@gmail.com)

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