Chocolate Toffee

Notes about the recipe: I'm always searching for the perfect crunchy toffee that's not sticking to your teeth once you bite into it, and[ I think I have it here! I serve this on my elaborate petit-four cart as one of 12 treats at the end of the very long meal at my restaurant Tru. I have recently discovered (and become totally addicted to) the marvelous Marcona almond, the favorite of Spanish chefs and tapas-lovers. I nibble them with wine before dinner; I add them to salads; I serve them with cheese; and I stick them into every dessert I can — sometimes all in one day! Marconas are tender and toasty, never hard and dry like some supermarket almonds: you can buy them online at www.tienda.com. This combination of almonds with crunchy toffee and bittersweet chocolate is fantastic. You'll be amazed that you made it — and so will any friends that you give it to. It makes a great holiday gift.]

Total Time:
1 hr 25 min
Prep:
10 min
Inactive:
1 hr
Cook:
15 min

Yield:
1 pound
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 12 ounces salted butter (3 sticks), cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder, preferably Droste or Valrhona
  • 1 cup whole blanched almonds, preferably Marcona, toasted and roughly chopped
  • Equipment: Silicone baking mat; candy thermometer
Directions

Line a sided sheet pan with a silicone baking mat, or oil it well with vegetable oil (or use a heavyweight nonstick sheet pan).

Pour the sugar into the center of a saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer. Pour the water around the edge of the pan and wait to allow the water to moisten the sugar. (You can draw a clean finger through the center of the pan to allow some water to seep in.) Add the corn syrup and bring to a boil. Add the butter and boil until the mixture reaches 300 degrees F.

Turn off the heat and whisk in the cocoa; then stir in the nuts. Quickly pour the mixture onto the center of the prepared pan and let it spread out — it may not reach the sides of the pan. Set aside to cool at room temperature until hard. Using your hands (I wear gloves to avoid fingerprints), pry the toffee out of the pan and break into large pieces. Store in an airtight container. The toffee will keep well for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.


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    This is the star of my Christmas baking this year. But it did take about an hour of boiling to reach 300 degrees. My candy making times are always at least double what the recipes say...and I use two thermometers just to be sure. I'm not sure why it takes so long (I have a radiant heat cooktop). But, this recipe is a star for sure. I blanched my own almonds...will NEVER do that again. Do be sure to roast the almonds, it brings out so much more flavor.
    I've used this recipe a number of times and it always turns out perfect toffee in just a few simple steps. I always have the ingredients on hand, so I find myself making toffee often!
     

     
    Like other reviewers said, it helps to blot the surface of the toffee with a paper towel. I do not spray my pans, but line them with parchment paper instead. I find that spraying them makes the toffee greasy every time. I also make these without the cocoa powder sometimes, either using chocolate and nuts on top or just leaving them plain.
     

     
    The toffee makes great gifts, especially in pretty boxes or tins.
    A great recipie! I left out the nuts and it still tasted great. Just be sure to use a big pot. I used a medium one and it almost overflowed!
    This is a great recipe...I've used it on numerous occasions. Every time I share it someone thinks I'm a professional candy maker! It's also good without the cocoa powder. Usually if I do that, though, I add some chocolate chips to the top after it's hardened just a bit. Once they melt I spread them all over and sprinkle with nuts. Yum!
    It's wonderful. I made it for all of the my kid's teachers this year. It is a little oily on the surface when it's done. I just wipe it off with a paper towel.
    A simple recipe & what a wonderful combination.
    The first time I made this, it was incredible, and everyone who tried it raved about it...
     

     
    ...so I tried it again, for two holiday parties. Both times, the toffee didn't harden like it should, but rather became soft and crystalline, or grainy, like a fudge gone bad. As far as I can tell, there was no difference in how I followed the instructions. Same candy thermometer, same technique, but totally disappointing results.
    If you've got a good thermometer and follow Ms. Gand's instructions precisely (as to the sugar...and by the way, don't stir it! turn down the heat when it's going, and then, just let it boil), then you will get something wonderful and very unique! I made this, and the very first time it came out perfectly. It's crunchy and doesn't stick to your teeth. It's buttery without being greasy. I recommend it highly! Thanks, Ms. Gand, for a wonderful easy way to make something special.
    This was a nice change from the normal buttery tasting toffee. Be sure and blot the excess butter off the top once it cools.
    It's easy once you get the hang of it.
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    Holiday Baking & Dessert Recipes