English Toffee

I’m not a big sweets eater.  I think it was childhood overload.  My parents always had a lot of parties, and when the guests arrived they would always bring cookies, Hostess cupcakes, Twinkies, candies and soft drinks for us.  I’m talking huge, brown paper sacks!   After a while, the thrill was gone and now I will only occasionally binge on a very few favorite sweets.  English toffee is one of them.  Not all the time, but when I get the craving, I can eat an embarrassing amount of English toffee.

There is no English toffee in France, or I haven’t discovered it.  France has a lot of beautiful, artisanal chocolates and candies that make great dinner party gifts but don’t excite me beyond that.  I’ve been craving English toffee for the last 3 months.  That’s why I, no candy/cookie/cake maker, decided to make my own.  I had to buy a candy thermometer.  I bought the almonds with that brown skin on them and had to de-skin and sliver them before roasting and chopping.  I looked for almond slivers (hello?!) but they only had thin slices or whole.  I live in a small town, practically a village, but I chose it and there it is.  Still, I was slightly annoyed.

The candy making was sort of fascinating and interesting; if I hadn’t have been so nervous about it, I would have taken more pictures of the process but I lacked confidence in the outcome.  The “hard crack” stage was an intimidating definition.  However, the toffee turned out beautifully with that heavy butter taste and mega almond crunch.  I will probably make it again but will ask my husband to bring several family sized bags of almond slivers from Costco when he goes to the States.  They can sit in the freezer with the pecans, pine nuts and walnuts.

English Toffee    http://www.joyofbaking.com/

2 cups slivered almonds

1 1/2 cups good, unsalted butter

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup water

3 tbsp light corn syrup

1 tsp vanilla

6 ounces chocolate chips

Toast the almonds for about 10 minutes in a 350 degree F oven, then coarsely chop 1 cup.  Finely chop the other cup in a food processor.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, then stir in the sugar, water and corn syrup.  When the mixture boils, stop stirring and cook until the syrup reaches 300 degrees F.

Remove the pan from the flame and stir in the vanilla and coarsely chopped almonds.  Pour onto a buttered baking sheet and spread evenly.  Sprinkle with the chocolate chips, wait a few minutes, then spread the melted chocolate over the toffee, then sprinkle with the finely chopped almonds.

About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
This entry was posted in Cooking, Dessert, English, Food and Wine, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to English Toffee

  1. Well, I’m not entirely sure how English this is… Is it a bit like fudge? Whatever, it looks bloody great. nice to see you do something like this – it isn’t very often that you do.

  2. Tessa says:

    Beautiful toffee! I would never have guessed that it was your first try at making candy. I too have not made candy before, I guess it is time to start to learn some new recipes and get a candy thermometer!

  3. Sandra says:

    Yum… those look heavenly!

  4. I’m not a big sweets eater either, but a piece of that would be welcome with a bit of tawny port. Great dessert.

  5. Like many of us, not a big sweet eater either but I do love things like fudge and toffee. This is most impressive and I could just eat a little piece right now!

  6. Ooooh! I’m not a big sweets person either, but I always find toffee irresistible. It must be the combo of butter and nuts that does it for me. And crunch. I love crunchy things.

    Have you tried making toffee with the addition of sea salt? I like to do that, or use salted nuts so that the butter flavor really pops!

  7. Well, you were so brave! I still haven’t bought a candy thermometer.. I think I’m just too intimidated! But look!! You’ve done it and it turned out just like the English toffee I love to buy at our Purdy’s chocolates here. I usually pick up a bag and hide it.. breaking off a little piece now and then.. heaven!!

  8. katyarich says:

    I love toffee and this recipe is fabulous….take care, katya

  9. Raymund says:

    I can nibble on this whole day, looks delicious

  10. Toffee is a real weakness of mine. I could eat a whole batch of this!

  11. Marilyn McClymont says:

    My husband is a toffee eater and living in France we have the same problem. On my visits to the UK I stock up on Thorntons toffee, the best ever. You can order Thorntons toffee on line and have it delivered to France although the cost of the postage is high, £11 on top of the cost of the toffee, however you can have rather a lot of toffee sent for this amount of money. I am just considering whether to splash out and order some for my husband for Easter, maybe I ought to try out your recipt instead and save myself some money!!!!!!

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