Tuesday, May 18, 2010

English Toffee with Almonds

The first time I had English toffee was in Chicago a few summers ago.  I got it from the chocolate store in the basement of Macy's downtown Chicago which used to be the old flagship Marshall Field's building on State Street. 

English toffee is a crunchy caramel layer coated in chocolate and topped with nuts.  Almonds, pecans and walnuts are popular toppings.  The sweet toffee, dark chocolate and crunchy nuts pair together perfectly.

I tried making the toffee before but I couldn't get the right consistency.  It always ended up tasting like mysore paag (a classic South Indian sweet).  This time I found a new recipe that had the addition of corn syrup which I think helped get the right texture for the toffee.  It turned in to a beautiful golden brown colour and had the perfect crunchy hard crack stage.

A friend in Chicago loves toffee and has been asking me to make it for her for ages.  I think this is my best attempt yet so I hope she enjoys it!

Ingredients
1 cup butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp water
3 tbsp light corn syrup
3/4 cup chopped almonds
1 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Directions
1. Toast the nuts until fragrant.  Set aside.
2. Put aluminum foil on a cookie sheet.  Spray with cooking oil.
3. In a large pan, melt butter with the sugar, water and corn syrup on low to medium heat. Mix together and wait for sugar to dissolve while continuously stirring.
4. The mixture will start bubbling and you need to keep stirring until it turns caramel brown. This will take about 10 minutes or so.  If you have a candy thermometer, bring the mixture to 300 degrees. It will be bubbling the whole time. You'll know it is ready when you start smelling the caramel flavour.
5. Once the mixture is the right colour, take it off the heat and add the vanilla.  Mix it in thoroughly.
6. Pour it on to the cookie sheet.  Sprinkle the chocolate pieces on top.  It will melt in the heat and you can use a spoon to spread it out. 
7. Sprinkle the toasted almonds on top so it sticks to the melted chocolate.  Once it has cooled you can break it into pieces and serve.

*Photographs by Kanchana Sundaram and Shankar Sundaram

6 comments:

Nags said...

they looks delicious!

Wendie said...

So decadent! But perfect for a cottage weekend...thanks Savi.

A_and_N said...

Wow, I'm very wary of making toffee! Came here from Married to a desi!

Looks delish though. Will work great for Christmas presents!

marriedtoadesi.com said...

It was delicious girl!

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh...Savithri, I used this recipe but substituted maple syrop for corn syrop...oops, how do I fix this??
Thanks! -Radha

Savithri said...

Hi Radha,

I'm not sure how to fix the addition of maple syrup.

I think the corn syrup is used to prevent crystallization.

What ended up happening?

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