Friday, December 11, 2009

Toffee Heaven

A while back I wrote about Lyle's Golden Syrup and how I was going to try it in my toffee recipe instead of light corn syrup. As you may know, light corn syrup has the dreaded high fructose corn syrup in it. Paul has accused me of hating corn; au contraire, I like corn very much. Real, natural, unadulterated corn, the way God made it. Anyway, I wanted to retool a chocolate almond toffee and I've done it, hopefully in time for you to try it for the holidays.

There a couple of reasons I can think of offhand to use corn syrup: for texture and to keep sugar syrup from crystallizing. Lyle's is a partially inverted sugar - don't ask, just go with it, like me - which it appears won't crystallize. You do NOT want your sugar to crystallize when making candy, unless you do want it to. I love to cook sugar; especially to make caramel, it's serious alchemy. Just make sure you have a candy thermometer, unless you know the Grandma Brown Method of dropping balls of hot sugar in cold water. With a thermometer, it's a piece of cake, I mean toffee. I recommend spreading the hot toffee on a half sheet pan (turned upside down) over a silpat.

Chocolate Almond Toffee

8 ounces toasted sliced almonds
1 1/4 cups organic sugar
1/3 cup Lyle's Golden Syrup
1/3 cup water or rum
8 ounces (2 cubes) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped up

Put the sugar, Lyle's and water or rum in a medium heavy bodied saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil 3 or 4 minutes until there are big bubbles. Cover with lid and boil 5 minutes more.

Uncover pan and carefully stir in butter and cook over medium heat until temperature reaches 300 degrees. Remove from heat and add the salt, baking soda and 1 cup sliced almonds. Stir well with a wooden spoon.

Pour onto silpat and spread out with an offset spatula. It's easier to spread evenly if you pour the hot toffee all over the silpat rather than in a pile. Try to get it about 10 x 13 inches. Let cool completely and blot the excess butter on the surface with a paper towel.

Melt chocolate in a heat proof bowl (I like my steel bowl) over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Spread over toffee with spatula and cover with sliced almonds while chocolate is still warm. Refrigerating the toffee speeds up the hardening of the chocolate; I put the pan in my cold garage for a few minutes. After the chocolate sets up you can cut up the toffee into pieces; they will crack into odd shapes, which just makes things interesting.

Note: I found that Lyle's Golden Syrup gave the toffee a deeper, richer flavor than light corn syrup. And that's a good thing.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds delicious! Everything you said makes so much sense! And I can testify that everything you make tastes great!