The Recipe for the Best English Toffee in the World
(okay, so it's really Almond Toffee)
This is a much simplified version of my original recipe, based on many years of successful toffee production. The original version can be found here. It makes about 3 lbs. of toffee.
1 Cup Water
2 Cup sugar
4 sticks sweet (unsalted) butter
1 lb. (3C) raw shelled almonds
1 1/2 lb. (4C) milk chocolate
You'll need a large heavy pot to cook the toffee in: I use a Dutch oven. The size and weight of the pot is important. You don't want the toffee to burn and the heavy pot helps distribute the heat evenly. Plus, the mixture increases significantly in volume while boiling, so the pot needs to be large.
You'll need a large heavy cookie sheet on a cooling rack ready to accept the toffee when it is ready. It does not need any special preparation; there's enough butter in the toffee that I've never had it stick, even on my rattiest old pans.
Stirring constantly over high heat, cook water and sugar to 235°.
Stirring constantly over high heat, add butter, 1 stick at a time.
Stirring constantly over high heat, add half the whole almonds.
Continue stirring until you reach 290°. Pour immediately onto cookie sheet. I try to stir the stuff while pouring; otherwise the almonds don't get distributed real evenly throughout the mix. Don't try to spread the stuff with a tool; just try to pour it evenly. Sugar behaves funny in this state and pushing it around will change the texture of the result. I've read that you shouldn't scrape out the contents of the pot either. The stuff that sticks is chemically different from the stuff that pours. I've not noticed that much sticks, so it isn't really a problem. Once the pan is cool enough that it isn't warm to the touch, I throw it into the freezer for 15 minutes.
Chop the remaining almonds finely. I put them into the food processor. There should be smallish chunks left and a fair amount of almond dust.
Melt the chocolate. Two minutes in the microwave is about right, or use a double boiler. I've been using Hershey's Symphony Bars and Hershey milk chocolate morsels. I've tried dark chocolate and found it too strong a taste for the toffee. White chocolate might be amusing. If you try it, let me know.
Cover with half the chocolate and then half the chopped nuts. I press the nuts into the chocolate with the spoon that I used for spreading the nuts. Then back into the freezer for another 15 minutes and then cover other half with remaining chocolate and nuts.
Break into pieces and store in the freezer.
Half recipes work just fine, but take just about as much work as the full recipe.Ralph LeVan