Milk chocolate Toffee recipe
In addition to enjoying the fabulous cookie demonstration, Holiday Baking Weekend attendees also enjoyed a great truffle and toffee-making class.
This is Chef Lia. She’s a patry chef and spent a couple of hours teaching all of us about chocolate and candy, which she understands as well as a doctor understands his specialty of medicine.
It was so much fun to listen to her.
I’ll cover the chocolate truffles in another post (good lands, were they incredible) but first I want to share Lia’s delicious Butter Toffee. It’s utterly perfect, so easy to make, and makes such a nice (and personal) Christmas gift when wrapped in individual bundles and tied with a bow.
Whip out your candy thermometers! (If you don’t have one, you can find them at any large supermarket or specialty cooking store.)
Combine butter, sugar, water, and salt in a pan. (This is tripled, I think, so don’t expect your pan to be this full!) Bring it to a boil, stirring constantly. Stick the candy thermometer (pictured here in the back of the pan) on the side of the pan (it’ll come with a handy clip) so you can monitor the temperature.
Cook the mixture over medium/moderate heat until it reaches 298 degrees on the candy thermometer. Remove it from the heat immediately and stir in vanilla extract.
Immediately pour it onto a silicone baking mat (or good parchment) distributing it evenly across the sheet.
Burned sugar. Yum.
Act quickly to spread the toffee thin before it starts to set. You can use a heatproof rubber spatula or (probably better) an offset metal spatula.
I noticed two things during this step:
1. Lia spread the toffee very thin. This wound up being really nice. Don’t be afraid to spread it so thin that you see the baking mat in some spots!
2. Lia didn’t seem concerned about the toffee looking uniform or perfect. Don’t be afraid of the natural look.
Next, just set the toffee aside and allow it to set completely. This probably could take as little as twenty to thirty minutes; more than that would be even better.
When you’re ready to proceed, melt some tempered chocolate (or just good quality chocolate; i.e. not regular chocolate chips) and stir until it’s cool enough to dab right underneath your bottom lip and feel slightly cool to the touch.
Translation: the chocolate should be cooler than your body temperature, but still (obviously) warm enough to pour and spread.
Oh, and please don’t burn your lip.
I care about your lip.
Pour half the melted chocolate on top of the set toffee.
Use a spatula to spread it evenly over the top…
Then immediately sprinkle on whatever topping you’d like! Chopped nuts—either big chunks or finely chopped so that they’re almost powdery—are classic and delicious.
Or how ’bout crushed candy canes?
Just be sure to break it up so that a chunk won’t break someone’s tooth.
This was my favorite: light, lovely sea salt.
And just think of all the other possibilities.
Now let this stage sit until the chocolate is firm, probably about 30 minutes or so. Then carefully flip the toffee over to the other side…
Then pour on the rest of the chocolate. This is the sea salt pan—you’ll notice that this one broke apart a bit when it was flipped.
And that didn’t matter one bit.
Just spread the chocolate over the other side, and sprinkle on the toppings again. Let it set, then break it apart into pieces. Package them in bundles, take them to your friends, and know the joy and simple beauty of giving such a personal gift.
Here’s Lia’s recipe.
Divine Chocolate Bar, 38% Milk Chocolate with Toffee and Sea Salt, 3.5 Ounce (Pack of 10)
Grocery (Divine Chocolate)
Heath Milk Chocolate & Toffee Bits, 8-Ounce bags (Pack of 24)
Grocery (The Hershey Company)