The two most important things I learned when making candy: Timing & Temperate! They will make or break (literally) your candy! Its important to follow directions, but even more important to trust your gut- know if its boiling too rapidly, or just enough. Be mindful of good candy smell and burned candy smell! All in all, I must say I am very satisfied with these little crunchy delicacies!!
Note: Using a candy thermometer will make life so much easier for you. I purchased mine on Amazon.com and it was only 10 dollars! But you can try target, wal mart, or bed bath & beyond.
Butter crunch Toffee:
2 cups (170 grams) blanched sliced or slivered almonds
1 1/4 cups (270 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon light corn syrup (golden syrup)
1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate,coarsely chopped
I crushed my almonds in a coffee grinder and toasted them in the pan for about 6 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Place almonds on a baking sheet and bake them for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
Once the nuts have cooled to room temperature, place in a food processor, fitted with a metal blade, and pulse the almonds until they are finely chopped. Sprinkle half of the nuts in an 8 by 10 inch (20 x 25 cm) rectangle on a buttered or oiled baking sheet. Place the baking sheet on cooling.
In a medium-sized, heavy bottomed saucepan (10 cup) (2.4 liter) combine the brown sugar, water, butter, and corn syrup. Have the baking soda and vanilla extract ready. Bring the sugar mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Then cover the pan with a lid for about one minute to allow the sides of the pan to wash themselves down and dissolve any sugar crystals.
Remove lid after one minute. Then clamp a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, making sure it does not touch the bottom of the pan, and cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 285 degrees F (140 degrees C) (soft-crack stage) on a candy thermometer.
Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat as the temperature will continue to rise to 290 degrees F (145 degrees C). Add the baking soda and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
Immediately pour this mixture evenly over the nuts on your baking sheet.
Then place the chopped chocolate over the hot toffee. After a few minutes the chocolate will be soft enough to spread with an offset spatula (or back of a spoon) in an even layer over the toffee.
Sprinkle the remaining chopped almonds over the melted chocolate.
Place the pan in the refrigerator until chocolate is firm. Then cut the toffee into pieces using a sharp knife.
You can store the toffee, in an airtight container at room temperature, or in the refrigerator, for about 10 days.
Makes about one pound (450 grams).
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