Chocolate Almond Buttercrunch Toffee

Finally, I found a recipe that I liked, the key ingredient was the butter. I had to try different brands to get the results I wanted. The recipe is as follows:

  • 1 lb unsalted butter
  • ½ tea. table salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp. water ( or 2 tbs of water, and 1 tbs of corn syrup)
  • 1 cup slivered almonds (do not use sliced almonds)
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (chips are fine)
  • 1½ -2 cups lightly toasted pecans (or walnuts), finely chopped

Melt ¾ of chocolate over hot water or in a microwave oven at half power for 2-3 minutes. When melted, stir in remaining chocolate and set aside. Line a large jelly roll or half-sheet pan with heavy-duty foil and butter the foil.

Melt the butter with the salt in a heavy 3 quart saucepan over medium heat. Slowly add the sugar, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Add the water about halfway through this process.

After all the sugar is added, begin testing the mixture to see if the sugar is dissolved. Place a drop of mixture on wax paper; allow it to cool and rub it between your fingers to make sure it doesn’t feel grainy. If it does, continue to cook and test again. The mixture will probably be boiling at this point.

When sugar is dissolved, add the almonds, and increase the heat to medium high. Cook to the hard-crack stage, or about 310-320 degrees on a candy thermometer, stirring often to keep the candy from burning on the bottom. When it’s done, it should be a medium-dark amber color and have a caramel aroma. The almonds should have a toasted color but they should not burn. This is the tricky part, as there’s a thin line between perfect and overdone, and to some extent it’s a matter of taste.

Remove from heat and pour into the prepared pan, spreading as evenly as possible with an offset spatula. Be careful, this stuff is hot! Set the pan on a cooling rack. After 2-3 minutes, when toffee is just set, pour reserved chocolate on top and spread evenly. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, and press them in gently with a spatula or bottom of a glass to anchor them in the chocolate.

Allow the toffee to harden at least 6-8 hours—overnight is better. Break into pieces using a sharp pointed knife with a rigid blade, or you can use your hands. Store in an airtight container in a cool place. Makes about 3 pounds.

Chocolate: I tried to get Valhrona chocolate but the store was out. I tried this Scharffen Berger chocolate in  semisweet (62% cacao) and bittersweet (75%).

Fleur de sel: This is like the first time i have seen or used this. Its basically the best sea salt there is.  Here is some info on this salt:

Fleur de sel is a type of sea salt obtained by hand harvesting the “young” crystals that form on the surface of salt evaporation ponds. The harvesting of fleur de sel always takes place in the summer months when the sun is strongest. Most fleurs de sel claim to have higher mineral contents than table salts and often smell deliciously like the ocean.

Nuts: I got two types of almonds, slivered, and chopped. I roasted them to bring out the aroma and roasted flavors.

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