Monday, February 14, 2011

Delicious Mess

Oh toffee. Why won't you work for me? Why do you insist on being mooshy and chewy rather than crisp? Oh toffee, why do you let me down?

This was my THIRD try at this toffee. The chocolate won't stick and the toffee just turns into a soft mess. I even cooked it at a higher heat. I would love to abandon this recipe and try another instead but here's the problem .... IT'S ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! The taste of this toffee makes you feel like you're committing some unforgivable sin, and so does the mess on your hands.

 I'm going to break my rule and post the recipe so maybe someone can help me out. It's from page 170 of "Bite-Size Desserts" by Carole Bloom.  I may be paraphrasing a tad on the directions.  There are a lot of great treats in this book that are single bites or just a couple of bites each.  They're perfect for a party where everyone will be bringing something or for those trying to watch their portion sizes.

2 cups (6 ounces) sliced almonds
1 tablespoon canola or safflower oil
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup (5 ounces) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon kosher or fine grained sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate (62 to 72% cacao content), finely chopped

  • Preheat oven to 350F then toast almonds in a pie pan for 12 to 14 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.  Cool completely then chop finely.  (I chop medium-ly because I like them better that way.)
  • Line a 7x11 inch baking pan with foil snuggly and so that the folds over the edges.  Oil the foil (that's fun to say) using a paper towel.  Sprinkle 3/4 cups of the toasted almonds over the bottom of the pan.
  • Melt the butter in a heavy 3 qt sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the sugar, water and salt and cook, stirring constantly with a heat resistant spatula, until 260F on a candy thermometer.  Stir in 1/2 cup of the almonds and continue cooking until it reaches 290F.  (I went to 310F last time in hopes of getting a crisper candy, didn't work.)  Immediately stir in the vanilla and baking soda.   BE CAREFUL, it will foam and bubble and do other entertaining yet potentially dangerous things.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly.  Sprinkle chocolate on top.  Let it stand for 2 minutes to allow chocolate to become melty and then spread.  Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup of almonds on top of chocolate.
  • Let toffee set up at room temperature for 30 minutes and then refrigerate for 15 minutes to set the chocolate.  (This seems like it may be a major contributor to mooshiness.  Could the humidity in the fridge be killing my toffee?  Maybe cooling it for a few hours at room temp would be better????)
  • Lift from pan by grabbing edges of foil.  Be careful, foil cuts are way less fun than paper cuts, trust me!  Peel foil away from toffee and break into small pieces.  Serve at room temp.
Like I said, it tastes incredible.  It's smooth and delicious but ... it's moosh.  Can you help me fix it?  Pleeeeeease??????

Thanks and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Esta receta me encanta es una delicia,abrazos y abrazos.