Monday, December 5, 2016
Luxury Chocolate Buttercrunch Toffee
I wasn't too worried about making this cookie/candy because I've made the original Rose's Christmas Cookies buttercrunch toffee many times. It used to be a regular on my Christmas cookie platter, but I haven't made it for a while. I don't know why because everyone always loved it.
But when I started getting out the ingredients, something about the recipe deeply confused me: the amount of chocolate was given as a range. From 170 to 340 grams. This from Rose, the Queen of Precision. It must be a mistake, I thought. Because I use the advance reading paperback copy to bake with (I know from experience that a cookbook you use once a week for two years gets torn, stained, and generally ratty), I checked the real (autographed) copy. No, that book gave the same range. I was so stunned I had to sit down to ponder. Okay, I guess Rose is letting me decide how thick a layer I want on my toffee. This is probably good. I should be willing to take responsibility for how chocolatey I want my toffee. But that's a big range. I finally decided to let chance take over. I have a huge bag (now almost empty) of Guittard chocolate chips. I poured them in a bowl, and then looked at the scale. 223 grams. I tossed in a few more to get it up to 225 grams. Then I put another 225 grams in the measuring cup, to be melted at a later time.
I used dark brown sugar because I was out of light Muscovado. Remember when your baking staples were just flour, sugar, and butter? And remember when you'd never heard of Muscovado sugar or Lyle's golden syrup and didn't have at least four different kinds of flour in your pantry, I dimly remember those days. Anyway, the toffee mixture is much darker than I remember it being. I'm too lazy to go compare recipes.
"Instant-reading" thermometers aren't really instant. Also, the temperature varies depending on whether you take it in the center or the edge of the pan. So much as I like the idea of taking the hot toffee mixture off the flame at just the right moment, it doesn't really happen. At least not in my kitchen.
I love it when things change form as if by magic. Here the chocolate melts while it sits on top of the hot toffee, which is also changing from molten lava to solid form.
I also remember when I didn't have two different sizes of offset spatulas. Life was simpler then.
After cooling for an hour, the now-hardened toffee easily slipped off the Sil Pat and turned over without a hitch. A lot of the almonds seemed to fall off even though I thought I'd done a thorough job of pressing them down.
Then melted chocolate and almonds go on the second side. Press and cool.
And there you have it. Luxury Buttercrunch Toffee with just exactly the right amount of chocolate. It's very hard to get those proportions just right.