This crunchy butter candy is known in America as English toffee. I have no idea why. The toffee I grew up with was soft and chewy, which is basically American caramels. Now British caramel is also another kettle of fish, one that I will not go into at this moment in time.
To the British audience, this toffee is similar to a Dime (Daim) bar. It’s crunchy, buttery, sweet and absolutely moreish. It’s also very similar to the American Skor bar, Heath bar, and the filling of the World famous Almond Roca candy.
This toffee is definitely not for dieters. It’s packed full of sugar and butter, and the only redeeming ingredients are the almonds and dark chocolate. It’s utterly delicious and one piece is never enough.
The simplest way of making this toffee is to use a sugar (candy) thermometer. It takes any guess work out of the hard-crack stage. It’s surprisingly easy to make, and is perfect for gifts or simply for your own enjoyment. It can be left plain, cut into squares and dipped into chocolate, or coated with chocolate and broken into chunks.
Makes approximately 325 g (11.4 oz)
Adapted from Cooking for Engineers – English Toffee
For the toffee
- 100 g (½ c) sugar
- 1 small pinch salt
- 115 g (½ c or 1 stick) unsalted European butter*
- 1 teaspoon water
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 85 g (3 oz) dark chocolate, at least 70 % cocoa solids, finely chopped
- 30 g (¼ c) flaked (sliced) almonds, lightly toasted
* Use the best-quality European butter for maximum buttery goodness. I like to use Kerrygold, which is imported from Ireland.
1 . Line a baking tray (sheet/pan) with a silicone mat or parchment paper, set aside.
2. Place sugar, salt, butter and water into a small saucepan. Gently heat over low heat until the mixture is evenly melted – that is, there are no sugar granules and the mixture is thick and syrupy when stirred.
3. Turn up the heat to medium-high and stir constantly with a sugar (candy) thermometer. The mixture will bubble and foam as the water boils off.
4. Once the water has boiled off, the mixture will collapse and thicken. The temperature will now rise, stir constantly until it reaches 150°C (300°F), then remove the pan immediately from the heat.
5. Add vanilla and quickly stir into the hot toffee. Pour onto prepared baking tray (sheet/pan) and spread to about 3 mm (1/8th inch) thick, or to your desired thickness.
6. Immediately sprinkle over chocolate. Allow the chocolate to melt, about 30-60 seconds before spreading it all over the surface of the toffee using a silicone spatula.
7. Sprinkle with flaked (sliced) almonds and let set at room temperature for 3-4 hours, or in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
8. Once the chocolate has set, break into pieces and enjoy!
NOTE: If you would like to cut the toffee in to neat squares, you will need to score the toffee whilst it is still warm. Then simply break into pieces once set.