Just like chocolate, English toffee was another delicacy that my mom rationed in small quantities to me when I was little. She had her reasons, and now I have my reasons for why I pick up a box of Almond Roca once in a while.
It’s never Christmas without my candy thermometer, and this year I decided to put the little thing to the ultimate test – candy making. After a quick search, I realized that toffee is actually pretty easy to make, so after a Christmas party where I had already drank a few glasses of wine, I began heating up butter and sugar in my kitchen at 10:30pm on a Sunday night. Surely enough, even with alcohol in me, this recipe was hard to mess up – now it’ll be a staple for Christmas time next year!
English Toffee with Chocolate & Hazelnuts
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup of chocolate chips if you’re going for easy, or 1/2 cup chocolate to be tempered
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, slightly peeled where you can, and chopped roughly
- In a heavy-bottomed pot, melt butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla at medium heat. Stir constantly, using a heat-proof spatula if you have one. Keep the candy thermometer clipped to one side of the pot.
- Once mixture reaches threading temperature, just over 100 degrees Celsius, reduce the cooking temperature so that it is not a hard rolling boil, but still boiling nonetheless. At this point, you don’t have to stir as much – just temper the mixture once in a while.
- While this is cooking, line a 9×9 square dish with parchment paper, making sure to cover all sides.
- When the thermometer registers at about 140 degrees Celsius – pay close attention! This is all going to happen very fast – it’ll reach the 300 degree Fahrenheit or about 150 Celsius hard crack stage very quickly, and as soon as it does, remove, stir mixture and pour into the square dish lined with parchment paper.
- If you’re going for an easy toffee recipe, wait about 2 minutes for the mixture to start setting, and throw the chocolate chips on top. The heat will melt the chips, so smooth out the chocolate evenly, and then sprinkle the hazelnuts.
- If you’re going for tempered chocolate goodness, let the pan cool and stick in the fridge if you can, while you temper the chocolate. Just before throwing the chocolate onto the toffee, dab it first with some paper towel to get rid of excess oil. This will help the chocolate stick better. Sprinkle on hazelnuts.
- Let chill in the fridge overnight or at least a few hours, then break apart and enjoy!