Today is National English Toffee Day. A few months ago, I downloaded a National Day Calendar app on my phone. It is cool to see what the National Day it is, and some of them are pretty weird. Today is National English Toffee Day, National Argyle Day, National Bubble Bath Day, National Sunday Supper Day, and National JoyGerm Day. That last one is poorly titled. It is an attempt to spread joy, one person at a time. Anyway, the National Day Calendar is a neat thing to look at, and it provides some much-needed inspiration at times. I love to cook and bake, but sometimes I just can’t think of anything to cook. But if its National Tempura Day (yesterday), then I might make some tempura.
English Toffee is a buttery, sweet, intense caramel, topped with creamy chocolate and toasted nuts, and is endlessly customizable. Next time I make it, I intend to replace the nuts with flaky sea salt. You can use dark chocolate, milk chocolate, pecans, walnuts, or really anything. I suspect even dried fruit would be delicious.
English Toffee is quite easy to make, and rather quick. You simply melt equal parts butter and sugar, until it reaches 300 degrees or hard crack stage. This should take about 20 minutes – to fast, and the butter and sugar will separate. It is easiest to use a candy thermometer to measure the candy because once you get near 300, it will burn quickly. The one I use is no longer available, but I think this one would be better because it would stay out of the way better than the one I have.
If you do not have a candy thermometer, you can use the cold water technique. A drop of candy dropped into a glass of cold water will form brittle threads when the correct stage is reached.Less precise, but this method will work.
Ingredients (This recipe lends itself well to being doubled, provided you have a pot large enough to contain the cooking candy)
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups chocolate (chips or bars, I used left-over Hershey’s dark chocolate with almond nuggets)
- 1 cup nuts (optional, of your choice. You could also use flaky sea salt)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine butter and sugar in a large saucepan, heavy-bottomed if available, over medium heat.
- Heat slowly, stirring frequently. Do not scrape down the sides of the pan, as this will lead to the formation of crystals, and make your candy granular.
- Once the candy has reached 300 degrees, pour the candy out onto the baking sheet.
- Let cool for 10 minutes or so, and then sprinkle chocolate on top, followed by nuts.
- Allow to cool completely, and then break into shards. Enjoy!
Let me know if you make this recipe, how it turns out, and how you customized it!