Thursday, March 3, 2011

A question about toffee

The other day I came across a recipe for Chocolate Covered Coffee Toffee. Zoe, who posted the recipe, is the same Zoe Francois who co-wrote Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

With a name like "Chocolate Covered Coffee Toffee," I didn't really have a choice but to bookmark the recipe and try it out, did I?!

So Tuesday I gathered my ingredients and got to work. I'm not normally a candy-maker, but Zoe's recipe, full of detailed instructions and photos, gave me confidence. I was thrilled with the results!

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I proudly shared the delicacy with The Engineer that night. As he sat eating it, he said, "I just have one question about this."

Uh oh, I thought. What does he think is wrong with it?

"Why," he continued, "did it take you so many years to make this? It's scary how good it is."

I smiled, and knew all the stirring and dipping had been worth it!

I'm not going to post the recipe here--you're much better off with Zoe's excellent tutorial at her blog. This recipe is very doable. It takes awhile, but it's not technically difficult. Here are a few things I learned:
  • At the store you will probably find the molasses with the maple syrup, in the breakfast foods aisle. Don't be like me, looking repeatedly in the honey section and the baking aisle before finally seeing the syrups, checking there, sighing because it's not there, finally seeing it stuck behind the corn syrup on the very top row, and having to ask for help to reach a jar. Sigh. (But even if you do have to go through all those steps, the final product is worth it!)
  • I followed the microwave instructions for the chocolate instead of using a double boiler. It worked great. (If you do want to use a double boiler but don't have one, you can set a metal bowl in the opening of a pot. Put water in the pot first.)
  • When you're done cooking the toffee and it's spread out and scored, just fill your pot with water, and throw the wisk in there too. Let it soak while you dip the toffee in chocolate. The water will loosen up the leftover toffee, making clean up easy.
  • Correct temperature is really important in making the toffee. I tried to find a candy thermometer at our Super Wal-Mart and they didn't seem to have one. So I used my meat thermometer. It's the type with a long metal probe that connects to the digital unit. Here's a reenaction of how I got the thermometer probe to stay in the hot toffee without falling in completely or touching the bottom of the pot:

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    I'm pretty proud of my thermometer/pasta server setup! But I'm planning on buying a candy thermometer that clips to the side of the pot; it'll be much simpler.

If you try this recipe, let me know how it turns out! I'd like to try making half of it with milk chocolate next time.

Bon appetit!

5 comments:

Monica Manning said...

You have inspired me, C.Beth! Not only with the nummy treat, but with your fabulous craft project. You might be able to patent the Pastometer.

Vixbil said...

Wow that looks awesome and I am definitely going to make some...I'll let you know how it goes???
xx

Call Me Cate said...

It looks delicious. I think you should send me some to make sure.

Z said...

Wow! And with a pot like that...you can make TONS! :)

Angie said...

So much for my diet. I have got to try this!