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Recipe File: English Toffee
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:28 pm    Post subject: English Toffee Reply with quote

The problem with melting the sugar in this recipe may have to do with how old your sugar is. I made my first batch of toffee with sugar that had been in my kitchen for at least 6 months. It was grainy. When I made the second batch, I used newly purchased sugar. It melted right away and the toffee was smooth.

Also, I think that the success in making English Toffee is related to how big the bottom of the pan is. If you use a narrower pan, there is less surface heat exposed to the mixture. It takes longer to cook, and that affects the result. If the pan is wider, the mixture is exposed to more surface heat and cooks faster. I am not an engineer, but this makes a difference. This is also a factor in making jams and jellies.

I think there are certain parallels between making toffee and jams. In both processes, the goal is to melt the sugar and evaporate off the water, allowing the liquified sugar to replace the water for texture. So, it is important to find that 'swwet spot' in which both the sugar is melted and the water is gone, with the other ingredients cooked 'just right'. With jam, the water should be evaporated and the sugar just melted, with minimal cooking to the fruit, otherwise it carmelizes and tastes bad. With toffee, the water should be evaporated and sugar melted, with the sugar carmelized to the point it is pleasing, not burned.

You have a great site. Keep up the good work!
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:37 pm    Post subject: English Toffee Reply with quote

Big smile A truly cosmopolitan experience. I shearched for toffee recipe's. I found a recipe for 'English Toffee". I am English, I have never made (or eaten) toffee like this. The recipe is written by someone with an oriental sounding name. Posted on a site that sounds and looks American. Oh by the way, I live in France. Truly cosmopolitan.

Les enfants enjoyed it very much. Thanks for a happy (global) experience. Our French neighbours have asked for the recipe. I gave them the site. Thanks again from Janis
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:16 pm    Post subject: DONT COOK IT TO FAST Reply with quote

DONT COOK IT TO FAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:35 am    Post subject: Great site Reply with quote

I read and re-read the recipe (and many of great comments) about 15 times before I finally decided to dive in and try it myself. Got the butter at room temperature then melted it, the sugar and the water on the lowest of low flames. After that, proceeded as directed, stirring away. Eventually brought the temp up to 300 and it looked like it was starting to separate - so I lowered the temp, added a tablespoon of water and started stirring again. Got it back up without separating, poured it out onto an aluminum foil covered pan (oops! forgot the vanilla!) and believe it or not, it turned out perfectly. Perfect texture, perfect taste - I didn't miss the vanilla one bit and after cooling and refrigerating, it cracked beautifully into bite size chunks. All in all, I was amazed it worked. Now I just have to try and see if I can do it again! Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:50 pm    Post subject: Virginia vs Denver Please Help Reply with quote

I made this recipe in Virginia this past weekend for my Mom and it was wonderful. Now Iím home in Denver and am having problems. I'm using the same type tools and a gas stove in both locations. The first two times I made it in Denver the separation occurred just after the water evaporated. The third time I made it I cooked it on extra low heat for about 15 minutes to mix the butter water and sugar very well then raised the temperature just a bit (still a med-low heat range) to reach 300 degrees and did brush the sides of the pan once with water after liquid started to form because I suspected it was beginning to separate. This time I had less liquid when done and the toffee did harden but was a grainy texture. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:02 pm    Post subject: Toffee Recipe Reply with quote

As an engineer with an analytical mind, I found your detailed, illustrated instructions to be very complete and satisfying. So many cooking/recipe websites contain incomplete directions that I find them frustrating to use.

I made graham cracker toffee bars last night from a recipe from such a website. The toffee instructions were: bring to a boil over medium heat 3/4 cup each butter and brown sugar; boil for 2 minutes; remove from heat and stir in 1 tsp. vanilla and 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Spread mixture evenly over a jellyroll panful of graham crackers then bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. My toffee ended up a bit soft and separated, although it tasted fine. I suspect that the 2 minutes of boiling did not allow the mixture to reach the 300 degree hard crack stage. I will use a candy thermometer next time!

Thanks again for the thorough instructions! I will visit this website often.
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Frustrated in TX

PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 5:32 pm    Post subject: Flat Top Stove Reply with quote

Has anyone successfully made toffee on a flat top stove? I have a similar recipe that I never had any problems with while cooking on an electric stovetop in California. I have since moved to Texas where I have a flat top stove. Every time I have attempted to make toffee since moving, the butter separates out of the sugar. I also tried making the toffee on my Mom's flat top stove in Montana and the butter also separated. I am at close to the same altitude in Texas that I was at in California. I also have only tried making toffee in the winter in Texas when the humidity is low so I do not think humidity is the issue. I use the same brands of ingredients and the same pans that I used in California. The only thing I can come up with is that the burner on the flat top stove is always kicking on and off and doesn't hold a steady temperature.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:04 am    Post subject: Waiting for Success or Fail!! Reply with quote

Waiting waiting waiting!
In reading these posts, I was trying to keep positive vibes in my head while I made this. It's cooling in the fridge.
I trusted my nose as I smelled some burning.

Keeping my fingers crossed!
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:13 am    Post subject: Can rainy days affect this recipe? Reply with quote

Yesterday-on a nice sunny day at 5500 feet above sea level, I made this toffee for a friend after I bragged about the recipe-it came out perfect and she loved it. This is the best recipe I have ever found for great toffee. I made another batch tonight that separated but after reading the posts, I think it is because I melted the butter and THEN added the sugar-oops! I'll mix it all together next time prior to melting. I am wondering though, if the rain we had today could have lent to the problem with the separation? Any thoughts on that?
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:33 pm    Post subject: recipe for "English" Toffee Reply with quote

Been doing this for many (MANY) years for the folks for Christmas. I don't understand the function of H2O here. I use: 1 lb. butter (salted), 2 cups plain white sugar, good handful of blanched almonds, all in the pan at once. Stir over moderate/highish heat for about 25 min. Color will be peanut butterish. Pour out into old pie tins. Makes about 2 lbs per batch with almonds toasted within the recipe. I make about 12 - 16 lbs each season. And one batch will take two pie tins. Nothing could be easier or more delicious. Don't worry about separation - __it happens, and it will go back together - usually. YOU GOT IT!!

Heyjude in California
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Susan B.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:45 pm    Post subject: 14 for 14 Reply with quote

I've made this toffee 2 different holiday seasons, and every batch has worked perfectly. I think the secret is to do everything slowly, and stir the hell out of the syrup as it gets to 300 degrees. I let the butter and sugar melt over almost the lowest heat my stove has and it takes some time, but the recipe always works. When I raise the heat, I keep it pretty low, just high enough so the syrup bubbles. It probably helps that I'm at sea level, too.

Anyway, the toffee is delicious, the texture good, and I plan to make it many more times.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:13 am    Post subject: Bitter Toffee Reply with quote

My mom and I made this recipe of toffee with almonds and walnuts. We followed the directions and made sure the candy thermometer worked. It looks delicious, however the toffee is bitter. What would cause that?
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:44 pm    Post subject: Success! Reply with quote

I've made toffee over the holidays for the past few years...but always with a bit of fear and trepidation...sometimes comes out great, sometimes not...problems with separation which doesn't happen if I add corn syrup but then too sticky...soooo this year I decided to sit down and actually figure out why...and I read this recipe and comments carefully and tried again...with success! I'm busy and impatient so this is what I did:

Heavy pan
Mixed the sugar with about 1/4 cup of water before adding to the 1/2 way melted butter...over LOW heat, which is the key everyone is emphasizing and so very true...remember I'm impatient so my heat was too high previously
I didn't stir often (thanks to new ipad distraction!) except at the very end when the temp rises quickly
My thermometer was MIA, so used my previous experience and when it got to that deep peanut butter color, pulled off stove
No separation, delicious! I store in a airtight container, room temp but doesn't last very long in this house.

Heavy pan
Melt butter part way and add dissolved sugar
Low heat for several minutes (follow recipe!)
Infrequent stirring, until the end
Thanks to all for the useful comments!
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:57 am    Post subject: Toffee Seperation Reply with quote

I use room temperature butter, place one teaspoon vanilla and one teaspoon of water, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup white sugar......mix well and then turn the heat on. I use medium heat, a tested thermometer, and stir slowly most of the cooking process. I cook until 310 degrees and pour onto parchment paper in a baking sheet pan. I have not had any separation, and sold 200 batches this year. Including coffee flavored, and German chocolate with toasted coconut, toasted pecans and German sweet chocolate. I make single batches only. No large amounts, I think you lose quality to make quantity.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:13 am    Post subject: toffee cooking at 6,000 ft. (high altitudes) Reply with quote

Having successfully made toffee in Los Angeles, CA for three decades, it has been a source of frustration to not achieve acceptable results in my new home located in the intermountain region of Utah. I understand that boiling temperatures are lower at this altitude, but I have experienced "separation" over and over again. I know to add a little water and stir to bring the mass back together, but as the temperature rises once more - separation sets in. Any suggestions?
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