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Recipe File: English Toffee
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:29 pm    Post subject: SEPARATION Reply with quote

I didn't see this in prior posts, so if this a repeat, sorry.
For those having separation problems, try adding 1g lecithin granules per 100g sugar and butter. We made 22 batches in two days in my classroom and not one separates.
Separation may occur because of the fat content variations in butter(too low and too much retained milk), but is most likely from uneven heating and lack of stirring CONSTANTLY early in the process.
Try lecithin.
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Jim Cooley

Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 377
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a good suggestion. Need to get some of that for other purposes too. Back in the day, PAM spray had lecithin in it and I thought it worked better than today's variety.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:33 am    Post subject: Maple toffee Reply with quote

I have been trying to find a recipe that uses only butter, sugar, maple syrup, chocolate and almonds. The chocolate and almonds are easy but the ratio of the other ingredients is kind of a wild guess. I am trying to make it as good as some I tried at a one of a kind show into ontario.
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Joined: 06 Jun 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks ! The best toffee recipe for sure
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 2:55 pm    Post subject: Chocolate topping on Toffee Reply with quote

What's the secret to get the chocolate not to come off when breaking the toffee?
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 6:18 am    Post subject: 300 is too hot Reply with quote

I've made toffee for years and always stop at 285 F. It is brown by then and hardens nicely. All these stories about crystallizing and separating make me think you are getting too hot.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 8:12 pm    Post subject: This was amazing! Reply with quote

I watched my son whip this up in a matter of minutes and it was phenomenal! Highly recommended. Gobbled up at the holiday party.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those having separation issues, try using Land O' Lakes Salted Butter only. Not Unsalted, and not no-name-brand. Stirring constantly is not required, and may cause your toffee to separate. I stir to combine the butter and sugar in the beginning, and then stir very infrequently until the mixture reaches 300 degrees. Use a heavy-bottomed pan over low medium heat, don't heat the mixture too fast! Also, I just use 4 sticks of salted butter and 2 cups of sugar, no water or vanilla. Hope this helps!
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:36 pm    Post subject: Family has made this for 50+ years Reply with quote

My parents made this each Xmas on an electric stove, which was difficult due to temperature control. I have used gas cooking all my life, and I highly recommend it for making this. Our recipe is 1-1/3 C sugar to 1 C butter, 3 Tbsp water and 1 Tbsp corn syrup. I have not had good luck using unsalted butter and adding 1/8 or 1/4 tsp salt, so I stick with what always has worked reliably. The only time I buy salted butter is to make this candy. I also tried off-brand unsalted butter with disastrous watery results - a useless watery mess. The first goal is to emulsify the butter and sugar to as homogeneous a mixture as possible, with very little or no liquid (oil or water) visible on top or around the edge of the pan. This requires a LOW temperature, patience and plenty of stirring. A higher temperature will cause the mixture to boil before the liquid is absorbed. Once the mixture comes together, I raise the heat slightly to MEDIUM LOW.

Of great importance is to avoid temperature swings. One thing that will cause this is stirring too much or too briskly. After the temperature is over 250 degrees, I have found that stirring too much can cause the temperature to drop. This will extend the cooking time, and you will burn the candy and/or "break" it (separation). If you set the heat right, you should not need to adjust it after the mixture begins to boil. I experimented recently with not stirring AT ALL after 260 degrees, and the result was the hardest crack candy I ever made. However, there was a thickened oily liquid that had to be "poured off" and "toweled off" using paper towels. This should not happen, and the added time to do these steps can create an issue since the candy should be poured directly into the pan once 305 is reached and the nuts are stirred in. Thus, I recommend some stirring, but as little as possible. You should find that the mixture does not burn even when it is not stirred, unless the heat is too high.

What really threw me off was my venture into unsalted butter territory. Prior to that I felt I had mastered the art. I wait just a few minutes after spreading the toffee to coat it with semi-sweet chocolate which has been melting on a double boiler - you want it ready immediately. Then I score the candy into squares - going maybe halfway through. Then I add almond screenings. Score again on the same lines, and a top sprinkling of almond screenings. I use a stiff flat spatula to spread the candy, and an offset spatula to spread the chocolate. Personally I found that as long as the bottom of the pot is heat spreading, the sides don't matter. When made right this stuff is spectacular.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:35 pm    Post subject: When Life Gives You Lemons... Reply with quote

Whenever my toffee separates, I just add 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream and make caramel sauce. Pour it in jelly jars and cover the lid with cute fabric and you have a nice gift for friends to use over ice cream or banana pancakes!

This recipe was handed down to me by my grandmother who grew up in Big House Farm in the west Midlands of England. That area has fabulous cooks
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:16 am    Post subject: Paying it back Reply with quote

I've been lurking on this page for quite a long time. My first attempt at English Toffee was maybe 10 years ago. The advice I read here (along with lots of trial & error) were invaluable in helping me make a candy that I'm now quite proud of.

I realize that this recipe isn't getting many comments these days, but I wanted to share my version in the hopes that someone might see it and benefit from it. Really, I'm just trying to give something back to this site to alleviate my guilt for lurking so long without giving any input :-)

Here's my recipe, which I've been successful with at least 100 times now:

2 cups unsalted butter (1)
2 cups pure cane white sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons brewed coffee
teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped toasted almonds
3 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Cover a large baking sheet(2) with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
2. In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan (3), combine the butter, sugar , coffee, corn syrup and salt on medium heat, gently whisking the WHOLE time. Let come to a steady, but NOT rolling boil.
3. [Optional] When the mixture starts to thicken a bit (usually around 240), add 3/4 of the almonds. Stir to incorporate .
4. Continue cooking, while occasionally stirring (switch to a silicon spatula at this point), until thermometer reads 305(5).
5. Remove from heat. Stir in the baking soda, then immediately pour toffee onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread evenly with a silicone spatula.
6. Let toffee cool for a minute, then sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top. Let them sit for a minute or two to soften, then spread the chocolate into a thin even layer. Sprinkle the remaining nuts over the chocolate.
7. Place the toffee in a cool, dry place until set.
8. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container. Do not refrigerate.

1. I buy whole raw almonds and toast them in a pan on the stovetop. Run the almonds in a food processor until chopped into roughly 1/8" pieces. Pour the chopped nuts through a mesh strainer to separate the finer pieces. Set aside 3/4 cup of the coarse pieces (for step 3) and return all the rest to the food processor and chop until very fine. Use the very fine stuff for step 6.
2. A half-size sheet pan (18" x 13") is the perfect size for this recipe.
3. Use at least a 4 quart pot - the volume of the ingredients increases a lot while cooking.
4. If you notice that your butter is separating, you probably have your heat too high. Lower the heat and whisk the hell out of the mixture and you can usually get it to come back together.
5. Most candy thermometers are not very accurate. Temperature is important. Use a good digital probe or an Infrared thermometer.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:24 am    Post subject: Minor Edits Reply with quote Delete this post

Posted as a guest, so I can't edit my previous post. Should have reviewed it closer before submitting...

A few clarifications:
- Use 1/4 teaspoon of salt, not ?teaspoon
- The other 2 question marks in the text should be degrees
- In case you got confused, Note 1 pertains to the almonds, not the butter!
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