So one problem with making candy is that it vanishes FAST. I swear, ever since this season started up, I’ve been cooking up a storm! Candy and cookies galore, but the hands down winner (judging by how quick it disappears and the amount of orders I get for it) has been Talador Toffee.
This recipe was brought to me from my good Draenei friend, Katychla. She tells me that when she was a girl, they made this as a reward for special occasions. It was very sweet for her to share such an important tradition with me, and I think it’s just sweet enough to share with you.
Time for the cast of characters. This recipe really is simple in the ingredients, the complexity comes in HOW you cook it. But don’t worry, if a noob like me can do it, so can you, and I’ll give you the tricks I’ve learned.
First up, we need a 1 to 1 ratio of sugar to butter. One cup of butter to one cup of sugar. For reference, a cup of butter is about two sticks or half a pound. 227g for you wonderful gnomes out there.
After that, you need some chocolate. In the picture is not the best quality chocolate, I later found that you definitely get what you pay for, so fresher, better quality chocolate is going to be best. Then again, any will work as long as it melts.
And of course, whatever you want for the topping. Again, while I was making this, Katychla had only told me about using slivered nuts. And then I realized that pretty much anything that sticks to chocolate will work. My personal favorite? Gold sugar and coarse salt. It kinda reminds me of Pryn and it’s shiny.
What’s my motto? Experiment! Experiment fearlessly! This especially is one that is very inexpensive for the materials, if you mess up, just try again!!
OK! So! We got all the ingredients and we’re ready to cook. Bitchin’, how we do?
Throw is all in the pot! Ok wait, not ALL. Put the butter and sugar in the pot, start heating it over medium heat. Now, this is something that will start up slow and then start moving really fast, so watch it closely.
You will also want a thermometer. Get it out and ready before it starts getting busy!
Here’s a tip to keep whoever the Colin in your life is happy — use a wooden spoon. You will want to keep this moving a LOT, so you don’t want ANYTHING that is going to scratch. Colin has threatened to whallop me with any pot I end up scratching up while cooking. I think he was joking, but I’m not gonna let him down. So, wooden!
So once the butter and sugar start to melt, they begin to get foamy. This is good! This is what you want. Keep stirring it. It will take around 5 minutes at this point, keep your heat around medium because you don’t want it to go too fast. Once it starts to turn, it’ll turn fast.
It’ll foam up BIG. You’re looking for around 310F or 154C. It’s ok if it goes a little over, but not past 320/160 or it’ll start to burn. If you want, there’s a second way to check. Get out a small dish of ice water before it goes much further.
So one thing you’ll notice is that the foam starts to burp up little puffs of dark steam. Maybe it’s smoke, I’m not sure, but it’ll burble and be molten and then as soon as the smoke stops, you’ll start to see caramel color coming to it. Keep stirring! You’re almost there!
This is where you really want to start checking the temperature. There are two ways. Either by sticking a thermometer in there and waiting til it comes to 310ish, of checking where the ‘crack’ is. What do I mean? Let me illustrate.
Remember I told you to get a glass of ice water? Well this is where you use it. Using your wooden spoon, drip some into the water. Make sure it all gets submerged — because if you don’t this is molten light-damned sugar and it WILL burn the fuck out of you. Yes this happened to me. It really really really really really hurts.
Ok, once you’ve got it cooled down (it only takes a second, you’re going to be moving fast at this point), scoop it up and squeeze it with your fingers. Is it soft and pliable? Then it’s not done, let it keep going.
Does it crumble? Not done. That’s called Soft Crack. Let it keep going.
Is it hard? Pop it in your mouth and give it a taste. Is it crispy and delicious? There you go, it’s ready!
At the previous step, you should still be a bit in the soft-crack phase. But then, almost instantly, it starts looking like this…
Oh yeah baby. Look at those ribbons of color. It’s about done. At this point it was reading about 320 and the crack in the water was just right. Now take it off the heat.
Now it’s time to spread it. Get a cookie sheet, put it on something heat resistant (I use a cutting block but trivets or even just a towel will do), and add a layer of parchment paper for easy cleanup. No need to grease it.
Then pour all your molten goodness on.
You can either use a spreader to move it around, but I like to kinda roll the pan itself to get it moving. It’s not going to turn into a perfect rectangle unless you really try, and you’ll be breaking it anyhow, so don’t worry unless you realy want to.
Then start adding chocolate chips. For this round I didn’t use very good chocolate cuz I was kinda testing it, but later on I got good stuff and it spread like silk. About a cup seems to be the right amount, sprinkle them right into the molten sugar and give it a minute to start melting.
So apparently older chocolate doesn’t like to melt very well, so I had to coax this stuff along. Ideally you should be able to spread it with your spreader and create a nice chocolate layer over the top. You can use a butter knife, I use one of those bendy rubbery thingies. I don’t know the name. In Thalassian it’s a spek’turaah but that doesn’t help you if you don’t speak Thalassian.
Even with old, uncooperative chocolate, it will start to melt and spread. You want a nice, lovely layer like this.
Now, it’s totally cool to go ahead and just let it chill like this and be done, but I like to add toppings. For this one, I added nuts. Like I said before, you can use candies, glitter-sugar, even salt for a nice contrast! I’ve been getting experimentive this week, here are some of my attempts!
Let it cool for a few hours until the chocolate is no longer soft, and then break it apart! Fun, festive, and deceptively easy as long as you watch it. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Toppings as desired
- Combine sugar and butter over medium heat
- Melt together, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon
- Mixture will get foamy, then REALLY foamy and burp smoke
- Once darker ribbons begin to appear, check the temperature
- Alternatively, do an ice water check for the crack level. You want it crunchy
- Pour onto a parchment paper lined tray and adjust tray to spread
- Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and allow to begin to melt
- Spread the melting chocolate over all of the toffee
- Sprinkle with topping of choice
- Chill or let stand and allow to harden. About 4 hours.
- Break apart with hands and enjoy!