Sunday, December 7, 2008


With Christmas now only a few weeks away I thought I would spend sometime this weekend trying out a few of the the foodie gifts I would make for friends. I have wanted to make toffee for a long time now and this seemed the perfect time to try it out.

So, on what was a desperately cold Saturday afternoon, hey, I live in Minnesota so what can I expect, I headed to the warmth of my kitchen. I had just invested in a new candy thermometer so hopefully there would be no guessing at the "hard boil" stage of the operation.

I weighed out all my ingredients and put the sugar, corn syrup, cream and butter into the pot. Nobody said it was low cal! I waited patiently until it all came to a boil and then prepared myself for the "hard boil" stage. This is when the mixture reaches 250f. The recipe said it would take 15 minutes. 15 minutes came and went, the temperature was very slowly rising on the thermometer. I'm sure you are aware of the old saying that a watched pot never boils, well in this case it was certainly true. I was afraid to leave the pot as I knew the temperature is crucial in the success of the final product. Gradually the mixture got hotter and hotter and in the end it reached the magic "hard boil" I was now 25 minutes into it. Patience is not always my strongest quality but on this occasion I was doing well on that front. In goes the vanilla and a pinch of salt and the mixture is poured into the waiting tray. Now all I have to do was to wait 8 hours! Bang goes my patience.

4 hours have past and to my eye it looks set up. I break a piece off and pop it into my mouth. Soon my teeth are sticking together and the offending toffee has to be picked off. As I said patience is not my strong point. I leave the tray of toffee and wait until the morning before I am tempted to try again. This time I have a delicious hard toffee and I am delighted with the result. Apparently it does need all that time to harden properly. I'll know next time.

I box it up and will send it off with my husband to the office tomorrow. His colleagues are always willing guinea pigs for my creations. If I get a thumbs up from them I will go ahead with another batch to be given out to friends and neighbours. Can't help thinking Dr.Lu our dentist will be delighted with this gift, should keep him busy in the New Year. Maybe I should do a deal with him?

4 cups sugar
2 cups light corn syrup
4 cups heavy cream (sorry)
6oz butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

Coat a rimmed baking tray with parchment and coat with cooking spray. Leave overhang at each side.
Put sugar, corn syrup cream and butter in pot and bring to boil. Reduce to medium heat and cook until temp reaches 250F or hard boil. Stir frequently.
When temp is reached remove from heat and add vanilla and salt. Stir to combine but do not scrape sides of pot.
Pour into tin and leave for 8 HOURS.
When time is up break into pieces and package up ready to give to your friends.

No comments: