Like grandma used to make:

  1. Place all the ingredients into a large heavy-based pan.
  2. Heat gently, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. (Tap the botton of the pan with a wooden spoon - if there is still sugar there you can feel the crunch)
  3. Boil rapidly until it reaches soft crack stage, or 143°C. (Don't allow sugar to crystallise on the side of the pan - if it does redissolve with a little water on a brush).
  4. Pour quickly onto a greased tin and allow to cool.

The best time to cajole grandma into making toffee was in September. All that remained was to go into the garden, pick some Cox's apples, and persuade my grandfather to chop some sticks. Then we were in for the best treat of all - wonderful juicy toffee apples! Mmmm, I can practically smell them!

To make toffee apples, skewer the apples onto sticks, dip into the pan of toffee while rotating so that they are covered, then stand on a greased tin until cold.

After discussion with Kujan it has become apparent that English toffee apples have brittle toffee while American caramel apples are softer - bet they're both equally yummy tho! :)
The recipe above is very good, but a lot of classic toffee contains both chocolate and finely chopped nuts as well.

Note: Margarine will not work in this recipe.

One tablespoon of corn syrup can also be added. As far as I understand it the crystal structure of the syrup provides a form for the sugar to follow, please correct me if I'm wrong. Get the nuts together and spread them evenly over the bottom of a shallow baking sheet.

Stir the butter and sugar in together over medium heat and find a timer or watch the clock. As soon as it starts to boil time it at 7 minutes. You can also use a thermometer to follow the temperature if you're not sure. Allow more than once chance to get this right if you're doing it for the first time. You may turn the heat up if the proper temperature isn't reached.

Cook until 295 degrees or brittle hard crack stage. You can also measure this by getting a glass of ice cold water and drizzling a few drops into it. If you've never made candy before this might be difficult, but fish out the candy and break it. If it's the proper consistency as finished toffee is, you're set. (Eat a Skor bar if you're not sure what toffee is)

Now quickly pour the toffee onto the nuts and spread it evenly. You won't want to use a metal knife because of the high heat, use a spatula or something else. Top with the chocolate, it'll melt. Use the spatula to spread the chocolate evenly, then put the whole thing in the fridge, covered (make sure the covering doesn't touch the candy).

In a few hours you'll have fresh toffee, it's a great holiday favorite.

I don't want to be redundant, but those recipes are strange. Toffee has not to be so complicated and precise. Toffee is essentially amorphous sugar with cream. Thus, what we do is to melt sugar, add cream and prevent the sugar from crystallizing by using butter. This is why you cannot make fat-free toffee. Use only cream and sugar, and you will get something of the same colour, but crystalline in form.

Here are what you need for the most basic form of toffee imaginable:

Remember mix all the time, or the sugar will stick to the bottom. You have to have a wooden spatula, because you can crush lumps of sugar with it. Sugar sticks to metal - and don't even think of a rubber spatula!
  1. Heat the kettle up with full power.
  2. If the spatula is made of wood, wet it under the tap with cold water before touching any molten sugar with it. Sugar will stick to dry wood.
  3. Add the sugar in slowly. If you put all the sugar in quickly, lumps will form. Crush them if they appear.
  4. Decrease the heating power to half when almost all has been melted. Notice how the color of the sugar changes to brown. This gives a caramel taste (as opposed to clean white taste).
  5. Pour the cream in slowly. Fierce boiling and bubbling results. If you pour it in too quickly, the cream will cool the mixture down, the boiling stops and crystallization can start.
  6. When the boiling has set on, add the butter. At this point, the mixture is as liquid as cream.
  7. Boil the toffee to remove water, until only a few bubbles form per second. (The point is that you want to boil away water, and when there's no water to remove, it's ready.) The viscosity will change so that the spatula meets the resistance of toffee, not watery sugar-cream. (Some recipes call for placing a drop in cold water and testing if it solidifies, but this is unnecessary.)
  8. Pour the toffee on the brown paper. You have only a few seconds to scrape the remains from the saucepan, because it cools down quickly and hardens rock-hard.
  9. Clean the utensils with hot water.

There are mistakes to specifically avoid:

  • Keeping it boiling too long.
  • Using too much cream.
  • Not mixing.
  • Setting the heating power any hotter than half of the full. Yes, the boiling might be slow, but when the whole mixture is froth, it will burn.
You do not want to burn it. The nasty, black, foul-smelling, extremely staining burnt toffee will not surrender to even steel wool. Boiling cleaning soda for a long time (hours) can remove the stains.

Thanks BlueDragon

Tof"fee (?), Tof"fy (?), n.




© Webster 1913.

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