Miette’s version of this classic candy is crisp, crunchy, and especially thin. Our English toffee is coated in dark chocolate, then tossed in roasted almonds. Our American toffee (see the variation below) uses milk chocolate and roasted peanuts. Make sure you have a pan big enough to spread your toffee thin. A Silpat baking mat is essential to this recipe as it allows you to remove the toffee easily from the pan. Miette’s toffee is coated on both sides with chocolate and nuts. You have the option of stopping at one, but we’ve provided instructions for coating the second side—just in case.–Meg Ray
LC Toffee Talk Note
Let’s explore, for a moment, the notion of commencing candymaking in general and English toffee-making in particular. Thing is, candymaking doesn’t need to be a chore. It just needs to be precise. To that end, investing in some inexpensive essentials will make your life—and your candy—far, far better. The authors of the book instruct us to make sure you have a pan big enough to spread your toffee thin, which ensures it’ll turn shatteringly crisp rather than remain heartbreakingly chewy. A Silpat baking mat allows you to remove the toffee from the pan without resorting to elbow grease (or a potty mouth). Also, a candy or deep-fry thermometer will allow you to dispense with guesswork. One last thing, though you can’t really do much about it, is the weather. Best not to attempt creating candy on an especially warm, muggy day, or you’ll be back to toffee that’s stubbornly and seemingly inexplicably chewy rather than mind-bendingly crisp. Let us know how it goes in a comment below.
Special Equipment: Candy thermometer, offset spatula, Silpat
English Toffee Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 2 H
- Makes about 3 1/2 pounds
- 2 cups raw whole almonds (4 cups if coating both sides of the toffee with nuts)
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup cold water
- 1 1/2 pounds 70-percent cacao chocolate (3 pounds if coating both sides)
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a baking sheet with sides (a jelly-roll pan) with a silicone baking mat.
- 2. Roast the almonds on a separate baking sheet until lightly browned and aromatic, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board to cool. Roughly chop the almonds. If desired, dump them into a strainer and shake to remove any teensy pieces of almond skins.
- 3. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, vanilla, salt, and water over low to medium-low heat. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Cook, whisking, until the butter has melted and the mixture is emulsified. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, whisking constantly at a consistent speed, until mixture reaches 300°F (149°C) on a candy thermometer, 15 to 20 minutes.
- 4. Immediately and carefully pour the hot toffee onto the prepared baking sheet. Using an offset spatula, quickly spread the toffee into a thin, even layer over the entire baking sheet. (Don’t dally as you’re doing this.) Let the toffee cool at least 45 minutes.
- 5. Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over but not touching a pot of simmering water and gently stir with a rubber spatula until the chocolate has completely melted, looks smooth, and is no more than 110°F (43°C).
- 6. Gently wipe or blot any excess oil from the top of the cooled toffee with a paper towel. Spread the top of the toffee with the warm chocolate and immediately sprinkle with the nuts. Let set at room temperature until hard, 20 to 30 minutes.
- 7. If desired, once the chocolate has set, invert the toffee, remove the baking mat, and smother the second side of the toffee with additional chocolate and nuts.
- 8. Break the cooled toffee into pieces. The toffee is best when consumed that same day or stored in an airtight container at room temperature for no more than 3 days, so make haste in packaging and gifting it.
- American Toffee
- Substitute milk chocolate and lightly salted Spanish peanuts for the dark chocolate and roasted almonds.
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English Toffee Recipe © 2011 Meg Ray. Photo © 2011 Frankie Frankeny. All rights reserved.
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