Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pecan and Dark Chocolate Toffee Pieces

From Field Guide to Candy.

Michael is flying out to visit his family tomorrow and I wanted to send some goodies along with him. I thought about making Shannon's salted caramels but I didn't have heavy cream on hand and also I thought that toffee pieces were less likely to get squished in his suitcase. They might get a bit crunched up but will still be good.

1 C sugar
1/3 C brown sugar (I used dark because that's what I have)
1 T light corn syrup
1/8 t salt
4 T unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 t vanilla
1/2 bar dark chocolate
handful of nuts, toasted and chopped (I used pecans)

Line an 11x17 baking pan with foil and spray liberally with cooking spray, set aside. In a sauce pan, combine all ingredients except vanilla and turn heat to med-high. Stirring constantly, allow mixture to come to a boil. Continue stirring until a thermometer reads 298 degrees (you will need a candy therm since a meat therm will not go that high. Well, at least mine doesn't). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet and spread into a thin-ish layer with a spatula. It will set up quickly and it will be very hot--so no tasting!

While toffee cools, temper your chocolate using a double boiler. For dark chocolate, add 2/3 of the chocolate and allow to come to 120 degrees, stirring frequently. Take off boiler, wipe off condensation from bottom of bowl and add remaining chocolate, stirring until completely melted. Allow chocolate to come to 82 degrees and then return to double boiler. Bring chocolate up to 88 degrees and then remove from boiler. Chocolate is now tempered and can be poured over toffee. Spread chocolate into a thin later completely covering toffee. Sprinkle on nuts and allow to set for one hour. Break into shards. Store in an airtight container for one week.

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