October is a magical month for Tuesdays with Dorie--it has five Tuesdays! I was excited to comb through the list of completed recipes from BCM and choose a recipe made before I started baking along. Because I was already baking white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies and a tomato cake this weekend (more on the cake later this week), I opted for something completely different: candy!
Dorie's head note says, "You don't need to be a pro candy maker to succeed with this toffee." I remained skeptical. I don't have the best track record when it comes to making candy. The first--and last--time I made candy was a sticky nightmare. I burnt the first batch of honeycomb and managed to get a big blob on the kitchen table. It took hours to chip it all off.
This time around I was ready. I found the P&Q for the Chocolate-Covered Toffee Breakups and read the helpful pointers. I pulled out my Silpat, didn't butter it, and got the rest of the ingredients measured out in advance (this wasn't a pointer but based off of my previous candy experience, this was something I thought would be helpful). I melted the butter, added the sugar, water, and corn syrup, and waited patiently while it cooked to 300, or hard crack.
My apprehension rose with the temperature. From other bloggers' posts and Dorie's instructions, I knew that once it hit 300, the mixture should be a nice caramel color. I wasn't sure my vegan butter would produce the same results. I watched as the butter, water, and corn syrup seemed to separate a bit in the pan and hoped it wouldn't just go from melted to burnt. I mixed in the salt and nuts and the most beautiful caramel color was achieved. I wanted to stop and take a picture but I needed to work fast before the toffee cooled.
I poured it out onto the Silpat, spread it, and sprinkled on some almonds. According to Dorie, I had about 20 minutes to kill before I could move the toffee and spread the chocolate. With about 12 minutes left I opted to use the remaining time to shower. This was not the best choice.
The toffee set too much. I tried to pull the toffee away from the Silpat but it began to crack. There was no way I could flip the toffee without it shattering. By default, I could only put chocolate on the top of the toffee. Though Dorie's toffee has chocolate on both sides, this was a successful candy attempt and now I know that it's best not to leave your toffee too long. Distracted by my small slip-up, I made another: I forgot to wipe the the toffee dry before spreading the chocolate. While this isn't detrimental, when I cracked it some of the chocolate slid right off. Next time I'll put a paper towel next to it so I won't forget.
Not only was this successful but it was easy. The ingredients were things I had in my cupboard and timing is really the only crucial thing. Dorie talks about making this as after-dinner treats and holiday gifts. Don't be surprised if you get chocolate-covered toffee breakups from me this holiday season!
To see what other TWD bakers made this week, visit Tuesdays with Dorie.