Seriously, is there anything better than caramelized sugar? Ok, maybe caramelized sugar, a stick of butter, lightly toasted almonds, and a glorious robe of melted chocolate. Heaven help me, this stuff is amazing!
Before beginning, have ready a half sheet pan lined with a silpat liner.
Also, make sure you have chopped chocolate ready to go. I'm a huge dark chocolate fan, but you can certainly use milk chocolate if that's your thing.
And another thing you need before you start is toasted, sliced almonds. I place the almonds on an unlined half sheet pan and pop them into a cold oven. Then I turn the oven on to 350F and slowly toast them until golden brown and fragrant.
Allow the almonds to cool completely, then chop them into smaller bits in a food processor, being careful not to chop them too much. You still want to recognize they are sliced almonds.
Alternatively, you can place the almonds in a resealable bag and crush with a rolling pin.
Ok, now that the half sheet pan is prepared, and the chocolate and almonds are ready to go, it's time to start cooking - in a 3 or 4-quart saucepan, heat butter, water, corn syrup, and dark brown sugar over medium-high heat.
Have an instant read digital thermometer, pure vanilla extract, and baking soda nearby.
The toffee mixture should be stirred occasionally until it reaches the proper temperature. Note that I used a nonstick pan for easy cleanup.
Stop cooking when the toffee reaches 285F.
Stir in the vanilla and baking soda; stir vigorously to combine.
Pour mixture onto silpat lined half sheet pan.
Spread mixture with an offset spatula. I like my toffee on the thin side so I spread mine out more than directed by the recipe.
While the toffee is still hot, evenly sprinkle the chocolate bits all over.
Allow chocolate to rest on the hot toffee for 5 minutes.
Use an offset spatula to spread the melted chocolate evenly over the toffee.
While the chocolate is still warm, sprinkle the toasted almonds evenly all over.
Pop the whole tray into the fridge until the toffee and chocolate set. Break into pieces and enjoy.
makes 12 servings
3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted and cooled completely
1 1/4 cups brown sugar (light or dark), packed
1/4 cup light corn syrup
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Begin by lining a half sheet pan with a silpat liner (I have 6!) and measure out all the ingredients.
Place toasted almonds in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 2 or 3 times to break into smaller bits, being careful not to make the pieces too small. Alternatively, you can place the toasted almonds in a resealable bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
In a 3 or 4-quart heavy bottomed, preferably nonstick, saucepan over medium-high heat, combine butter, corn syrup, butter, and water; heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 285F.
Remove mixture from heat and vigorously stir in the vanilla and baking soda.
Pour the mixture onto a silpat lined half sheet pan; use an offset spatula to spread thinly over the silpat.
While the toffee is still hot, sprinkle the chocolate bits evenly all over; allow chocolate to soften from the residual heat for a few minutes, then use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate into an even layer (I like to stop just short of the edge of the toffee).
Immediately sprinkle the almond pieces evenly all over the melted chocolate.
Place the toffee in the refrigerator for 10 minutes; remove from fridge and break into serving pieces. Store at room temperature in an airtight container with waxed paper between layers.
Note: To toast almonds, spread in a single layer on an unlined half sheet pan and place in a cold oven; turn the oven on to 350F and allow the almonds to toast for 8-12 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant (watch them carefully). Cool completely before using.
adapted from The Baking Bible