Welcome to the Alpha Bakers bake-a-long, an online project where a group of food bloggers bake our way through The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Most of the recipes made during this project will not be shared, but I will post my commentary followed by a full photo tutorial.
This week's selection - Luxury Chocolate Buttercrunch Toffee. A layer of buttery toffee coated with a thin layer of chocolate and toasted almonds.
How does it taste - Delish! The toffee is perfectly crisp and chewy. Toffee ranks very high on my list of favorite foods so it's no wonder I love this recipe.
How does it look - The random chocolate and almond coated shards of toffee are lovely.
Level of difficulty - Intermediate. The toffee can easily be overheated if not careful, and care is needed when pouring the molten toffee.
Were the directions clear - Basically. There's a rather large range listed for the amount of chocolate needed in the ingredients. I assume that range is there so people can decide for themselves how much chocolate they want to use. I only wanted a thin layer of chocolate, and I only wanted it on one side of my toffee (not both) so I used half of the lesser amount listed. I also used half of the almonds listed, but there was no range given for them.
What would I do differently next time - Nothing - this toffee is perfect.
Note - the recipe gives directions for coating both sides of the toffee with chocolate and almonds, but I opted to only coat the top.
Okay, here's my photo tutorial.
Before beginning, have ready a half sheet pan lined with a silpat.
Also needed before beginning, almonds that have been toasted in the oven.
Allow the almonds to cool completely, then chop them into smaller bits in a food processor.
And lastly, make sure you have chopped chocolate ready to go.
Time to start cooking - in a 3 or 4-quart saucepan, heat butter, water, corn syrup, and dark brown sugar.
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.