Monday, November 28, 2011

Experiments in Dipping Toffee

For all the toffee and candy dipping I've done, I've never really looked at how to temper chocolate. I melt; I dip.  Last week, I was leafing through one of my chocolate cookbooks and read through the instructions for tempering chocolate.  I thought I'd give it a try.

The various stages of toffee dipping
I got mixed results.  It took a bit of time and patience to go through the steps (at least according to this cookbook) of tempering the chocolate.  I dipped at a lower temperature than I have before.  This made the dipping go so much faster and easier.  I was amazed by the lack of puddling under the toffee.

The drawback?  I didn't temper it right.  I got faint blooming on almost every piece, which is more than what I usually get.  On the other hand, it's so consistent, it almost looks like it was on purpose.  I was a bit timid about trying this, so I worked in a few small batches.  I followed the heating temperatures precisely, but didn't test properly.  Given what I've now been reading, I might have had better luck if I had melted my chocolate in one big batch.  So now I got something things to try for the next batch of toffee or the Easter candy making event I have each spring.  I would love to make a batch of butter creams or peanut butter eggs that don't end up with a puddle of chocolate underneath them.

Ginger Stars and dipped toffee
Since I was in the experimenting mood, I decided to cover a third of the toffee in milk chocolate.  It melted and tempered a few degrees lower than the semi-sweet chocolate (and it also bloomed).  I liked working with the semi-sweet chocolate better than the milk chocolate, but I guess I'll need to ask people which tastes better.

Almond Buttercrunch is dipped; Ginger Stars are baked and iced.  All that's left to do is bag 'em and tag 'em (and give them away).


  1. I've always wanted to try making toffee! Is it hard? They look delicious!

  2. The original recipe is pretty straightforward. What I do now is a bit different (especially in dipping the toffee). This is the recipe that was given to me:

    Almond Buttercrunch
    1½ cups butter
    2 cups sugar
    1 cup sliced raw almonds
    1½ cups chocolate chips
    ½ cup finely chopped pecans

    Melt butter over *very low heat* in heavy saucepan; DO NOT LET BOIL. Add sugar. Boil over medium heat, stirring frequently until candy thermometer reads 260°. Add almonds and continue to cook, stirring constantly (mixture will be thick).

    When at 295-305°, pour into jelly roll pan (11x17”), spreading the candy thin with the back of a metal spoon. Work quickly. Sprinkle chocolate chips, let stand 5 minutes, then spread. Sprinkle with pecans.

    Allow to harden several hours or overnight. Break into pieces.


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