Toffee is easy peasy, fun and delicious. It's a delicious addition to ice cream. This particular batch wound up softer and flakier than normal, someone said it was kind of like pralines. But, delicious anyway, and fantastic in coffee ice cream.
One of the tricks is to prep everything before putting anything on the stove. Once, I thought I will prep while it is cooking, and that is the story of the burnt toffee and the broken fancy pants electric candy thermometer that beeped at the right temperature (I dropped the whole thing in the sink, forgetting about the computer). Lay down your nuts, measure out vanilla extracts (and bourbon, if you have it), get out your chocolate chips. Stick butter, white and brown sugars, water, and a pinch of salt in a pan. Clamp on the candy thermometer. Start to boil. Do not stir.
The one and only prep thing that I will do while the sugar is cooking is mashing fleur de sel and cacao nibs in the mortar and pestle. The are a delicious addition. Finding cacao nibs at one of the local health food stores was so exciting.
When the temperature reaches 300 degrees exactly, turn off the heat, remove from the burner. Beat in baking soda and vanilla extract. Stir the whole time, when you add the liquid everything goes a little crazy. This takes two hands, and I have been working alone in the kitchen, so I have no pictures. Pour the toffee mixture over the nuts.
Pour chocolate chips over the toffee, and add the cacao nibs-fleur de sel mixture. Let it stand while the toffee hardens and the chocolate melts, for about five minutes. Spread the chocolate around, and pour the rest of the nuts on top. Let it sit overnight. Soak everything in soapy water, and it will be remarkably easy to clean.
In the morning, cut or break it apart. Even if it mushes, it will be delicious.
Milk Chocolate Macadamia Nut Toffee
I think I orginally started with David Lebowitz's toffee recipe, from The Perfect Scoop.
1 stick butter
1 cup white sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
2 Tablespoons water
generous pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons vanilla
about 8 ounces macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
about 8 ounces milk chocolate chips
fleur de sel and cacao nibs (optional)
Put parchment paper on a cookie sheet, and spread out half the nuts. Measure out the vanilla and baking soda in small glasses.
Put butter, sugars, salt, and water in non-reactive pot. Clamp on candy thermometer. Cook to 300 degrees. Mix the butter through the sugars when it melts, and then do not stir. Mash the cacao nibs and fleur de sel, if using.
When candy thermometer reaches 300, remove from heat, and immediately beat in baking soda and vanilla. Be careful when adding the liquid.
Pour over the nuts, and immediately put down chocolate chips and nibs. Let stand a few minutes, spread out the chocolate, and pour down the rest of the nuts.
Let cool and solidify overnight. Break up, and share with your friends.