Thursday, December 15, 2011

Toffee Madness

Music and cooking apparently go together for me.
I always find songs running through my head related to
whatever I'm working on.  Waiting impatiently for the
toffee to reach 270 had Tommy Petty singing
"the waiting is the hardest part" in my head.
Indeed, Mr. Petty.  Indeed.
Since discovering Katie’s “Dad’s Famous Toffee” recipe, my head has been spinning with ideas for variations.  So far I’ve realized the original version but with pecans instead of walnuts, cashew toffee, macadamia nut toffee with white chocolate, and toffee with roasted sea salt almonds and milk chocolate.  I had added a bit of cardamom to the cashew toffee, but unfortunately not enough and the flavor was totally lost.  Another attempt is in order.  Ideas for future endeavors include hazelnut toffee, pistachio toffee and toffee made with goat butter. 

I would love to spend all day making toffee today, but that’s not in the cards.  Besides the fact that I have birthday cupcakes to deliver, it is 61° and seriously humid here today.  The toffee I made last night is already getting sticky.  I’m hoping for less juicy air tomorrow.

These are my variations on Katie’s original recipe:

For the cashew toffee, I decided to try this silicon mold
to make uniform little squares.  It worked well, but they
are a little bit thicker than I'd like.

Cashew Toffee

Since I wasn’t going to use any chocolate on this toffee, I amped up the quantity of the nuts.  I used 1-1/2 cups of raw cashew pieces in place of the walnuts.  As previously mentioned, I also added 1/8 of a teaspoon of cardamom that I couldn’t taste at all.  The amount of cardamom definitely needs to be increased, but carefully so it’s not overpowering. 

Macadamia Nut Toffee with White Chocolate

Chopping the macadamia nuts was the most difficult
and time consuming part of this toffee. 
I wanted them uniform in size,
so I quartered each nut individually. 
Have I mentioned I'm a little OCD?
I was out of salted butter, so I used unsalted and added 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt; I swapped the walnuts for raw macadamia nuts and white chocolate (the real cocoa butter type) for bittersweet chocolate.

Toffee with Roasted Sea Salt Almonds and Milk Chocolate

Again, I used unsalted butter, but since the almonds were already very salty I didn’t add any additional salt; I used the roasted almonds in place of walnuts and some milk chocolate chips on top. 

Right now I'm seriously struggling to keep myself out of the kitchen so I don't make more toffee.  I do believe I may be obsessed.  Imagine that.

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