This holiday season you’ll want to add homemade candy to your list! This is hands down the best toffee you’ll ever make. It has the perfect crunch, it’s buttery in flavour and the best part – the recipe makes a lot (which makes it great for gift giving or adding to Christmas cookie platters). And to top it off English toffee lasts for a long time so you can make it well in advance.
English Toffee is also known as Almond Roca, which is actually just a name brand for the candy. And it’s undoubtedly the best candy for those with a sweet tooth and is highly addictive, so be warned! The good news, you can make this sweet treat at home yourself and I’ll give you as many tips as I can for a successful homemade toffee! Even if it’s your first time making candy, I’m here to help you along the way! And if your first attempt isn’t successful you can always use those English toffee bits in other ways and recipes, so keep reading to learn more!
These simple ingredients transform into a buttery, crunchy toffee! Make sure to use the best quality possible. Each ingredient has a way of shining through. I shop at my local Bulk Barn Store to grab all my dry ingredients where I can buy as little or as much as I like. It’s the time of year (holiday baking) when every dollar counts and Bulk Barn can save on your wallet and time!
- Change up the chocolate; milk chocolate English toffee is also addictive! If using different chocolate other than chocolate chips, make sure to chop the chocolate into small pieces.
- Change up or mix the nuts; use toasted pecans or walnuts.
- For an extra nutty crunch, add chopped nuts to the bottom of the toffee as well as the top (this can be helpful as the nuts do fall off when just added to the top).
- Make a thinner, flatter English toffee by using a larger pan size. A 10″x15″ pan creates a thick toffee layer. If using a larger cookie sheet you may want to add more chocolate.
Important Tools for Successful Toffee
- A large heavy saucepan
- Candy thermometer – I prefer to use a digital thermometer, here’s a similar one to what I use; click here.
- A 10″x15″ sheet pan
- Parchment paper
- Small offset spatula
- Large wooden spoon
Tips For The Perfect English Toffee Everytime
Making English toffee can be intimidating but if you follow these simple tips you’ll be sure to have successful candy! Making candy takes time and patience and can’t be rushed so make candy on a day that you want to be in the kitchen.
- Make sure to have all of your ingredients measured and ready before you start the recipe. Once things get moving, they move fast and you’ll want to be ready.
- Minimize the distractions! Candy making of any sort needs your full attention!
- Not that any of you would do this, but let’s just put it out there just in case. Use butter not margarine as your toffee will not set. And use the best butter you can buy!
- Only use a wooden spoon! Be careful not to use a metal spoon or a spatula as the heat of the toffee will melt a spatula or heat the spoon to burning.
- Use a heavy pot of good quality. When you use a heavy-bottomed pot your chances of scorching the toffee are much less because the heat will be distributed evenly.
- Don’t rush the toffee by turning up the temperature on the stovetop. You want to gradually bring the toffee to the hard crack stage (300˚F). Keep the temperature on the lower side and take your time.
- Keep the temperature consistent! Temperature fluctuations can cause a lot of problems like sugar crystallization and butter separation in the toffee.
- Stir in the center of the pot and avoid splashing the sides of the pot. This can cause crystals to form. If this happens use a wet pastry brush and brush the sides of the pot to prevent crystallization.
Why Did My Butter Separate in my English Toffee?
This is the most common issue when making toffee and it happens to the best of us so don’t fret if it happens to you too! Toffee can separate if there’s an abrupt temperature change, or if the mixture isn’t stirred constantly (yet slowly). Gradually and slowly melt your sugar and butter together (do not use butter that is frozen or too cold). If you rush the process with high heat or temperature changes you risk separation. Set the temperature to medium-low and leave it (for me, that temperature on my stovetop is about 4). If your toffee separates, remove it from the heat and stir vigorously to make it come back together. Or you can try adding a small amount of hot water to bring it back together by stirring vigorously (carefully as it will bubble) approx. half a tablespoon of water.
Can I still use toffee that has separated?
Don’t throw your toffee out just yet. Pour the separated toffee into your prepared pan and see what you can still use. Once the toffee has hardened and cooled remove any large butter pockets. Break the toffee into tiny bits (place in a freezer bag and smash using a rolling pin) and use the toffee bits as you would with HEATH Toffee bits or toffee baking bits in cookies and squares.
- Use in my everything cookie dough recipe
- Use it in shortbread cookies
- Make ice cream sundaes and top with your English toffee bits
Why is My English Toffee Grainy?
Crystallization is what creates a grainy texture. This can happen when you heat the mixture too quickly and the sugar crystallizes on the side of the pot. These crystals can get mixed back into the toffee. To prevent crystallization make sure to completely dissolve all the sugar before it comes to a boil. Also, avoid splashing the toffee up the sides of the pot when stirring. And if you notice your spoon covered in crystals, rinse it off with warm water or simply switch to a clean wooden spoon.
Why is My Toffee Not Hardening?
Soft or chewy toffee typically means you didn’t heat the toffee to the correct temperature. It’s extremely important to make sure that your candy reaches the “hard crack stage” a temperature of 300˚F. If you don’t have a candy thermometer use the cold-water test. Spoon a small amount of the hot toffee into a cup of very cold water. If the candy separates into hard, brittle threads and when bent breaks, it’s ready!
How To Make English Toffee
Step One: Toast your almonds on the stovetop on low to medium heat until fragrant and browned. Chop cooled almonds into small pieces or use a food processor. Set almonds aside.
Step Two: Add sugar, butter and salt to a heavy bottomed pot. Melt sugar and butter together on low to medium heat stirring with a wooden spoon. Heat the butter mixture slowly until it reaches 300˚F, stirring often. The toffee is ready when it changes to a dark brown colour, approx. 20 minutes.
Step Three: Quickly and carefully pour the toffee mixture onto your prepared baking sheet. Let it sit for a few minutes then top with chocolate chips and smooth a thin layer of chocolate on top. Quickly add chopped walnuts and gently press into the chocolate layer.
Step Four: Let the English toffee set and firm up nice and crisp. Once set break into small pieces.Print
Homemade English Toffee
This classic homemade English toffee (also known as Almond Roca) is an addictive holiday treat! It’s buttery and crunchy, has a chocolatey layer and is topped with toasted almonds! English toffee makes a great addition to holiday cookie platters, cookie exchanges or gift giving!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 2lb, Serves 15-20 1x
- Category: Candy & Confections
- Cuisine: British
- 2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
- 3/4 cups whole almonds
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
*It’s very important to have everything prepped and ready to go. Once your toffee is at temperature things move fast and you’ll want to be prepared.
*Read the tips section in the blog for more helpful ideas for successful toffee.
- Line a 10″x 15″ rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Add chocolate chips to a small bowl and set aside.
- Toast almonds on the stovetop on medium to low heat. Once almonds are fragrant and lightly browned remove from heat to cool. Then, using a sharp knife chop almonds finely or place almonds in a food processor. Place chopped almonds in a small bowl and set aside.
- Using a large heavy bottomed pot, add butter, sugar (and salt) together. Melt butter and sugar over medium to low heat, stirring throughout.
- Continue to cook stirring slowly and frequently, until the toffee reaches 300˚F and begins to thicken, caramelize, and turns golden brown, approx. 20 minutes. *If the toffee appears to separate (this is when the butter separates and you’ll have a layer of melted butter on top) stir vigorously to make it come back together. Be careful to watch the candy temperature as it cooks quickly and can scorch at high temperatures.
- Quickly pour the hot toffee onto your prepared pan and spread out by tipping the pan around (be careful as the pan will get hot). *You may want to bang the pan a few times on the counter to ‘pop’ any air bubbles.
- Let the hot toffee sit for a minute or two to firm up. Then add the chocolate chips on the hot toffee in an even layer, the chocolate will begin to melt. Using an offset spatula smooth the chocolate out.
- Top with chopped almonds and gently press them into the melted chocolate.
Let the toffee sit for approx. 1 hour, or until set (you can place it in the refrigerator to speed up the process). Then lift the toffee off the parchment paper and break into pieces.
Store English toffee in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks or freeze for up to 2 months.
- A 10″x 15″ pan creates a thick toffee layer. Use a larger pan for a thinner layer (you may want to add more chocolate in this case).
- This recipe makes a lot which makes it perfect for gift giving and cookie exchanges. You can easily half the recipe to make less but make sure to use a smaller pan size.
- Serving Size: 1 piece of 70
- Calories: 90
- Sugar: 7.4g
- Sodium: 44mg
- Fat: 6.5g
- Saturated Fat: 3.8g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 8g
- Fiber: 0.1g
- Protein: 0.5g
- Cholesterol: 14mg
Keywords: Candy, Toffee, Almond Roca, Bark, English Toffee
English toffee is a sweet, crunchy confection made by caramelizing sugar and butter together. It’s typically topped with dark chocolate and nuts, creating a rich and delightful treat.
If your toffee wasn’t cooked long enough it will be chewy not crisp and crunchy. Toffee has to be cooked to the correct temperature of 300˚F for the hard crack stage.
Toffee needs to be cooked to the hard crack stage of 300˚F.
Common issues for butter separating from toffee are inconsistent temperatures with cooking, bringing the temperature heat too high and too fast, and not stirring the toffee slowly throughout the cooking time.
If your toffee separates, remove it from the heat and stir vigorously to make it come back together. Or you can try adding a small amount of hot water to bring it back together by stirring vigorously (carefully as it will bubble) approx. half a tablespoon of water.
This blog post has been sponsored by Bulk Barn Canada where you can find all your baking needs! All opinions are my own and I’m so happy to work with brands I love so I can continue to share these recipes with all of you! I hope you guys get to a Bulk Barn soon and try out this recipe.