Toffee is a small chunk of glossy surfaced sweet made by using caramelized sugar or molasses to which butter and sometimes flour too is added. The mixture is heated so that the temperature 310 degrees Fahrenheit reaches to hard crack stage. In toffee recipes, the ingredients are boiled enough so that the mix is stiff and can be pulled according to the shape. In a shallow tray, the resulting mixture is poured and is cooled to form sheets. These are chewy and hard in texture. While preparing toffee, some kinds of mixes, temperatures and methods result in various textures. It is soft, sticky and brittle to taste. These are the favorite sweets which are preferred and loved by children. Majority of these are brown color in appearance.
Origin of Toffee Recipes
It is a mystery recipe whose origin is unknown. Harold Mc Gee is a food specialist who says that toffee is made by mixing sugar and molasses together. The word “toffee” was first founded in 1825 which was published in Oxford Dictionary. It has been identified from the word “taffy”.
Varieties of Toffees
There are many varieties of sweets available all over the world. In United States, English toffees are very famous which is made by using butter and almonds. The texture of the toffee is smooth and buttery that it melts when put into mouth. Cinder toffees is also called the Honeycomb or Sponge toffees which are made by adding baking soda and vinegar so that to produce carbon dioxide. In this, toffee recipe is made by adding nuts and raisins. In New Zealand, Cinder toffee is called Hokey Pokey but in UK it is known as Crunchie Bar. An Apple Toffee is served in stick and it is coated with toffee. Other varieties are these sweets of the combination of rum and butter, chocolate and raisins, vanilla and chocolate, rum and raisin, etc.
Ingredients and Method of Preparing Toffee Recipes
A large heavy saucepan, a candy thermometer, a silicon spatula and a silicon candy mold are pre-requisites in toffee. Silicon candy molds are ideal because they do not wrap from the heat of the sweet. Other requirements in the procedure are butter, sugar or molasses, water, vanilla and salt. Common additions to these sweets are roasted, chopped nuts and chocolates. The rich taste is gained by adding butter or cream to the sugar syrup. A toffee usually has a hard, slightly chewy texture. These recipes are used as a starting point, but can be expanded further according to one’s taste.
Before starting the procedure of making toffee, the oven is pre-heated to 320 degree Fahrenheit and the almonds are placed on a cookie sheet. The nuts are baked for ten minutes, stirring them every three minutes to ensure all sides brown. The almonds, once dark, are removed and allowed to cool completely. Now, they are chopped into fine pieces. Many varieties of toffee exist, but the traditional butter recipe is needed to make the original English version of toffee recipes. A 12 X 16 inch cookie sheet is lined with aluminum foil. The foil is coated with a non-stick spray.
Toffee making is initiated by the addition of butter, sugar, water and corn syrup to a large saucepan and the saucepan is placed over medium heat. The mixture is stirred until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts. Thereby, the mixture is brought to a boil with periodical stirring. The candy mixture is cooked to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. The use of a candy thermometer is made to measure the temperature. The toffee candy is not allowed to separate. If the candy separates, it is stirred rapidly to bring the ingredients back together. The toffee mixture is removed from the top of the stove, once it reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit. The general toffee recipes proceed by pouring the candy mixture onto the cookie sheet. Now, this mixture is spread evenly using a silicon spatula and is allowed to set completely. A knife is greased with a non-stick spray and the butter candy is scored into small rectangles. Once the toffee cools, it is broken apart and the pieces are stored in an airtight container. These recipes can be stored for more than a week when stored in proper airtight containers.
Variations in Toffee Recipes
A common variation on toffee is made with added nuts or dried fruits for additional flavor and texture. Such items can also be cooled with a layer of melted chocolate for additional flavor, which is popular with some styles of English toffees. Other variations of toffee recipes can be made by addition of rum, vanilla, raisin, honey, fresh fruits, etc. The basic toffee is extremely simple and it can be easily made at home. For people who do not wish to make candy toffee, purchase them from markets and candy stores.
Toffee can be made use of as a decorative item in cakes, ice creams and puddings. When served at the end of a meal it acts both as a mouth neutralizer and as a mouth refresher. These can be served along with other starters in parties and functions.
Health Facts Related to Toffee Recipes
Seemingly, toffee is not good for health as it only contains empty calories. It should not be consumed empty stomach as it may create gastro-intestinal troubles. Moreover, their consumption must be avoided at late nights since they provide sites for the bacteria to feed upon, which eventually form cavities in tooth. Thereby, the intake of toffee should also be limited as it causes severe stomachaches at times. Not only these have disadvantages, they have few advantages as well. Few medical companies follow toffee recipes to prepare medicines especially for children. The medicines are made in the form of toffees to attract the little children to consume them without hesitation. A toffee is considered a great stress reliever and an anti-depressant. This is the reason why most people consume excess these recipes when they are highly exhausted and stressed. Additionally, these relieve people from the nauseam sensations at the time of traveling and illness.