I’m never entirely sure on why making confectionary you can buy is so appealing, but there is something to it. It is not quite on the level of being able to make your own chorizo, or dismember a cow in terms of skills, but it is reassuring to know you are at least as useful as a machine. Homemade crunchies are unusual in that they are probably cheaper to make than to buy (this is the hurdle at which my great intentions to only make my own hummus fall down) and are very quick and easy. They would make a nice accompaniment for after dinner coffee as petit fours.
There are dozens of recipes out there for cinder toffee, some involving vinegar and other such things. I went with the basic recipe I found on the Guardian. It took a couple of attempts to get it right, but that was mainly due to a different of opinion between myself and the Guardian writer regarding the consistency. I prefer mine with a small bit of chew, the kind of thing you bend into pieces rather than snap. I do not have a thermometer, and so I went on the glass of water test i.e. dropping a small piece of the molten liquid into a glass of cold water and seeing how quickly it solidifies. For the crunchie texture, you don’t want it to solidify on immediate contact into a very hard ball (the hard snap test) but rather that it will form something the consistency of chewy toffee). This makes a dinner plate sized amount of toffee, which will be about 1cm thick.
- 100g caster sugar
- 3 tablespoons of golden syrup
- 1 heaped teaspoon of baking soda
- 75 mixed dark and milk chocolate
- Melt the sugar and syrup together in a large saucepan over a low-medium heat.
- This will take about 2-3 minutes, and first the sugar will clump together and absorb the syrup, then gradually the whole thing will melt.
- When it does, turn up the heat to high for approximately one minute.
- Take a small amount and drop into a glass of cold water, looking for the hard toffee consistency (this is usually about 1 to 1.5 minutes after turning up the heat).
- Take off the heat, and stir in the baking powder (it will bubble up quite a bit, hence the large saucepan).
- Pour onto a baking tray lined with parchment, and leave to cool for about 20 minutes.
- Once it is properly cooled, melt the chocolate over a bain marie and pour over the toffee, spreading evenly with a knife.
- Leave to set in the fridge for 1-2 hours