I am currently in Toffee Hell and I am hoping that I can get out with your help. The toffee I make sticks to peoples' teeth and I have received some complaints about it. I am committed to changing this situation. Ideally toffee has a nice snap when you bite into it, but then it gives way to a tender texture that immedietly crumbles and dissolves in your mouth. Even though I add a tremendous amount of butter to my recipe, the texture I end up with is more like a hard candy that ultimately sticks to your teeth. I am hoping some of you can help me understand the finer points of making delicious toffee with a very pleasing texture. Here are some questions I have.
1. Currently, I use standard American salted butter. Does the quality of the butter make a difference? If I used Plugra or an European style butter with a lower water content -- would that make a difference?
2. What temperature should I be cooking the toffee to? I currently stop at 295-300 degrees Farenhite. Should I be going for a higher temperature?
3. My current recipe does not use corn syrup. I thought by not using corn syrup I would have a less sticky texture. That is not the case? Would corn syrup help me on my quest to a tender texture?
4. What should the relative humidity of my room be? I make everything in Northern Wisconsin. These days the RH is around 50%. I use a dehumidifier, but We have had a humid and warmer than usual autumn. Does my relative humidity of my room need to be lower? I noticed that excellent toffee comes from arid climates such as Colorado. I've also had excellent toffee that comes from the Midwest.
5. What about stirring? We cook the batch in a big copper kettle. We stir with a paddle to prevent scorching. Does the stirring or lack of stirring effect the texture of the toffee? Honestly, we have to stir as we don't want a scorched pot.
6. What about storage? Can I store at room temp just fine?
For your reference Here is my recipe and my process...
Salted Butter: 9080 grams
Water: 2270 grams
Sugar, White Granulated: 11,350grams
Salt: 71 grams
Soy Lecithin: 28 grams
Melt the butter in the copper kettle. Add the water, salt, sugar, and lecithin. Cook until 295-300 degrees. Stir in Toasted Almonds. Pour on Marble Table. Let cool. Coat with chocolate and add Crushed almonds.
Thank you for your help. I can really use it!