My toffee has problems -- Please Help!

Daniel Herskovic
@daniel-herskovic
12/20/15 02:00:11PM
132 posts

Hi there,

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

Almonds: 2270

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!

Daniel

 

 

 

 

 

Ruth Atkinson Kendrick
@ruth-atkinson-kendrick
12/20/15 08:16:30PM
194 posts

I will try to answer from my experience. I use equal amounts of sugar and butter. I don't melt the butter first. I start out with 1/4 cup water per pound of butter. I put in the water and 2/3 of the salted grade AA butter, and the sugar. I stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved, then turn up heat and add remaining butter. I rinse the spatula (I prefer silicone to wood paddle) and conitnue stirring. Be sure all sugar is dissolved. Once temp is over 260, you are past the danger zone of separation. Cook as quickly as possible without burning. I take it to about 310 (5000 ft). I don't add more salt, or cook the nuts in the syrup. I do add a little lecithin. I pour the syrup over dry roasted almonds. After cooling and coating with chocolate and a sprinkle of salt and more nuts, I break up and put into air-tight packages. We normally have a very dry climate, but I have made it when it was raining and snowing with no problems. My batches are 12# of sugar and butter at a time. You are correct in assuming corn syrup will make the toffee more sticky. I think if you add more butter and cook a bit higher, you will be fine. Try a small batch and see. You might check the amount of water you are using. If it is more than 1/4 c. per pound, you might be inverting the sugar which would give the same effect of adding corn syrup, making it sticky. Good luck.

Sebastian
@sebastian
12/20/15 09:56:24PM
754 posts

it's been a while since i've made toffee, and i didn't take the time to look over any of my notes for details, but it sounds like to me that you've got higher moistures than you'd like to have.  Without analytically measuring them, it's hard to confirm.  50% RH should be just fine.  Do you get the same negative results if you cook to a bit higher temp (your cook temp will be the easiest metric to use as a guage for water removal in your toffee - the higher your temp, the lower your resultant water content).  I'd be tempted to do a series of small batches (using the same lot of ingreidents, on the same day), and  prepare them back to back, looking at your current process as the control, then raise the cook temp in 5degree increments to see how they compare and if it resolves your problem or not.

Daniel Herskovic
@daniel-herskovic
12/22/15 04:41:59PM
132 posts

Thank you so much Ruth and Sebastian!

I was hoping I would hear from both of you. I will definitely try going higher in temperature. I was concerned that if I went to high too much invert sugar would be created. I might possibly increasing the butter as well. I will keep you posted on any updates. Thank you again!

Daniel

Sebastian
@sebastian
12/23/15 07:17:46AM
754 posts

Let us know how it turns out!  Pls send boxes of the finished product to me at .... 

 

8-)

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