Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chocolate toffee brownies

This is Spring??  Montreal is notorious for spring snow and today does not disappoint.   On a grey snowy blustery day I can think of nothing better to do than turning on the stove and trying a new concoction for the Something Moore Sweet Boutique.   I thought that I might take my basic brownie recipe and make it a bit more elegant.    So I am marrying the brownie and the toffee.


 I have been making this toffee recipe for the last 20 years when I decided that I had had enough of the commercialism of the Christmas holidays.   I made Christmas baskets filled with home made goodies to give to my friends.   My friend Margie and I would spend an entire weekend baking breads and cakes,  making cookies and candy.    A good glass of red wine was our reward at the end of each long day.  


 The toffee was one of the most anticipated goodies in the baskets - husbands, wives and children would fight over it when the basket arrived.  The Christmas toffee was layered with dark melted chocolate and ground toasted almonds - if you are thinking this sounds similar to a Score Bar with almonds you are right - only mine is better!  I found this recipe in a small book called "Christmas Candy" (edited by Glorya Hale) which is now out of print.  There are used copies available on the Barnes and Noble  website.

This is a classic version of toffee - slowly boiled butter, corn syrup, sugar and water until it gets golden brown.  It takes patience but it is worth it

Toffee

2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 light corn syrup
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup water

Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with Pam and wipe off excess spray.  Take a large heavy saucepan and grease the sides with a bit of butter.  In the pan combine all the ingredients.  Cook over moderate heat stirring constantly until all the sugar is melted and the sugar comes to a boil.  Insert candy thermometer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the mixture reaches 300F.   Immediately remove from heat and pour into prepared pan.  Let set.




Pic. 1 (toffee after 10 minutes)                                                                    Pic. 2 (toffee after 20 minutes)                                                                                              











Pic 3.  Toffee ready to pour                                                                        Pc. 4   Toffee cooling in pan


While the toffee is cooling (it takes about 10 minutes to cool and set hard enough to break into bits) get your favorite brownie recipe prepared.   Break up the toffee into bits and stir them into the brownie mixture.  Bake the brownie according to the recipe.

Cool the brownie for at least two hours.  This allows the toffee to reset (it will liquify when it is cooking with the brownie) and become hard.   Put a large piece of toffee on the top and serve alone or with vanilla ice cream, hot cocoa or a cappuccino.




My friend Sam said that this was one of the best brownies that he had ever had - although I needed to add more toffee (noted Sam!) and Alfee said that she and Geoff wouldn't change a thing.

** If you want to make this into Almond Toffee simply add chocolate chips to the toffee after it has set for about 3 minutes in the pan.  The toffee will still be warm and the chocolate will melt.  Spread the chocolate to cover and sprinkle ground almonds (or any other nut) on top of the chocolate.  Put into the fridge for at least two hours to fully cool and set.  You can also mix white chocolate and dark chocolate chips and make a swirl design.  Break the toffee into medium size pieces and put it into a clear bag as a great hostess gift!







2 comments:

  1. You go girl..
    Love brownie stories:)
    They look delicious!!!!
    Could you kindly ship a care package
    xross the border...
    They look amazing!!!!
    Love the toffee shards....

    ReplyDelete
  2. trade you lemons for brownies!!! those look amazing!!!

    ReplyDelete