Continuing with the Autumn recipes, this week is all about treacle toffee. With bonfire night coming up tomorrow, I wanted to tackle treacle toffee as a treat for friends and family. I’d never made it before, and thought it was the perfect thing to bust out my never-before-used sugar thermometer. Treacle toffee might sound very daunting, but I found this great recipe over on The Pink Whisk. Ruth’s instructions were so clear and easy to follow that I actually found it enjoyable, not stressful!
And this treacle toffee is the real deal. Dark, powerful and really chewy. It’s up to you how hard or chewy you make your treacle, it all depends on the temperature you boil it to. Ruth recommends 120°C for a soft set, and 130°C for a firm set, i.e. you need to smash it up with a hammer. I was aiming for somewhere it between, but mine ended up more towards the hard, smashy kind. Still delicious, but you need some muscles to break it up once it’s stuck together.
It did the trick, though, and was the perfect pairing for our bonfire trip with friends last night. We wrapped up warm, oohed and aahed at fireworks, went on silly fairground rides, and made ourselves feel just a little bit sick with too much treacle toffee. Well worth busting out the sugar thermometer, I think. Plus, we bagged ourselves what is probably my new favourite tin. Winners all round.
recipe courtesy of The Pink Whisk blog
450g dark brown sugar
– Line a 20cm/8in square tray with baking parchment. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and melt over a gentle heat until everything is melted together, stirring occasionally.
– If you have a sugar thermometer now is the time to put it in the mixture. Stop stirring, turn up the heat and bring the mixture to the boil. Remember, soft set is 120°C and firm set is 130°C. If you don’t have a sugar thermometer, the mixture should reach 120°C in four minutes and 130°C in five.
– Take the mixture off the heat and pour it into your baking tray, being very careful not to burn yourself! Let the mixture set. After about one hour test the toffee by poking it carefully with a finger, if the imprint remains indented your toffee is done! It may take a little longer and a couple more hours for the softer toffee to set.
– When you’re ready, lift the paper out of the tin. Grease the blade of a long knife with sunflower or vegetable oil and mark the slab into strips, pressing right down to the paper at the base. You’ll need to grease the blade after each strip. Then mark the slab into strips widthways.
– Now you can start to break off the square pieces of toffee – although, like me, you may be best using a combination of your knife and scissors to snip the pieces off. It may take a bit of time and muscle to separate the pieces away, as they will be sticky and still setting.
– Store the treacle pieces in a tin, separated by greaseproof paper. Beware, they will stick together if left touching! Something I didn’t know about treacle toffee is that it can be rescued if all goes wrong. If your toffee is too hard to mark out and cut into pieces, you can either smash it up into irregular pieces or put the whole lot back into a pan, melt it on a gentle heat until its all liquid again and pour it back into the lined tin to let it set again. If the toffee is too soft and will not set, heat it up again in the pan, boil it for two minutes and you’re good to go again.