I have been afraid of candy making forever. Literally, for dang ever. However, I love toffee and caramel, and they’re among the few of my most beloved desserts that I can have unchanged from their original form. So this last weekend, my mom helped me to make a batch of toffee using my great-grandmother’s recipe.
My great-grandfather, you see, was so fond of toffee that she always kept a bowl of it handy so he could crunch whenever he liked. Clearly, my sweet-toothed acorn didn’t fall far from that toffee-crunching tree. 😀
Unfortunately, I got home this week and I don’t have Great-Grandma’s recipe; so I had to try it from memory.
This was a dismal failure. I didn’t have enough sugar in the mix, so well before it could get to hard-crack stage (or even hard-ball stage), it just sort of sludged out and sat in the pot, looking at me dismally and in a greasy apathy. I poured it out anyway, and ended up with some clarified butter sitting on top of a hardening mixture that was not entirely unlike toffee. SIGH.
I gave up and looked at toffee recipes online, and I think this one is almost the same. It’s very close, in any case; and hopefully I’ll remember to get the actual family recipe from Mom and compare notes here. In the meantime: TOFFEE!
It’s the 4-Ingredient Toffee from Betty Crocker, and I didn’t make any changes to it, as I’m still more than a little wary of the inexplicable alchemy that is candy making. (If I know a handy Potter-esque phrase for “Become toffee and then get in my mouth”, I would use it now. “Accio” doesn’t quite fit the bill.)
It actually took me much more like 20 minutes (than the 13 in the recipe) to get the mixture to hard-crack stage, which I think means I can turn up the heat a little. :} Next time, I’ll try to get someone to be here to take photos as I patiently and slowly stir.
(Another recipe, for kicks: http://www.cookingforengineers.com/recipe/159/English-Toffee)