Toffee With Tina

Mmm...toffeeeeeeeee.

Mmm…toffeeeeeeeee.

Let’s start with the finished product, eh? That’s some fine looking chocolate covered toffee!

The other day I had Tina over for dinner. Sure, we needed to catch up. And I needed to hand over her highly ridiculous Christmas present, a book called The Feminist Ryan Gosling. (Tina has a teeny little Ryan Gosling obsession. But, don’t worry, Chris. You’re still her favorite!)

But, let’s face it. I had a bit of a secret plan to having Tina over to my place. I knew she had successfully made the Buttered Toffee recipe on The Pioneer Woman’s blog. And I wanted some of that for myself!

Stirring and stirring and stirring some more!

Stirring and stirring and stirring some more!

Tina was happy to help. Toffee is pretty simple, just butter, sugar, and a tiny bit of water, salt, and vanilla. It also requires a Herculean amont of stirring. Seriously, it’s all stir crazy! Tina deserves an award for all that stirring.

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We left the toffee to set overnight. Sadly, the next day…it wasn’t quite toffee.  Something had gone wrong.  I only had enough butter left for half a batch, but I decided to go ahead and use two silpats anyway.  Eureka!  I was super happy with my super thin toffee!

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Next up: chocolate. Really good chocolate. None of that crap that comes in a bag with the word “Hershey’s” on it. (And, no, “Toll House” isn’t any better.) I prefer super-dark chocolate. Especially when paired with something as sweet as toffee, milk chocolate just doesn’t do the job.

A lot of people melt chocolate in the microwave. I don’t. For one, my microwave shorts out if I try to melt chocolate, soften butter, boil water, or make popcorn. Really. I need a new microwave.

But, beyond that, the microwave creates really, really hot spots and really, really cold spots. You just don’t want your chocolate dealing with those extremes.

I don’t have a double boiler, and I don’t see the point in faking one. Again, it’s a whole lot of hassle when the results you want can be achieved with one super simple trick. Intrigued? Wanna know the secret?

Let me introduce you to "Almost Low."

Let me introduce you to “Almost Low.”

Really, it’s that simple. Put your chocolate in a saucepan. Turn your stove on super low. Sure, you need to stir every minute or two, but it’s way less drama than stirring constantly over a double boiler. Go ahead and remove it from the heat when there are still a few unmelted bits. Those will melt right in with just a little more stirring.

As I learned when I took a class with Caitlin Barry of City Chicks, chocolate should never get too hot to touch. On my stove, that’s one tick above “Lo,” but on yours might be need to be set even lower.  I’m dealing with a crappy apartment stove, so it always seems to need to be a tick higher than the recipe suggests.

What could be better than butter toffee?  Butter toffee and chocolate!

What could be better than butter toffee? Butter toffee and chocolate!

Once the chocolate was melted, I just poured it on top of the toffee, pushed it around a bit, and then added my secret ingredient.

What's the secret, you ask?

What’s the secret, you ask?

Salt! Yay!

Salt! Yay!

It's a brown sea of deliciousness...

It’s a brown sea of deliciousness…

Tina and Chris prefer salt and pecans, and those might be nice, too. But, I like to keep things simple, especially when it comes to chocolate.

Want your own amazing toffee?  I can’t promise Tina will come over to your house (unless you happen to be Ryan Gosling!) but I can give you that link to the recipe again!

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