Baked Sunday Mornings: Pecan and Almond Chocolate Toffee

This week I went rogue. I didn't have time to make the Lemon Drop Cake that is on the Baked Sunday Mornings schedule -- and I already made the cake back in 2011 and blogged about it here (I thought it was great). Recently another one of the Baked Sunday Mornings bakers went rogue and made the Pecan and Almond Toffee from Baked: New Frontiers. When I was looking for a quick recipe, the toffee was still fresh in my mind so I decided to give it a try.

This candy has pecans inside the toffee itself, which is then coated with a mix of milk and dark chocolates and covered with ground almonds. To make the toffee, you cook butter, sugar, and water to 300 degrees F; stir in chopped, toasted pecans; and pour the mixture into a 9-inch by 13-inch pan (I lined my pan with parchment instead of buttering it). You sprinkle the chocolate on top of the hot toffee (I used a mix of Cacao Barry 38% Lactée Supérieure 38% and Cacao Barry Extra Bitter Guayaquil 64%); wait a few minutes for the chocolate to soften; spread the melted chocolate into a smooth layer over the toffee; and sprinkle on finely ground almonds (I used almond flour). The recipe instructs you to place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes but I didn't have any freezer room, so I just set it in the fridge for a while. 
After the toffee was chilled and the chocolate was set, I took it out of the pan and cut the toffee with a sharp knife. While I was able to make a lot of clean cuts, the toffee was slightly brittle and sometimes pieces would break off on their own. In the photo above you can see that the toffee pieces have a mix of straight sides and rough irregular edges.

I didn't mind the inconsistency -- I think toffee should have rustic shapes, much like peanut brittle. And this toffee was delicious. I loved the texture -- the toffee had a snap but was not too hard, so it was easy to eat and didn't stick to your teeth. The chocolate flavor was pretty strong and I think it competed a bit with the nuts -- and for that matter, it was difficult to make out the distinct flavors of the two different nuts. Regardless, the toffee was terrific and I would gladly make it again. 

Recipe: "Pecan and Almond Chocolate Toffee" from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.

Previous Post: "Sunshine on a Plate: Lemon Drop Cake," June 8, 2011.