Sunday, January 21, 2007
In honor of the January "Sugar High Friday" food blogging event, I decided to make some decadent and delicious chocolate candy. The theme this month is "Chocolate by Brand."
I thought it might be fun to mix up a batch of chocolate covered almond toffee. It's not a very difficult recipe and it's oh, so delicious. Once the recipe was decided, I needed to figure out which brand of chocolate I would use, and why. Ultimately, I wanted this to be decadent and rich, with high quality chocolate. Here's what I decided:
Valrhona Noir Orange: A dark chocolate with essence of orange. Doesn't that sound like it would go very well with almonds and toffee? Yeah, I thought so, too.
Shokinag milk chocolate: In honor of my hunni, who prefers milk chocolate to dark, I wanted to make half the candy with milk chocolate. While browsing the chocolate section at Whole Foods, this brand looked luxurious. I've never used it before, however, so it was a gamble. A gamble that paid off, mind you: It turned out very creamy, extremely melty, smooth and delicious.
While cooking up the sugar, the thought of adding a bit of Sel Gris de Marin to the dark chocolate came to mind. You know what? YUM!
Here's the recipe!
1 c sugar
1/4 c water
1 TB light corn syrup
1/2 lb butter
1/2 lb almonds (not roasted)
1/2 lb chocolate (your choice)
Fleur de sel to taste (optional)
Melt butter with sugar, syrup and water in a pan (such as a large non-stick frying pan or stir-fry pan) on medium to medium-high flame. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon. When butter is melted, add the almonds.
When mixture comes to a rolling boil, set your timer for a minimum of 10 minutes and keep stirring (no more than 15 minutes). The mixture will thicken and turn darker in color. The almonds will roast. Keep stirring and cooking until the mixture turns an amber color. If you don't cook it long enough it will not harden, so keep stirring and look for the amber (caramel) color.
When it looks like caramel and you smell the roasting almonds, pour the mixture out onto a large cookie sheet and spread it as thinly as possible. While it is still hot, distribute the chocolate over the nut mixture and let it melt. Spread it evenly on the top. Sprinkle on a small amount of fleur de sel if you like.
Let it cool. When cold, lift the whole thing off the pan and break into small pieces.
at 7:52 PM