This chocolate and hazelnut toffee is one of my favorite treats to gift during the holidays. Crack the toffee into shards and package it in small paper boxes. As with most candy making, be sure to use a calibrated candy thermometer to cook the sugar to the right temperature—not too soft and not too hard.
MAKES ONE 9-BY-13-INCH SHEET
3/4 cup (100 g) raw hazelnuts
1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter or dairy-free butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
1/2 cup (100 g) light brown sugar
1/4 cup (55 g) water, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces (115 g) 70 percent chocolate, very finely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. On a second, unlined baking sheet, spread the hazelnuts and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until fragrant and golden brown. When they are cool enough to handle, transfer them to a large kitchen towel and rub together to loosen their skins. Once they are mostly peeled (it’s OK if they still have some skin), transfer them to a food processor and pulse several times to roughly chop. I like to have some small and medium pieces mixed throughout. Set aside.
3. In a medium saucepan, stir together the butter, both sugars, water, and salt. Cook over medium-high heat, undisturbed, until a candy thermometer reads 300 degrees F, about 15 minutes. The mixture will be dark brown and begin to smell like it might burn. Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla carefully—it will splatter. Stir in the baking soda until it is distributed throughout, but don’t overmix. You want to preserve the bit of gas that the baking soda produces.
4. Pour the toffee onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle the top with the chopped chocolate. The heat of the toffee will melt it. Spread it evenly with the spatula. Distribute the chopped hazelnuts evenly across the top and lightly press down so they stick to the chocolate.
5. Let the toffee cool completely at room temperature for at least 4 to 5 hours. I like to find a cold corner of my house and tuck it away. You can speed up the process by chilling in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes. Break the toffee into bite-size pieces. Store it in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
©2021 by Aran Goyoaga. Excerpted from Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple by permission of Sasquatch Books.
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