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La Belle Cuisine - More Chocolate Treats

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Spago's Chocolate-Almond Toffee



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Chocolate-Almond Toffee

Food & Wine Best of the Best 2000 (Vol. 3)
Food & Wine Books, Editor in Chief Judith Hill, 2000,
American Express Publishing Corp.

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Spago Chocolate
by Mary Bergin and Judy Gethers,
1999, Random House

Chosen by Food & Wine as the Best
Cookbook of the Year (published in 1999)
”Carefully written, always accurate recipes for
easy, delectable desserts – and they’re all
chocolate. Who could ask for anything more?”

Makes 1 2-pound block, 10 x 13 inches

“When you crave a sweet, this is perfect. It can be broken
into larger pieces, wrapped, and stored in a cool spot.”

10 ounces whole unblanched almonds
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup water or rum
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter,
cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate,
cut into small pieces

Equipment: 1 or 2 baking trays 11 x 15 inches, offset spatula,
small deep saucepan, candy thermometer, long-handled wooden
spoon, medium heatproof bowl

 1. Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to
375 degrees F.
2. Spread the nuts on a baking tray and bake until toasted, 10 to 15
minutes, turning the nuts after 7 or 8 minutes to ensure even toasting.
Cool and then finely chop. You should have about 2 cups. Set aside.
Clean the baking tray. Coat the baking tray and both sides of an offset
spatula with vegetable spray. Set aside.
3. Make the toffee: Place the sugar in a small deep saucepan. Add
the corn syrup and water [or rum], and over medium heat, bring to a
boil. Let boil until large bubbles form on the surface, 3 to 4 minutes.
Cover with foil or a lid and boil 5 minutes longer.

4. Add the pieces of butter and continue cooking, uncovered, over
medium heat until the temperature reaches 300 degrees F on a
candy thermometer, about 30 minutes. (The candy thermometer
has a clip on the side that can be slid up or down. If desired, you
can fit it on the side of the pan, making sure that the thermometer
rests in the mixture, not on the bottom of the pan, so that the
reading is accurate.) Remove from the heat and immediately add
the salt, baking soda, and 1 cup of the chopped nuts. Stir with a
wooden spoon until well combined.

5. Pour the toffee mixture on the prepared baking tray and, using the
offset spatula, spread the mixture out, making a block about
10 x 13 inches. The toffee will thicken very quickly, so work as
fast as you can. When it’s cool, blot some of the excess vegetable
spray with a clean towel.
6. While the toffee mixture is cooling, in a medium heatproof bowl set
over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate. When almost
melted, turn off the heat and let the chocolate continue to melt,
stirring occasionally. Keep warm.
7. When you can pick up the block of toffee in one piece, transfer it
to a flat work surface or to a clean baking tray. Pour the melted
chocolate over the toffee, spreading to cover the entire block of
toffee. Before the chocolate cools, sprinkle the remaining chopped
nuts over the chocolate. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes to set
the chocolate.
8. Return the block of toffee to the work surface and break it up into
pieces, approximately 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide. Then cut into smaller
pieces, as desired. Use as needed.

To prepare ahead: Through step 8, store the toffee
in a covered container. Keep in a cool spot

Featured Archive Recipes:
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