What is toffee?

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Toffee is a candy made by caramelizing sugar or molasses along with butter.  Flour is occasionally used in the process as well.   The mixture is heated to approximately 300-310 degree Fahrenheit where it reaches the “hard crack” state.  During the preparation of making homemade toffee, nuts or raisins are from time to time added.   Once the toffee is heated to the proper temperature it is poured into molds and allowed to cool.

Toffee is a hard confection with a chewy texture as it is allowed to warm up.  The addition of ingredients, such as nuts and dried fruits, will change the mouth feel of the finished product.  Other variations on the product include cooling it with a layer of melted chocolate for additional flavor.

Toffee is a popular candy in many different regions of the world.  It is common in areas with large British populations.   One popular variant is known as “English Toffee” which is a very buttery toffee with almonds.   Though its name suggests an origin of the United Kingdom it is very different from what you would normally find in the United Kingdom.  There are also many variations to toffee that can make it resemble other well known candies such as caramel, butterscotch, and other confections made in a similar style.

Though toffee is similar to caramel and butterscotch there are distinct differences. Caramel also contains milk, cream or condensed milk and is cooked at a lower temperature allowing it to retain some of the moisture creating a softer texture. Butterscotch is made with brown sugar making it different from both caramel and toffee. It is also heated to the “soft crack” stage, where as toffee is heated to the “hard crack” point.