Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Espresso-powered toffee from on high (by Kat)

Yeah, I probably don't need to qualify this post by adding my name. Bet doesn't "do" coffee.

I do.
I. Do.
Oh boy do I do!

Smitten Kitchen, one of my favorite bloggers, posted a recipe she developed for coffee toffee.
I've never made toffee before, but I've wanted to try it. Somehow, I just never got around to it until someone, some wonderful some one, combined coffee and toffee. The procrastinating stopped right then.

I pretty much followed her recipe. However, not having instant espresso powder, I used freshly ground "high octane" coffee beans ground in my burr grinder at the finest setting. I also upped the quantity from 1.5 teaspoons to somewhere nearer a heaping tablespoon. I cooked it to the 300 F she suggests. My thermometer may be low, but I think next time I'd go up just a little higher, maybe 310 F?

I roasted hazelnuts form the bulk section of the local grocery store. After they were slightly cool I brushed them with a cloth, then went outside and blew all the papery skins off. Easy peasy, and yet the most time-consuming and complicated part of the recipe.

Seriously, people, from start to in-my-mouth-oh-lordamighty-these-are-good was less than 15 minutes. I think it might have been less than 10 minutes, but I won't swear to that. Is was so fast, however, that I have exactly zero photos of the process. If you don't live where the temperature is in the single digits, you will need to wait a little longer for them to cool. It took these approximately three minutes to go from melted-sugar hot to (literally) freezing cold.

Based on the photographic evidence, you might think I wasn't very careful in spreading the nuts over the melted chocolate. Ummm, would you believe my if I said it was an experiment to see if the little nut pieces tasted better than the big nut pieces? Yeah. Well. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

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