Monday, December 5, 2011

Book Sixty-Three: Four Star Desserts

by Emily Luchetti

                              Coffee Toffee

I have a collection of Ms. Luchetti's books and I came by this one from placing an ad in my local paper under "Lost and Found". I had done an internet search and it was no longer available other than through private parties for over the published price. So I wrote in asking for this book and what I was willing to pay. I got lucky - and the rest is history! You will be far more lucky than I should you wish to obtain this book for it is selling far below the publishers price today.

I have had a recipe for coffee toffee bookmarked for quite some time and finally got around to making it.

This I'm sure is really good, for at first bite you get that hint of coffee and chocolate, the smoothness of the toffee on your tongue and the crunch from the nuts; then the burnt flavor... This was due to a malfunction of my candy thermometer and my inability to go with my instinct once again.

The recipe calls for a marbled effect of white and dark chocolate for the topping. Originally I was going to do half marble and half nuts. I inadvertently bought the wrong brand of white chocolate; I prefer Lindt white chocolate for it melts smoother. The Ghirardelli did not become fluid enough to marble so I had to use nuts for the whole thing.

I will make this again for it is far too easy (just one of the reasons I love Ms. Luchetti's recipes) and would make a great thank you or holiday gift.

Success meter (1-3): 3

I was out of molasses so
I substituted Lyle's Golden Syrup

The sugar mixture need to reach 300° which seemed to be taking forever
 and when I started to smell a slight burnt scent  (I should have pulled it off
right then!) I put in the glass thermometer which you can
see (maybe) that it reads 340°

Too stiff to marble.

Coffee Toffee
Makes a 9 by 13-inch pan

½ lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup plus 2 Tbl dark brown sugar
¼ cup plus 2 Tbl water
1 Tbl molasses
2 tsp instant powdered coffee or espresso
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped

9 x 13-inch pan, buttered

In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan stir together all of the ingredients except for the bittersweet and white chocolates. Using a candy thermometer, cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until it reaches 275°. Continue to cook to 315°, stirring constantly.

Quickly remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and set aside until hard, about 20 minutes.

Melt the chocolates separately in double boilers over hot water, making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the pans holding the chocolates. Whisk both chocolates until smooth. Spread the bittersweet chocolate evenly over the toffee. Drizzle the white chocolate over the dark chocolate. Marble the two chocolates together with a toothpick or fork. Let the chocolate harden, about 4 hours.

Cut the toffee into pieces with a sharp knife and remove from the pan with a narrow metal spatula.

This toffee will keep for several days. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Four-Star Desserts/Emily Luchetti

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