English Toffee

by Keith Scholey
(Galesburg, Il)

When I make English toffee, just before it reaches pour out temperature, the butter separates out of candy. What you have left is a rock. To break it up, it takes a hammer.

Why does this happen and what can I do to keep it from happening so I can make a good batch of toffee?

Hi Keith,

Yes, English Toffee can be a bit tricky. The butter does have a tendency to want to separate, so you need to really keep an eye on it.

There are a few tips to help avoid separation of the butter or fat:

  • Use salted butter or add 1/4 tsp. salt per half cup of butter. Salt is a stabilizer.

  • Heat mixture slowly. Yes, it takes longer to reach the desired temperature, but turning up the temperature can encourage separation.

  • Stir slowly and steadily as it reaches the desired temperature. Stirring too rapidly can cause the butter to separate.

If you do your best to follow those tips, and your mixture still separates, try this...

  1. Lower the heat and continue stirring. You may get lucky and the toffee mixture may blend back together all by itself.

  2. Add 1 Tablespoon of hot water to the toffee mixture and stir through. (Watch out for splattering when adding the water). You can carefully add up to 4 Tablespoons of water if needed to help bring the mixture back together. Continue gently stirring until it reaches the correct temperature.

I hope these tips and tricks will help your English Toffee turn out just right for you.

Of course, please keep in mind that toffee IS a hard candy. So, it does sometimes seem like you need a hammer at times to break it up properly. :) That's toffee!


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