The Toffee Trilogy – Part One – The Toffee

Toffee, Pastry Maestra


hat is toffee? Is it a buttercrunch, or butterscotch? Is the butterscotch the same thing as the buttercrunch? Is there a difference? If those questions sound familiar to you, don’t worry, because many, many people – my students included – ask the same! Have no fear because the time has come to resolve this dilemma once and for all!

What is Toffee

I know that for many people all these words are practically synonyms, but that is not correct! Toffee is a type of candy made of white sugar and butter, and cooked to a precisely defined temperature. Period! Now, if you replace white sugar with brown sugar, you’ll be making butterscotch – you see the difference? Or, if you make regular toffee, using white sugar and butter, but then top it with melted chocolate and nuts, you’ll get buttercrunch! It may seem complicated, but it isn’t really!

Toffee, Pastry Maestra

Most people agree that toffee is cooked to soft crack stage, which is at temperature of 135°C – 140°C (275°F – 284°F), or hard crack stage which occurs at temperature of 145°C – 155°C (293°F – 311°F). More precisely, this candy is usually cooked at temperatures from 140°C – 150°C (284°F – 302°F). More about stages of sugar cooking and all the important temperatures you can learn in my post about cooking sugar syrup.
Now, let me give you a couple of tips before we start; it is important that you have all your ingredients measured and all your tools ready. When making candy, the timing is very important! You will need a good candy thermometer for this recipe, and if you don’t have one, I recommend you buy a digital one with a probe. Also, be very careful while handling hot toffee. Just to be on the safe side, fill a big bowl with ice cold water so if you accidentally touch hot toffee, you can dip your hand into the water immediately, and you won’t get burned!

Toffee Fun Facts

  • Some say that toffee was named after tafia, a type of cheap West Indian rum, while other claim that the name was derived from the word tuffy, because it was particularly tuff to chew!
  • January 8th is the National English Toffee Day – in the USA!
  • The largest piece of toffee weighed 1.13 kg (2.94 lb) and was created by Susie’s South Forty Confections, Inc of Midland, Texas, USA on September 17th 2002.

Toffee, Pastry Maestra

How to Make Toffee

  • Have all your ingredients measured and equipment ready. When making candy, the timing is very important!
  • Cook melted butter, sugar, water and salt in a saucepan.
  • When the mixture boils, add glucose syrup or corn syrup.
  • Continue cooking the mixture until the it reaches 145°C (293°F).
  • Remove the pan from the stove and add vanilla or other flavorings.
  • Pour the mixture onto a silicone mat or parchment paper. Spread it quickly with offset spatula.
  • Leave it to cool down completely.
  • When your toffee cools completely, break it into desired sized pieces and store in well sealed container.
Toffee, Pastry Maestra

Hazelnut Toffee Recipe

by:Tereza Alabanda,The Pastry Maestra


Prep. time : 10 minutes

Cook time : 15 minutes

Ready in 25 minutes

Level : Basic


  • Butter 180g (6.3oz)
  • Sugar 200g (7oz)
  • Glucose Syrup 15g (1Tbsp)
  • Water 30g (3Tbsp)
  • Salt 1g (a pinch)
  • Roasted hazelnuts 150g (5.3oz)


  1. Prepare one large saucepan, a baking tray lined with parchment paper or silicone mat, a candy thermometer and an offset spatula.
  2. Toast your hazelnuts and set them aside.
  3. Put melted butter, sugar, salt, and water into a saucepan, and stir to combine.
  4. Cook until the mixture boils, and add glucose syrup.
  5. Attach the candy thermometer and continue cooking until the mixture reaches 145°C (293°F).
  6. Stir in the hazelnuts, pour the mixture immediately onto a paper lined baking tray, and quickly spread with offset spatula. Leave it to cool down.
  7. When toffee cools completely, cut it into desired sized pieces and store in well sealed container.

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