Wednesday, December 25, 2013

caramel vs toffee

Toffee is sugar and butter cooked to 300, caramel is sugar and butter and cream, and cooked to 248, hardens at 270.  

Heath bar VS Enstrom's 

   readily available
   neatly packaged in individual servings
   tastes like crap
   I meant to say just now not so great chocolate

   reliably made with real ingredients
   makes great gift
   shows you know good candy and appreciate craftsmanship involved
   contains serious chocolate and healthy nuts
   always carefully handled
   top quality all around
   gift and holiday packaging available
   online store
  well, it's all butter and sugar, innit. 

It occurred to me, those Heath bars are toffee, a hard caramel, more hard than pralines, draped with chocolate. And we did all that before.

The thing that made the Heath bar I ate taste so bad is the chocolate coating. It is such a bad chocolate it nearly made me barf. I bought two because they are in the Ben & Jerry's ice cream and the chunks of Heath bar are excellent that way, but not as a candy bar unfrozen outside of ice cream encasement. And it is so bad I do not want the second Heath bar. The chocolate coating is oily. 

We know about chocolate, I buy it in large boxes of couverture, and that is not good chocolate. Anything would be better. I think they do that so it coats easily.They spray it on or drip it on by a chocolate enrobing machine. Hard toffee rectangles travel along a chain belt and pass under  a chocolate waterfall, a chocolatefall that recycles. The bottoms already coated. The Heath bar enrobing machine apparently goes very fast. It is chocolate for children who do not know any better Same as Kinder Surprise chocolate, great when you're little, not so much when you're grown. 

Homemade would be better than that. 

Enstrom's out of Grand Junction makes this spectacularly. Their toffee is thicker and holds toasted almonds, their chocolate coating is much better quality and not oiled down, and then an additional coating of powdery toasted nuts. 

It is excellent.

I gave a box to Ed Merrill to give to his dad because he mentioned toffee is his dad's favorite candy.

Months later I saw Ed and I asked, "How did that go?"  

Ed said, "Oh, Chip." He paused dramatically and looked at me sternly. "Now I have to admit I stole your present." He broke eye contact and hung his head, also dramatically, then looked back up. "Our whole family gathered in Bermuda to settle some more of Mom's things and as usual Sis started a dispute at home at the table. It was Valentine's Day besides, and Dad became despondent really down right then because his kids were being so ugly again and arguing over things. Sis wanted the Bermuda place for herself and said so right there. Dad stopped eating, flounced off to sit behind his desk in the dark by himself. I waited then followed and went in and handed him your box of toffee. He became emotional and told me nobody ever gave him a Valentine's gift before. Nobody. That was a first. I felt ashamed. I did not have the heart to tell him it wasn't' intended for Valentine's and it wasn't from me. Sorry. Ha ha ha ha ha."


Shouting Thomas said...

Merry Christmas, Chip!

I gave my girlfriend a box of Krause's dark chocolate.


I ended up opening the box and taking the first bite.

virgil xenophon said...

Grand Junction is a nice little town (circa 1967, heh--it's been awhile) The country club dining room has a nice panoramic view of the golf course laid out in the valley floor tailing away below. They used to have a tennis tournament there in the days of serious amateur tennis (which is why I was there)

Flying in from Denver on an old twin engine Martin 303 turboprop the thermals were really fierce and the aircraft was being thrown violently up and down (actually some of the roughest I've ever experienced either as a pilot or pax) Fortunately the plane wasn't packed and there was a seat between the teen-age boy sitting on the aisle and me by the window because he couldn't get to the barf-bag soon enough and threw-up in his hands with the stuff seeping thru his fingers, LOL Was the stewardii EVER pissed--should have seen the look on her face..

(Apologies for commenting on the food column before breakfast, but the Grand Junction bit too good to pass up)

Unknown said...

Enstroms and Sees = 5-10 pounds of weight gain for us mortals. I suppose you can enjoy without consequence, Chip. *grrrr* :)

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

This just came via the Duck Dynasty dudes:

The 4 stages of life:

1. You believe in Santa Claus
2. You don't believe in Santa Claus
3. You are Santa Claus
4. You look like Santa Claus

Rabel said...

April, I resemble that remark.

Merry Christmas to all.

Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

Merry Christmas to you all. Thanks for reminding us Chip that candy making and most baking has a lot of chemistry to it.

Lem said...

Merry Christmas Rabel.

Trooper York said...

Merry Christmas to all.

I love how we have so many great cooks at this site and how you are generous enough to share your recipes.

deborah said...

Mmmm, toffee is one of my faves.

Troop, what's your Christmas dessert specialty?

Trooper York said...

Joey Heatherton Jell-O shots!

They are all jiggly!

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
deborah said...

What flavor jello is that...and what liquor?

The Dude said...

Liquor? He's not that kind of guy.

deborah said...

My bad, I've been misinformed.

ricpic said...

I don't like candy. But that's probably because I've never had anything the quality of Enstrom's. Went to their site and a pound of the toffee is a little over $20, which doesn't seem unreasonable considering how long something that rich will probably last. Gonna give it a try.

Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

Merry Christmas Troop.