How To Make English Toffee

by Eddy Van Damme on November 9, 2009

English Toffee

English Toffee

Would you not agree that a lot of delicious foods are either expensive or difficult to make? Without a doubt English toffee is an exception to this rule. Neither time consuming or costly yet at the same time toffee is very luxurious. More often than not, when we visit friends I will bring a lavishly wrapped box of sumptuous toffee or truffles. These types of gifts are very much appreciated and people are always touched by something homemade.

English Toffee

In fact, this year for Christmas, I have decided not to partake in the search of the under $ 10 or $ 25 dollar gift for the workplace. Rather than frantically driving around town looking for a gift, I am hitting my kitchen where things are calm and peaceful. An edible gift, such as English toffee, sandwiched between Belgian chocolate and beautifully wrapped is something everyone is grateful for. Besides, who can’t use something extra to nibble on when company comes to visit anyway?

How to cook toffee

History shows that toffee has been around for hundreds of years and many countries have some sort of version of this true classic. Throughout my career I must have made over hundreds of different types of Toffee, yet my favorite one is still an original. A corn syrup free toffee recipe, made with only pure butter, natural sugar, vanilla, a touch of salt or fleur de sel and excellent chocolate.

how to cook english toffee

Getting it all together!

You can easily make this professional recipe for English toffee recipe weeks in advance. Well wrapped it will not become sticky or lose its delicious aroma. Good quality toffee deserves good quality chocolate and standard chocolate chips simply do not belong on perfect toffee. Instead, coat the toffee with tempered couverture chocolate  like a true professional.  Toffee is delicious covered with milk chocolate or dark chocolate, the choice is up to you. Check out tempering chocolate.  Fit the toffee in elegant boxes or jars, wrap with a ribbon and your all set!

tempered chocolate on toffee

If you have a silicone baking mat or Silpat, use it to drop the cooked toffee on, it is the best option.  If not you can use a buttered marble slab or a cookie sheet wrapped in foil and buttered. Use the best heavy bottomed saucepan you have. Poor quality pans may burn the toffee. The best utensil to stir this size batch of toffee is a heat resistant spatula since it covers the most surface when moved around the pan. If you do not have one of these you can use a wooden spoon. Wood covers less bottom surface but it works. Certainly do not use a metal spoon as metal conducts heat away from the toffee.

Most types of nuts can be used. Remember some nuts such as almonds and hazelnuts are most delicious when toasted.

tempered chocolate

English Toffee recipe without corn syrup

Yield: 2lb 8 oz (1200 g)

3 sticks (12 oz) Unsalted butter 360 g
1 ½ Cups (12 oz) Extra fine granulated Sugar 360 g
½ teaspoon ( ½ tsp) Salt or fleur de sel 2.5 gram
2 teaspoon (2 tsp) Vanilla extract 10 ml
16 oz (1 lb) Couverture chocolate 450 g
1 ½ Cup (6 oz) Nuts, toasted if desired 180 g
  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan stir the butter, sugar and salt to a boil using a heat resistant or a wooden spoon. Turn the heat to medium, if working on gas make certain that the gas flames do not come up to the sides of the pan. Add the vanilla extract.
  2. Stir the toffee constantly but not vigorously to approximately 292°F (144°C) . If the toffee separates it has not been stirred fast enough. To remedy separated toffee, mix it very fast until it combines.
  3. Remove from heat and immediately pour on the unbuttered silicone baking mat or a buttered surface. Spread with a spatula to an even thickness of about 3-4 credit cards. Let cool.
  4. Temper chocolate of choice and spread on one side of the toffee. Let the chocolate set. (Keep the remaining tempered chocolate at the correct temperature by placing it in a bowl filled with water of 95°F (34°C).
  5. Once the chocolate is set turn over the toffee and cover with the remaining tempered chocolate and sprinkle with nuts.
  6. Keep airtight.


41 comments on “How To Make English Toffee

  1. Shaliethia Harrison on said:

    This looks good Chef, and it tasted delicious.

  2. This looks so good and so easy to make. And I’m so glad to find it doesn’t use corn syrup because I have been hard pressed to find that here. I am so making this soon!

  3. The toffee looks delicious, the pictures are great too! I like the idea of putting pistachios on top, nice color and texture.

  4. Oh Wow! This was the best ever!

  5. Thierry on said:

    This toffee is great and I love that it is not getting sticky. We live in a humid climate and other recipes turn sticky very fast.

  6. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Thanks Thierry.

  7. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Thank you very much!

  8. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Thank you for your nice comments.

  9. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    I’m glad you find my site as well!

  10. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Thank you for your sweet comment. All the best.

  11. Hilary Adams on said:

    I missed my chance to do this in class today, but I did watch what was going on with the groups that did make it. I liked seeing some of the variations going on from table to table. Your recipe is SO good… it’s “melt in your mouth” good! I can’t wait to give this a try at home, Chef Eddy! And you’re right – it’s perfect as a little something to take with to holiday parties. I’m aiming for making this in my kitchen this weekend… I’ll let you know how it goes! ;0)

  12. Anna Moreno on said:

    Hi Chef Eddy, this looks amazing, and I’ll take your suggestions about using them as holiday’s presents… as always I just wanted to play around with the recipe and have a few questions. I do agree that the best recipe is the original one, but is it possible to incorporate nuts (like toasted almonds or hazelnuts) into the toffee?, if it’s possible, when is the best time to do so. Also, it is possible to add some flavoring, like orange oil, maybe cinnamon?.
    Thanks a lot… you got wonderful recipes and pictures.
    Regards, Anna

  13. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Yes you can add nuts and flavoring to the cooked toffee. A general good time is when the toffee mixture has reached its required temperature. Stir briefly into the mixture and immediately pour on a silpat. It is best to have the nuts heated (Some toasted) and still hot to prevent the toffee from cooling too rapidly when being added.
    All the best Anna!

  14. Hi Chef…

    I wondered, how long does the butter and sugar mixture have to cook before it reaches 292 degrees? I don’t have a candy thermometer and wonder if I can make this without it.

    Beautiful descriptions and pictures. I’m definitely going to make this!


  15. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Hi Linda,

    It only takes about 6 -8 minutes to cook to 292 F, but I would recommend getting a thermometer for best results. It does not have to be specific candy thermometer at all. You can get one which work for meats and all types of things for under ten dollar.
    Thank you for your question Linda,

  16. Diana Wallace on said:

    Soexcited to make this for the holiday’s! Everyone is going to love it!

  17. Hilary Adams on said:

    I made the toffee last night and it worked out PERFECTLY! I made it for my dad because he loves toffee and it seemed appropriate as a gift for him since today is his birthday. Chef Eddy, your pictures were an asset because I was able to see that I was on the right track as I went along.

    My silicone baking mats are not as large as those used at school, so I simply split the batch between two sheets. Slightly challenging since I needed to spread quickly, but I still had plenty of time to do so. I used sliced almonds that were toasted for the top of one batch and left the other nut-free. This way he has two kinds to choose from and there’s a contrast between types in the container.

    Thanks for sharing this easy recipe! I know I will be making it again very soon!

  18. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    I am trilled for you that the toffee turned out perfect! Cheers!

  19. What can I say but thank you, thank you so much. I loved it.

  20. May I ask how you cut the pieces so cleanly? Do you just break it? Also, I sometimes have trouble withthe chocolate hardening quickly and then the nuts don’t stick to it. Do you have any tips? Thank you!

  21. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Hi Ilana,
    The English Toffee is simply broken in pieces, no knife is used.
    Thank you for visiting.

  22. I wanna eat these english toffee with green pistachio nuts… It is good idea that you gave it some flavor instead of a english toffee without no flavor. Fantastic job chef eddy…

  23. Thank you so much Eddie, the taste is just perfect!
    One question, on my first try I burned the toffee a bit but it was nice and crunchy. I’m using an old electric burner. The second time I did not burn it and it tasted perfect. The only difference is that at the end when eating it’s a bit chewy. Could it be that it needed more heat? I used the thermometer I have, but I had to guess more or less the temperature since it only goes to 220°F with a gap between the 220 and 0 in order to add the rest of the heat needed. Thanks again for the recipe!

  24. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Great to hear that you like the toffee. On your question….indeed if the toffee was slightly chewy it was a bit undercooked. Place a reliable thermometer on your list of must haves!
    All the best!

  25. Shannon on said:

    This toffee sounded amazing! I just made it, but have a quick question, How long does it take for the toffee to harden, rightnow is has been cooling for about 45 monutes, and 20 of those were in a freezer. Is is still pliable and feels as though it would have a softer toffee feel. I want it to be CRUNCHY …. did I do something wrong, or do I need to cool it a lot longer? I want it to turn out yummy, and it does taste yummy (what was left over in the pan) but I just wish I knew if I did something wrong.


    Totally novice toffee maker 🙂

  26. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Dear Shannon,
    If the toffee is not hardening properly it is more than likely not cooked to the right temperature. After cooking, it should only take minutes for it to become crisp. Make sure your thermometer works correctly.
    All the best,

  27. Thank you so much for all of these wonderful recipes. May you please advise me a reliable thermometer to buy? Which brand should I buy? Thanks.

  28. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Your welcome. If you want to buy an all purpose thermometer, then I would certainly recommend a digital one. For toffee and other caramel and or candy types, a thermometer made with mercury. A mercury thermometer will be reading the temperature in a stable manner. A digital one is a bit more tricky as the temperature jumps up and down in very hot (Candy – caramel mixtures), however, a digital thermometer is perfect for most other applications.
    All the best!

  29. Chef Eddy, I owe you a big THANK YOU for this recipe, I’ve been looking for english toffee since I moved back to Jordan and totally forgot about my great Chef website, Now I know where to go first when I need any special recipe, Thank you so much !!!!!

  30. i’m going to give this recipe a try sometime. thank you so much for posting a corn syrup-free recipe. i try to stay away from HFCS and often wonder how people used to make caramels before the invention of HFCS. a much better caramel, i’m sure.

  31. victoria bishop on said:

    this recipe sounds delicious. i’ve always thought that toffee would be hard to make. It’s very interesting to find out that it isn’t. I was wonder what are some good types of toffees to make for around Christmas time?

  32. Wanda D Powell on said:

    I love toffee thanks for the recipe. Never knew it was this easy! Toffee and almonds!!!!!

  33. Daniela on said:

    Hi there,
    sometimes when I make toffee and cover it with tempered chocolate, the chocolate doesnt stick to the toffee, it chippes right off….? Any ideas what i’m doing wrong?

  34. Daniela on said:

    Hi Chef Eddy,
    it’s me again….I know its the holidays, and I’m sure you are very busy! I really need your help. Why does my tempered chocolate not stick to the toffee? (my toffee is very shiny and smooth) i’m also cooking in high altittude (6500 ft) don’t know if that has anything to do with it?? I”m going crazy…have to make a lot of toffee! Please any suggestions…anybody??? Thanks!!

  35. Raina Cardona on said:

    Im sorry if this is a silly question but what is fleur de sel? And why does it substitute salt?

  36. Renae Holman Murti on said:

    Yesterday, I was bemoaning the fact that a favorite restaurant of mine is no longer selling artisan toffee made by a Texas native. Perhaps, this will solve my problem. I’ve been looking for a holiday gift for our neighbors. This sounds decadent and luxurious.

  37. I would love to know what chocolate you use, I am making this over the weekend and also
    what salt, if that matters.
    Thank you for sharing this with us, I’ll let you know how it turn out.
    A Los Angeles Housewife,
    Beth Luteraan

  38. Renae Holman Murti on said:

    What is the meaning of couverture chocolate? The one time I made toffee it was a bit grainy and I wondered if it was the quality of the chocolate.

  39. Heather Powell on said:

    Looking for a reciepe for sugar free toffee. Amy ides?

  40. Thank you for this delicious toffee idea as a gift. Toffee is one of the few sweet things I enjoy. I like the idea of the nuts in the toffee with sprinkles of sea salt on top…or maybe crushed sandwich cookies. The possibilities seem endless!

  41. Eileen Mier on said:

    Toffee is one of my favorite treats, and I am thrilled that this recipe requires no corn syrup. I can’t wait to try this recipe over Christmas break.

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