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English Toffee: How to prevent the chocolate from separating

Barb asks: Why is it when I make English Toffee, after cooling in the refrigerator, the chocolate wafers that I melt on top of the caramel and spread smooth…ends up separating off the caramel entirely when I break it into pieces? I waste so much each year. Any helpful tips would be greatly appreciated.

Baking S.O.S. says: I found all of the following suggestions in discussion forums on the Internet. Perhaps one of these solutions can help:

1. Sometimes some of the butter separates out of the toffee and concentrates on the surface. If it does, the chocolate isn’t going to adhere to the toffee. Try blotting up the butter with paper towels – the surface should be matte, rather than shiny. Then you can spread the layer of chocolate on top. Another method is to wait until they are partially set and run over the tops with a docking roller to make perforations for the chocolate to grab onto (you could also use a fork to make holes in the toffee). Blot after docking.

2. Always dust the toffee with cocoa powder before you put the chocolate on it. This helps tremendously for the chocolate to adhere properly.

3. For the chocolate separating issue: dust each partially set tray of toffee with ground nuts of whatever variety you are using. This gives the chocolate something to cling to and soaks up a bit of the oil.

4. I made a batch (of toffee) tonight and tried dusting it with fine nuts before adding the chocolate. I still had problems with it separating. But I think I found a solution. After pouring on the chocolate, I always throw the tray in the fridge so the chocolate can set up. I usually cut it up the next day. Well, as I did this, it started to separate. So I left it on the counter and waited for it to come to room temp and then I tried cutting it. Success! No separation!

This last suggestion–allowing the toffee to cool to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator–is also recommended at www.cookingforengineers.com. Please refer to their helpful step-by-step instruction guide for making English Toffee.

Good luck!

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