With Christmas fast approaching, it’s a good time to sort out some delicious, easy and economical sweet treats to make as gifts. You can use any nut you fancy in this toffee but I have a soft spot for salted, roast peanuts.
1 cup (150 grams) salted, roast peanuts, finely chopped but still with some texture
1 cup caster sugar
¼ cup water
50 grams butter
¼ cup cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200 grams chocolate, melted*
⅓ cup salted, roast peanuts, finely chopped for sprinkling
Grease a 20cm x 30cm shallow baking tin and fully line with baking paper.
Put the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over a low heat. Cook until the sugar has completely dissolved before bringing to the boil. I place the lid on as I find the condensation runs down the inside of the saucepan and dissolves any sugar crystals on the side.
Uncover and cook at a steady boil until it turns a dark caramel colour. This can take at least 10 minutes depending on how high the heat is and the width of your saucepan.
Immediately take off the heat and add the butter and cream (it will bubble up furiously) and stir well to combine. Add the vanilla and peanuts and place back over the heat and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
Tip the mixture into the tin and spread evenly using a small palette knife or the back of a spoon. Set aside until its cold and has hardened.
To finish: Spread the toffee with the melted chocolate and sprinkle over the peanuts. Leave until the chocolate has set before cutting into pieces using a large, sharp knife. Store in an airtight container between layers of baking paper and keep in the fridge if the weather is very warm. Makes 1 sheet.
Cook's note: You can use 100 grams each of melted dark and white chocolate if desired. Use a pastry brush dipped in cold water to dissolve any stray grains of sugar on the inside of the saucepan otherwise the syrup may crystallise.