So, in my attempt to start using my cook bools properly I decided to start with one of my least used purchases- Peyton and Byrne's British Baking. It's a beautifully illustrated edition and contains a selection of recipes from tea breads to classic British puddings, and its purple my favorite colour so of course I got sucked in by amazon and bought it at least three years ago! (It's still available at amazon here). And I'm afraid I've only ever used one recipe for Lemon Possett, and that works really well, so I had high hopes for the Toffee Nut Slices recipe. The recipe combines two of my favorite things- nuts and toffee (obviously!).
See how gorgeous the illustrations are. You start the slices by making a fairly basic buiscuit base from butteer sugar and flour. This was one of my problems with this recipe, I used the exact tin specified and I ended up with a very thick base, much more so that pictured, I personally wold prefer a thinner base. so next time I will reduce the biscuit amount. But that's just a little nigggle!
You start by toasting the nuts on the oven, watching them like a hawk as they can go from toasted to chared in a very short time! This also makes your kitchen smell amazing...
Once you've done the nuts you start on the toffee. Now, as always be very careful when dealing with boiling sugar as it's very, very hot and easy to burn yourself! Also, it's wise to have any things that will be added to the sugar, in this case butter and cream, measured and ready to add, as trying to faff with scales whilst your toffee burns is not a happy thing! I had another problem here in that the amount of water used to dissolve the sugar is really small and as my sugar just about to burn a crisp, I added a couple of tablespoons of extra boiling water to get it to melt properly. In all my other cookbooks that deal with toffee making, there is always more water in the recipe for a similar amount of sugar, so I would have some boiling water on had just in case your sugar starts to catch rather than melt. Practicing making toffee is going to be something I need to do to avoid burnt sugar!
This recipe does not use a sugar thermometer to make the toffe, but instead relies on you judging the colour of the toffee-living dangerously or what! And this is where disaster struck... Whilst trying to take an action shot of stirring the toffee, I dropped my Iphone into the saucepan of boiling toffee...! I am blaming this on the fact that I am taking steroids at the moment so am rather jittery... that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Fortunately Mr EB was there to help me fish it out and saved the day my cleaning it up and somehow neither of us got scalded by the hot sugar! Even more Amazing is the fact that the phone still works!!! Totally gobsmacked by that!!
So after the little toffee apple diversion, I added the nuts to the toffee and spread it onto the cooled biscuit base, and then bunged it in the oven for its final bake.
Once cooled, you chop it into slices and attempt not to eat all of it in one go. It's a really moreish, but very sweet treat. I will definitely be trying this recipe again, despite one or two little niggles with the recipe, it produces excellent results, I'll also be trying more P&B recipes to see if they are consistently this good. One cookbook almost properly used!