Dark Chocolate Pecan Toffee Crunch
Ironically, I have more time than ever during this pandemic but I have little desire to dig into long and complicated dishes, and that goes double for sweet recipes.
I was looking for a chocolate recipe that was not a cookie or brownie that was also easy. I came across one on the King Arthur Baking site for chocolate buttercrunch. I had made a similar recipe from Claudia Fleming for Pistachio Brittle many times and so was familiar with the colors and smells, i.e. I had not trusted my gut and pulled the brittle off heat too early and ended up with a thin-colored, non-crunchy, unsatisfying blob.
This recipe size yields enough to last a few days. Enough to delight. This recipe can be doubled.
Yields 24 square bites (about 3″x3″)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1-1/2 tablespoon water
- 1-1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 -1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup finely chopped bittersweet or dark chocolate
- 1 tablespoon fleur de sel
Toast pecans until fragrant and lightly browned. Spread the nuts on a silipat or parchment paper. The nuts should be close together and in an even layer.
Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Then mix in salt, sugar, water, and corn syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Then, the hard part. Reduce the heat slightly and let the mixture gently boil WITHOUT STIRRING. Like all brittles, you need the mixture to get close to the hard-crack stage (300°F on an instant-read or candy thermometer. I keep a close watch on the. mixture and you will see it start to darken in the corners. For something, this will take about 10-15 minutes but it has always taken longer with me. . . closer to 20 minutes. Most people warn not to let it go too long. But I have found that I have never had that happen, whereas, I have jumped the gun a few times and pulled it too early.
Remove the saucepan from the heat when the syrup has reached 295°F. When ready, stir in the baking soda. In a seconds, it will foam up so keep your eyes on the mixture. Using a rubber spatula, pour the foamy mixture on top of the nuts.
Next, sprinkle the chocolate on top of the mixture and let sit for a few minutes. You will see it soften and use an offset spatula to spread to an even layer. Cool for about 15 minutes and sprinkle the fleur de sel atop the mixture. I found if you sprinkle it too early, the heat from the chocolate will pull the salt back into the mixture. Be patient and wait about 20-30 minutes before sprinkling.
Let completely cool before breaking or cutting to your liking.
The candy can be stored in an air-tight container for a week.