This Salted Macadamia Rum Toffee candy is a special treat for the holidays. If you have a thermometer that goes to 300°F, you can easily make this candy
Salted Macadamia Rum Toffee
Candy is the last bastion of the pastry world. It is actually a lot easier than most would think. This Salted Macadamia Rum Toffee is simply a matter of adding a few ingredients at a time and taking the mixture to a stated temperature. Stir in a couple of more ingredients and pour it into a prepared pan. In a matter of minutes, it’s cool and ready to finish.
Any nut can be used to top the toffee but my most loved nut is the macadamia. I discovered these years ago when my neighbor was from Hawaii. When she would go back to visit, I would watch her house, water her plants and take in the mail. My reward was macadamia nuts. Toasting them brings out even more flavor.
This Salted Macadamia Rum Toffee is perfect any time of the year but especially welcome during the holidays. It’s gluten free, travels well, and mailing it to someone special would make a perfect gift.
One of the off-putting things about candy making is the equipment. Marble slabs on which to pour the candy and square iron rods are essential to professional candy makers. However, the home candy maker can produce the same product with a little change in equipment.
In order to get the candy contained to a certain size and release easily only a 9x13” pan, lined with foil and sprayed is needed.
Line a 9x13” or quarter sheet pan with foil. Turn the pan upside down and form the foil around the bottom of the upside down pan. Remove the foil gently to preserve the shape. Turn the pan right side up and place the foil liner inside the pan. Smooth the foil inside the pan as much as possible on the sides and bottom. Spray well and set aside.
A Bit About the Ingredients
Macadamia nuts can often be found in the snack aisle of grocery stores as well as nut shops. The ones in the snack aisle are usually salted which is perfect for this recipe. If you prefer no salt, simply put them in a strainer and rinse them. Dry between paper towels. Chopping by hand is preferable to the processor here as the size can be controlled more easily. Straining out the powdered nuts which occur no matter what process you use is important to a clean looking finish for the Salted Macadamia Rum Toffee. The powdered nuts can be used in cookies, or on ice cream or even cereal.
Corn syrup is an invert sugar and used to help prevent granulation of cooked sugar syrups. Washing the sides of the pan down with a natural brush and cold water is also key to preventing granulation. If only one undissolved sugar crystal remains, it can cause the mixture to revert back to a sandy texture instead of the smooth, toffee texture you are looking for.
The baking soda called for makes the toffee less brittle and is added at the last minute. It will cause the hot, cooked toffee mixture to bubble up quite a bit and become less transparent. Make sure you use a pot that is about 8 cups.
Salted Macadamia Rum Toffee
5 ounces macadamia nuts (140 grams)
1 cup unsalted butter (225 grams, 8 ounces or 2 sticks)
⅓ cup light corn syrup
⅓ cup dark rum or water
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar (250 grams or 8 ¾ ounces)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
8 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate, chopped (225 grams)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 8 to 12 minutes depending upon the size of the nut. Stir several times. They are done when they are a medium brown and fragrant. Cool completely. Chop coarsely, preferably by hand and sift to remove the powdered nuts. Set aside.
Cut the butter into small cubes and set aside.
Combine the salt and baking soda and set aside.
Prepare the pan as described above.
Place the corn syrup, rum or water, and granulated sugar in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Wash down the sides of the pan with a brush dipped in cold water, making sure no crystals remain. Just go around the pan several times and that should do it.
Boil to 240°F.
Add the butter all at once, stirring until it is melted. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan if you can. My pan had a lip on it that made that impossible so I just laid the thermometer in the pan. You can also use an instant-read thermometer as long as it goes up to 300°F.
Keeping the pan over medium heat boil to 300F.
Remove from the heat immediately and stir in the salt/baking soda combination. At once, pour the liquid into the prepared pan and smooth it out. It will start to set up quickly.
Let the mixture cool completely.
Lift it out of the pan and flatten the foil around it. You will notice the corner broke off. Rather than replace it and cover it over with the chocolate I ate it. Delicious!
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or at half power in the microwave. Spread it evenly over the toffee. Sprinkle with the macadamia nuts.
Chill briefly to set the chocolate.
Break in random pieces.
Salted Macadamia Rum Toffee will keep a long time in an airtight tin (if I’m not around!).
Yield: Approximately 1 ⅔ pounds or 770 grams