This homemade Chocolate Almond Toffee is simply out of this world. The sweet buttery toffee is covered in rich chocolate and sprinkled with chopped walnut. A simple recipe that you could easily remember and whip up anytime!
The Story of This Delicious Chocolate Almond Toffee
I was never a candy person. However, I love chocolate and I used to be a serious chocoholic according to my mom.
About a year ago when we visited Utah to ski, our family had the pleasure of meeting my blogger friend Rachael of La Fuji Mama and her family. She is a Japanese cuisine advocate and shares Japanese recipes on her site, as she and her husband spent years living in Japan (check out her extensive Japanese recipes).
When I had the first bite, I really couldn’t believe how delicious the toffees tasted. Did toffees always taste this good? Well, this toffee sure did. Since then I’ve been addicted to this particular toffee. It’s completely over the top and I’m sure if you try, you’ll have a hard time staying away from getting another piece.
According to Rachael, this recipe was originally developed by her great aunt who was an amazing cook as well as a food writer for the Salt Lake Tribune or the Dessert News. The recipe was passed down to Rachael’s mom and to her.
With her permission, I’m so happy to share her recipe on my site with you today. Thank you, Rachael!
5 Tips to Make Chocolate Almond Toffee
1. Use a Heavy-Bottomed Saucepan
The saucepan needs to be thick (heavy) and deep, so it can withstand the heat needed to make toffee. If it’s a thin pan, you will burn it so make sure to use the heavy-bottomed pot you have in your kitchen for this recipe. It’s required.
2. Use a Long Wooden Spoon
It took me a few batches until I realized that I would really need a long wooden spoon. The short one is okay for stirring, but the heat from the stove was too hot while I was stirring and I felt like my hand was burning. I love this long olive wood wooden spoon (I got a set of 3 on Amazon).
The wooden spoon is recommended because it has a high heat tolerance, and is insulated so it won’t cause a sudden crystallization (read more in this article “The Why of the Wooden Spoon”).
3. Use Medium High Heat and Stir Constantly
I’ve seen some recipes with different instructions, such as using medium heat (vs. medium-high heat in this recipe) or not stirring while making toffee (vs. constant stirring in this recipe).
I assume everyone’s recipe, if you follow it precisely, should work as it’s been tried and tested many times to be shared online.
I follow this recipe to make my toffee every year and it comes out perfectly.
4. Remember the Color of Raw Almond
This recipe does not require a candy thermometer. I never made candy before and didn’t know it’s pretty standard to use a candy thermometer. Rachael told me the best thing about this recipe is that you don’t need a candy thermometer and it’s so true! I’ve made so many batches and never ever failed even once.
You have to hold a piece of whole raw almond and compare the color of your candy in the pot with it. When it’s the same color, the toffee is done! As simple as that.
5. Do Not Change Ingredients.
Last but not least, since candy making is like chemistry, I do not recommend substituting ingredients (except for the type of nuts), or changing the portion of ingredients I shared in the recipe.
Once you made this recipe several times and feel confident, you can double the recipe. However, I do not recommend tripling the recipe.
Troubleshooting for Toffee Separation
I make this recipe every holiday since 2016 and I can confirm that this recipe (based on Rachel’s recipe) works every single time. Although I have no personal experience in toffee separation, it’s the most common pitfall.
- Abrupt temperature changes. Don’t change the stove’s heat or move the pot around.
- The liquid in the mixture has evaporated too quickly.
- You omitted salt. Salt in the recipe helps to stabilize the mixture.
- Different brands of butter (different fat %).
- Heat imbarances. Did you use a small burner that’s smaller than your pot? Make sure to use a heavy-bottomed pot, not a thiner (cheaper) pot that causes hot spots.
If the toffee separates:
If somehow your butter is separated, there are a lot of online resources available but I shared quick troubleshooting inside the recipe.
- Remove from the heat and continue to stir the mixture until it comes back together. The toffee may remix on its own.
- If stirring doesn’t work, heat the mixture on low heat and slowly add 1-2 tablespoons of very hot water, while the mixture cooks. Add no more than a total 4 tablespoons to recipe calling for 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter. Adding the hot water lowers the temperature of the toffee mixture and you will need to tir and cook the toffee until it reaches the correct temperature.
- If you have already poured the toffee out to cool by the time it separates, the toffee is unfortunately too far gone to save. However, once it solidifies, you can try wiping off the excess oil and crush the toffee to sprinkle over ice cream.
A lot of my friends and family enjoyed this toffee as my food testers, and I hope this Chocolate Almond Toffee recipe will bring you and your loved ones joy this holiday season!
Chocolate Almond Toffee
- 1 cup whole raw almonds
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ tsp kosher or sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or use bittersweet)
- ⅓-½ cup raw walnuts (halves/pieces are good)
- Gather all the ingredients. Since candy making is like chemistry, I do not recommend substituting ingredients (except for the type of nuts) or changing the portion of ingredients. Once you made this recipe several times and feel confident, you can double the recipe. However, I do not recommend tripling the recipe.
Before You Start (Caution)
- Butter separation is a common issue for toffee making. Fortunately, it has never happened to me with this recipe (the recipe source in the post and Notes), but remember to follow the instructions precisely when making toffee. 1) Use a heavy-bottomed pot as I mentioned in the post. If your pot is too thin, hot spots on a pot can cause separation. 2) Use a long wooden spoon. It's a traditional tool that works the best. I heard different materials could contribute to butter separation. A long utensil helps not to burn your hand. 3) Avoid rapid temperature changes. Do not heat it up and down during cooking or move it around on the burner too much. 4) Use medium-high heat all the way. 5) Stir constantly. You are going to need to stand by the stove while making toffee.
To Prepare Walnuts and Almonds
- Finely chop raw walnuts and set aside.
- Place the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Almonds should be over an area measuring about 10 inches x 7 inches (25 cm x 18 cm). Optionally you could bake the almonds in the preheated oven at 300ºF (150ºC) for 10-15 minutes to bring out more flavors.
To Prepare Chocolate
- Melt semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips over a double boiler until the chocolate is soft enough to stir smoothly. Turn off the heat and keep it warm while making toffee. Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave for about 1 to 1.5 minutes. Remove from the microwave and stir. Repeat heating at shorter intervals, 15 to 20 seconds, stirring in between, until the chocolate is completely melted and has a smooth consistency.
To Make Toffee
- In a heavy-bottomed, 2-quart saucepan, add unsalted butter, granulated sugar, kosher salt, and vanilla extract. If you are using a candy thermometer, attach it to the saucepan.
- Cook over medium-high heat, stirring with a clean, dry long wooden spoon until the butter is melted. Make sure the butter and sugar are melting together. If the two elements melt unevenly, it can result in separation.
- Once the butter is melted, set the timer for 5 minutes. Bring the mixture to a steady boil (not a rolling boil) and cook, stirring constantly, until the toffee is the color of whole raw almonds. As the temperature of the pan and mixture rises you will notice the mixture will bubble and foam as the water boils off and the color darkens around the edges where the mixture touches the pan. Stir the sides and bottom of the pan to even out the mixture temperature. Depending on your heat, it might take 5 to 7 minutes.
- When the water has boiled off, the volume will collapse and thicken and the temperature of the mixture will rise quickly. As the mixture heats up, the color of the mixture changes drastically, especially during the final minute. When the candy is the color of raw almonds (or some calls it the color of a brown paper bag) or your candy thermometer registers 290-300 ºF (143-150 ºC), turn off the heat.
- ⚠ If the mixture separates while it is cooking, there is a chance you can save it. Although I had never experienced butter separation before, I learned from my research that sometimes separated toffee can be saved by removing the saucepan from the heat and stirring constantly until it comes back together into a smooth mixture. Gradually return it to the heat, stirring constantly. You can also try adding 1-2 Tbsp of very hot water to the toffee to help it come together (up to 4 Tbsp).
- Immediately pour the toffee over almonds, covering all nuts and smoothing into an even layer. Do not scrape the pan. Let the toffee cool for a few minutes. Keep the toffee saucepan for delicious hot caramel milk (see the instructions below).
- ⚠ If you have already poured the toffee out to cool by the time it separates, the toffee is unfortunately too far gone to save. However, once it solidifies, you can try wiping off the excess oil and crush the toffee to sprinkle over ice cream.
- Spread the chocolate over slightly cooled toffee.
- Sprinkle with walnuts and let cool until chocolate is firm, about 2 hours (or once the toffee is cool down, refrigerate for 20 minutes to speed up the process).
- Once set, cut with a sharp knife or break into bite-size pieces.
- Store toffee in an airtight container at room temperature in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks, in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. For longer storage, freeze up to 6 months and thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
To Make Hot Caramel Milk
- Add a small amount of milk to the pot with caramel leftover in it. Scrape off the sides and bottom with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Once the pot is clean, add more milk to adjust the sweetness. Enjoy hot/warm!