Almond Roca – English Toffee

Just a few days before Christmas and I finally got the break in the weather I’ve been daily checking for the entire month of December. Oh joy!! It’s a Festivus miracle!!

Weather is always my biggest obstacle when trying to make almond roca (English Toffee). I remember as a kid, my mom would check outside every day to see if it was going to be cold and dry. She never made almond roca unless the sky was clear, the temperature cold and the humidity low. Which, in Seattle is sometimes just one day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. When the conditions were right, my mom would drop everything and make this recipe. I’ve learned to do the same – otherwise, it doesn’t get made. For more details on the science behind weather conditions and the effect they have on candy, see the * at the end of this post. [Read more…]

Almond Roca

This is probably my most favorite Christmas baking item. It’s also the most difficult to get done. Not because the recipe itself is particularly hard, but because candy making is a little bit of a science.

In the area that I live, the weather is my biggest obstacle when trying to make almond roca. When making any candy, you have to bring your ingredients to a certain temperature in order for it to set properly. On rainy (or humid) days, the cooking time for candy can increase substantially. Candy making requires the perfect ratio of sugar to moisture and since you’re boiling the mixture longer to get the temperature up, you may lose all your moisture in the process. And you get a completely opposite problem once the candy is done and cooling. Because sugar attracts moisture, your cooling candy will absorb all that humidity in the air, making the finished product softer than you want it. [Read more…]

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