KATHERINE PRESCOTT’S CHOCOLATE PECAN TOFFEE
Ingredients for 3 pounds:
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1-1/4 cups chopped pecans (4-1/2 ounces)
1 pound unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup slivered raw almonds (4 ounces)
Tempering the Chocolate: Grate or shave 4 ounces of the chocolate. Chop the rest into 1/2" chunks. Heat the pieces in a microwave or in a double boiler over barely simmering water until they melt and reach 100 degrees. Gradually work the temperature down to 86 degrees by slowing stirring in the grated pieces. Hold at this temperature.
Toast the pecan pieces in a 350 oven for 5-7 minutes, until they are fragrant and lightly colored.
Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sugar 1/4 cup at a time. Stir constantly and add more when the previous addition has dissolved. Cook until the mixture no longer feels gritty when rubbed between the fingers about 20 minutes. (Shake a droplet or two of hot toffee into a glass of cold water if testing.) Thermometer reading: 235-240 degrees.
Stir in the almonds and continue cooking over medium heat until the candy reaches the hard crack stage, another 20 minutes or so. The butter will separate from the sugar during this cooking time. Don't be alarmed, just stir so the sugar does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
When the butter begins to be reabsorbed, thins to a syrup and smokes, take it off the heat and pour onto a buttered 12"x18"x 1/2" sheet cake pan placed on a cooling rack. Temperature reading: 300 degrees.
Spread the toffee evenly over the pan and let cool for 3-5 minutes. Pour on the reserved chocolate. Wait 30 seconds, then smooth evenly over the toffee. Sprinkle on the toasted pecans and press them gently into the chocolate.
Set the toffee aside for several hours or overnight to set. Break it unevenly into pieces and store in a closed container in a cool place for 2 month