Toffifays have always been one of my favourite sweets, but since I became lactose intolerant I can't eat them anymore.
They are really nice treats with caramel and hazelnut and some nougat/praline and chocolate. That's lovely combination and I also somehow like the design of the candy box...
I tried to figure a way to replicate them by simple means (as I don't own a fancy sugar-thermometer I made the caramel the low-tech way and used the cold water-method to estimate the right sugar stage).
It was also my attempt to use easily available ingredients with the possibility to make them lactose-free / vegan.
I'm not sure how well Toffifays are known in the rest of the world (in Germany they are called Toffifee and you can buy them it in most supermarkets). It seems they've been available in the US at least in the late seventies as this commercial indicates: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZomv1wBbbo
As this recipe includes using a stove: please be careful.
Seriously. Hot sugar is very hot, unlike water which becomes maximum 212°F / 100°C and then disappears - sugar heats up to 340°F / 170°C and is also pretty sticky. You could unintentionally mark yourself with a hot sugar branding. Or even worse: brand your tongue.
So watch out - and also be careful with the exacto knife in step 2...
Step 1: Ingredients and Tools
Ingredients You'll need to make about 10 Toffifays:
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons glucose syrup or corn syrup
- 4 tablespoons coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil for the Caramel and a little bit to grease the molds
- 1 pinch of salt
- about 20 hazelnuts
- 100g nougat (made of nuts)
- dark chocolate, I haven't really measured but I think I used about 50 grams
I want to make some suggestions for substitutes, as some of the ingredients may be hard to get in some countries:
If you are non-vegan / not lactose intolerant you can of course substitute cream for the coconut milk and butter for the coconut oil.
And if you are non-vegan and lazy you can skip the whole caramel making process for just melting some soft cream caramels in a Bain-Marie (or if you are very lazy and not afraid of microwaves just nuke the caramels...)
If you struggle finding corn syrup / glucose syrup you can easily make your own glucose syrup:
Mix 64 grams of Dextrose (in german: Traubenzucker) with 32 grams of water and heat it up quickly till al the Dextrose crystals are dissolved.
(I recommend to add corn/glucose syrup to your caramel mixture as it prevents crystallization in the final caramel, a problem I faced at my first attempts for this recipe...)
You can use other nuts than hazelnut if you like so, although I think hazelnuts are a good choice : )
If you have trouble to find nougat made of nuts (which is available in most supermarkets in Germany at the baking ingredients shelf) You can mix hazelnut-butter and heated up chocolate in a 1:1 ratio. Its a very nice substitute that gives the same nutty flavor and melt. Nutella mixed with some chocolate could work as well. but i haven't tried this myself...
Tools You'll need:
- a small pot to make the caramel.
- a double boiler (aka Bain-Marie) or a smaller pot that fits into a slightly bigger pot which is filled with water.
- I used a miniature silicone spatula which came in very handy. You can use a regular silicone spatula as well.
- to find the right point for the caramel you need a glass of cold water (or a sugar-thermometer)
- to form the Toffifays you need some kind of mold. First I thought I could use the plasic wrapping in which the Toffifays come. I have to say: it is possible to use them as molds but you have to be more patient and careful than I was, or you will end up with melted plastic...
As I'm stuggling with patience I came up with another solution: I bought a eggcup at the thriftshop. It replicates the shape of the toffifay perfectly although it's a little bit bigger. But in my opinion that's a plus : )
If you have trouble finding a eggcup just be creative an find another solution, I guess you could as well use the shell remains of an egg, a appleskiver pan, half a slaughtered ping-pong ball...open you're eyes and use your imagination.
Instructables user synthetase suggested in the comments a cake pop pan could work as well. So If you own one I recommend you use it as mold! (this way you can skip the aluminum foil on the bottom of your toffifay)
In addition to your eggcup you'll need aluminum foil cut in about 10x10cm (3x3inch) squares, oiled with coconut oil.
And a sparkling wine cork (fancy people may prefer a champagne cork) and a small piece of sandpaper to make a perfect mold.
Step 2: Prepare Your Tools
I used a custom shaped sparkling wine cork to make a negative stamp for the mold. In my opinion this speeds up the assembling process and is less messy. But if you cant find a cork you can also skip this part and just use a teaspoon to spread the caramel in the mold. If you are blessed with patience - this may be your way to go.
In my little toffifay factory I used a stamp i made the following way:
I've cut the cork roughly into egg shape with an exacto knife.
I placed a piece of sandpaper in the eggcup and spinned the cork in this until it was smooth and fitted nicely. (it took about 3 to 5 minutes)
Before you start with the cooking process I also recommend to prepare 20 aluminum foil pieces. Cut them (10x10cm or 3x3 inch) and grease them with coconut oil. This is important as the oil helps to prevent the caramel sticking to the aluminum foil...
Something I wanted to prepare but forgot when I actually made the toffifays was roasting the hazelnuts. If you want to roast them just put them into a pan on medium heat, stir frequently and keep an eye on them. It takes about 10 minutes to roast nuts, be careful not to burn them... Roasting increases the nuttiness in a nice way, but you can skip that step as well - the final product tastes superb even with unroasted nuts.
Step 3: Prepare the Caramel
Add sugar, glucose syrup, coconut milk and coconut oil to a pot. (In case you want to use butter and cream use them instead of the coconut stuff)
Bring it to a boil on medium heat and stir from time to time till the sugar is dissolved.
Classical caramel recipes call for washing the sugar crystals from the side of the pot with a wet brush while the sugar is boiling. But I omitted this by just scraping down the sides from time to time with the silicone spatula. It worked.
Keep an eye on your pot and keep it on medium heat.
Classical recipes say you shouldn't stir your caramel as this encourages the crystallization of the caramel. I couldn't hold back to stir from time to time and no crystallization occurred...
It takes some time till the liquid evaporates and the substance changes it's consistency, but once it changes it changes pretty quickly and you don't want to miss the right point.
As soon as you recognize a change of viscosity you should start testing the stage of the sugar. Without a sugar-thermometer you have to use a glass of cold water: let a small amount of your caramel drop into the water, wait a few seconds, take it out of the water and check it's consistency:
First the caramel almost disappears in the water -> it's too early for our caramel.
Later the caramel forms into a smooth substance but is still easily squeezable -> still too early.
Soon the drops stay firmer and feel like play dough or chewed chewing gum -> turn off your stove add the pinch of salt to your caramel and bring the pot to your toffifay manufacturing line with the prepared molding station.
If you own a sugar thermometer you can omit the cold water test: You should heat up your sugarmixture to 248°F / 120°C to reach the right sugar stage.
If you are longing for further information about what happens when you cook sugar I recommend this site:
As i mentioned before: I think you could as well warm up ready-made soft caramel candies. I haven't tried this myself as i haven't found milk-free caramels. But I would if I had...
As soon as your caramel is ready you should work quickly. As the caramel cools it becomes more and more solid and harder to work with. Although it also shouldn't be boiling hot, as it won't keep it's shape when it's to liquid... But you will figure this out quickly.
Use one piece of aluminum foil and wrap it around your cork stamp.
Use another piece of foil and place it on your eggcup mold.
Use your stamp to give the foil the shape of your mold.
-> It's worth to try to get a smooth surface with less wrinkles as possible as this makes it easier to remove the foil later.
Take about one teaspoon of caramel and fill it into your aluminum foil covered mold.
Push your stamp into the caramel to give it a cup like shape / until it reaches the rim of your mold.
Carefully take away your cork.
Take the foil/caramel/foil-sandwich out of the egg cup and place it nearby to cool a bit while you repeat the process with the remaining caramel and foil pieces.
When I made my Toffifays i had to reheat the caramel once as it became to solid to work with. Reheat it carefully and only to the point where it is liquid enough to work with again.
When my ten molds where filled i remained with some surplus caramel. I've let it cool in two tablespoons to get primitive caramel lollipops.
Step 5: Excursus: Early Attemts and Failure...
Before I came up with the egg cup mold idea i used the original plastic wrap of the toffifays to form the caramel shell.
There occurred several problems and I ended up searching for another mold...
I used a teaspoon to distribute the caramel in the molds which was quite a messy business and drove me crazy.
As I realized afterwards: Its pretty important the caramel isn't too hot when you fill it in as it deforms the plastic. (take a look at the second picture...)
So If you would like to give this method a try: let the caramel cool down a bit.
I felt in general uncomfortable with the idea of having melted plastic in my candy and stopped further investigation about the right temperature. But feel free to give it a try.
I have to confess, to make this recipe a real copycat it somehow would be worth to use the original wrapping as it looks cool and it's fun to push the treats out of the wrap...
The benefit of the egg cup methode: The toffifays are bigger. Jippie.
Step 6: Back to Work: Start Filling Up the Caramel Cups
While you read the excursus the caramel cups had time to cool down a bit and so now it's time to remove the upper tin foil.
As the foil was greased it should come off easily.
Mine came off well but I had some cups where small pieces of aluminum foil remained in the cup.
If this happens to you and you are a bad person and you want to use your Toffifays to hurt other people just leave the pieces in the cups.
As soon as a consumer with metal dental prosthesis or an amalgam filling will bite into your sweet treats he will feel a pretty unpleasant pain in his mouth... I can't explain in detail but the different metals in collaboration with the saliva will turn this person teeth into a battery. And it hurts.
So please be nice and remove the tin foil completely.
As soon the cups are tin foil free on the inside you can put two hazelnuts into them. Yes! As the egg cup molds make gigantic Toffifays you can put two nuts instead of one into them - to double the fun! Hurray!
(sorry, i forgot to take a picture of this step as i was to busy to celebrate the fact)
Step 7: Fill Up Further
The following steps are pretty easy:
You have to warm up your nougat (or substitutional nutbutter-chocolate-mix) in the double boiler until it is liquid.
Fill the nougat into the hazelnut sheltering caramel cups up to the rim.
You can hit the cups gently against the table to make the filling spread evenly in the cups.
As all of your cups are filled you should put them in to the refrigerator to let them cool. To get nice looking toffifays they have to cool completely before you continue with the next step.
As soon the nut and nougat filled cups cooled completely in the refrigerator your can prepare the final touch: the chocolate-top.
Heat up your dark chocolate in your double boiler until it is smooth.
Put a little amount like half a teaspoon on top of your Toffifay.
Hit the Toffifay gently onto the table to distribute the chocolate.
Be amazed how similar they look to the original.
Put them back into the fridge.
Step 9: Serving Suggestion
As the caramel acts hydrophilic and becomes a little bit wet and sticky when its exposed to air, I recommend to leave your Toffifays in their tinfoil-shell until you serve them.
Or leave it to your consumers to peel them out of the foil.
Enjoy the fruits of your hard labor and eat them!
Or keep them in the fridge in an airtight container.
I never managed not to eat them for longer than a week - so I guess the expiry time for this product is one week...
Step 10: Conclusion
I don't want to praise myself but I'm pretty satisfied with the result of my Toffifay cloning efforts.
In matters of taste I think they come pretty close to the original. In the way of creating this instructable I made several batches and tried different methods. All of them were eatable, some of the trials resulted a slightly harder caramel cup than the originals but even those where nice to eat.
In some aspects the copycat recipe is even nicer for me, the slightly salty caramel is more to my taste than the original. And it doesn't hurt they are bigger...
Although I have to confess I won't make them too often as they are pretty labor intensive treats. If I would be more into candy and praline making I would probably buy spherical silicone molds. I guess those would make the whole process a little easier.
But for a first trial i would like to encourage caramel-nut-chocolate-aficionados to give the egg cup method a try!
This is my very first instructable (and as English is my second language and I'm not really confident) I would like to invite you to give me feedback and ideas for improvement!
Grand Prize in the
Copycat Recipes Contest