What Is Toffee Brittle?

Toffee brittle is a sweet treat made from a hardened sheet of one or more types of sugar and butter that has been heated and cooled. Heating the ingredients to a specific temperature results in a hard, brittle texture. For a richer treat, additional ingredients can be added, and the confection can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Toffee brittle comes in a variety of flavors, and its popularity dates back to the early 1800s.

Toffee brittle is made with a base of molasses, sugar, or treacle syrup mixed with butter. At 295° to 310° Fahrenheit (146° to 154° Celsius), the ingredients are heated to a “hard crack stage.” If the solution is immediately chilled, it will become significantly tougher, cracking or forming breaks. Remove the mixture from the heat, pour it onto a baking sheet, and set it aside to cool and harden. Before hardening, the finished product is broken up into large chunks or scored into bars.

For decadent confections with a toffee brittle base, additional ingredients can be added. The most common topping is chocolate, which comes in a variety of strengths and flavors. The most common type is semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, which is melted and mixed with butter to keep it creamy before being spread over the cooling brittle and topped with sea salt for a savory touch. Before cooling, nuts can be added to the brittle. It’s usually eaten on its own, but it’s also good in ice cream, cakes, and pies. A toffee layer or center can be found in a variety of candies.

Toffee brittle comes in a variety of flavors. English toffee is made with a lot of butter and usually has almonds mixed in. Baking soda and vinegar are added to cinder toffee brittle for a crunchy, light candy. Butterscotch toffee is a type of toffee made with a lot of butter and brown sugar, and it’s more common in syrup form than brittle form. To get the butterscotch flavor, add pieces of butterscotch before melting the ingredients.

Toffee, like butterscotch and taffy, is thought to have gained popularity in the 19th century when sugar and treacle, a liquid byproduct of sugar production, became more affordable. Samuel S. Parkinson sold the first known commercial toffee in 1817. The term was previously spelled “toughy” and “tuffy,” possibly to refer to the sticky texture of the treat.