Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177
degrees C). Place almonds on a baking sheet and bake them for 8-10 minutes, or
until golden brown and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
Once the nuts
have cooled to
room temperature, place in a food processor, fitted with a metal blade, and pulse
the almonds until they are finely chopped. Sprinkle half of the nuts in an 8 by 10 inch (20
x 25 cm) rectangle on a buttered or oiled baking sheet. Place the baking sheet
on a cooling rack.
medium-sized, heavy bottomed saucepan (10 cup) (2.4 liter) combine the brown sugar, water, butter, and corn
syrup. Have the baking soda and vanilla extract ready. Bring the sugar mixture
to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Then cover the pan with a lid for about one minute to allow the
sides of the pan to wash themselves down and dissolve any sugar crystals. Remove
lid after one minute. Then clamp a candy thermometer to the side of the pan,
making sure it does not touch the bottom of the pan, and cook, without stirring,
until the mixture reaches 285 degrees F (140 degrees C) (soft-crack stage) on a
candy thermometer. Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat as the
temperature will continue to rise to 290 degrees F (145 degrees C). Add the
baking soda and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
this mixture evenly over the nuts on your baking sheet. Then place the chopped chocolate
over the hot toffee. After a few minutes the chocolate will be soft enough
to spread with an offset spatula (or back of a spoon) in an even layer over the toffee. Sprinkle
the remaining chopped almonds over the melted chocolate. Place the pan in the
refrigerator until chocolate is firm. Then
cut the toffee into pieces using a sharp knife.
store the toffee, in
an airtight container at room temperature, or in the refrigerator, for about 10 days.
Makes about one pound (450 grams).