For the past 3 months I've explored, enjoyed and been successful with a butter toffee. Where I consistently have issues is the chocolate layer shearing from the toffee during the breaking up of toffee stage.
Let's explore what's been done..
I'm good at troubleshooting, I've got an engineering background so walking through steps and analyzing the situation runs in my blood but this.. this is head to wall bashing frustrating.
If you make toffee professionally what step am I missing? I have my toffee down to a rhythm, no separation, beautiful quality, flavor, color--but this lack of chocolate adhesion drives me nuts. I'm about to just start scoring and breaking then enrobing squares but that makes the time of prep go up which I'd rather not do on most of the line I'm working on.
I feel there is a tip or trick I've not been privy to--that eludes me--driving me up a wall heheh!
This product just wasn't born with a nutty idea (grin.) I'd like to do some classic toffee's that use pecans or almonds, but with this product nuts would get in the way with the real simplicity of the concept.
Andy, Anything new to report?
Regarding the difference in success between white or milk vs dark. The toffee is an aqueous system and so does not want to adhere to chocolate. If you were panning chocolate on a water based center, or sugar on chocolate, you would put on an emulsifier coat, such as gum arabic, to get the two to adhere. But not easy to do on a slab of toffee as you would want to dry it. Caution adding moisture to the surface for its effect on level of sugar crystallizing out, adding a stale note, and possibly more tooth packing.
But the main difference in this application between white/milk and dark chocolate is the amount of butter oil (AMF) in the continuous fat phase, resulting in a higher percentage of the lipids remaining an oil, less crystallized fat, this is why dark has a harder snap than milk, than white. This more liquid coating will adhere better, and it is more flexible so it won't "peel" off as easily. You can try to add a little butter oil to your current dark chocolate. A side advantage is that a little butter oil will help with fat bloom.
Thanks Mark, that makes a lot of sense and after another half dozen trials I've really come to the conclusion that whatever tricks are working for people is location based. I can't repeatedly replicate anyones suggestion. What works great one time has near failure on second attempt. The most frustrating thing I have ever encountered.
Can you elaborate on Butter oil? We've never heard of it here so I don't have much of a reference. A brand, a rule of thumb perhaps?
Clarified butter - ie the fat part of butter when you melt it. I use this when I want to make dark chocolate 'melt in your mouth' when dipping things. 2-4% is what I use.
Ah thanks Kerry. We thought it might be as simple as that but web searches started confusing me. Someone called it a more refined canola oil. Clarified I can understand.
Still not quite sure a percentage to use when dealing with slabbing toffee but I'll go ahead and make some and see if Mark returns with thoughts.
Called butter oil, clarified butter, or AMF (anhydrous milk fat). Should be clear yellow when melted. Note that the more you add, the lower your temperature for tempering. Same reason why milk is lower than dark, and white lower still.
Mark, would you hazard a guess at the percentage use for this application?
Would tasteless coconut oil do the same thing?
Start with about 2%, temper like you would milk, and compare the snap of a tablet with the original dark or see if it's close to a milk sample. You can use other oils like coconut oil, but then it would fall out of the standards of identity for chocolate in the U.S.
I make 8lb batches, toffee itself approximately 4lb into a sheet pan and allow to cool to room temp (68*F) then wipe off butter sheen with damp paper towel then dry towel. Coat with tempered chocolate using spatula, allow to set, then turn and repeat on opposite side, when chocolate is still tacky (nearly set) score with point of knife into squares, then allow to finish setting before breaking into individual pieces. This method produces very little shearing rarely any, maybe 1 in 20 batches will be problematic but not usually more than 1/8 of the batch. I make toffee with Milk choc + almonds (in this case the choc doesn't have to have perfect temper), Milk choc, White compound coating, or Dark choc + white drizzle and all sell very well. It is very dry climate here 30-35% humidity but even on days that exceed 40% I can make toffee without the chocolate from shearing off. I believe the key is in scoring the chocolate before breaking the piece, if the chocolate fully sets before scoring then it is more likely to separate from the toffee.