chocolate hazelnut buttercrunch toffee

December 16th, 2010 § 20

This is killer. And this is your chance to use that really fantastic salt you got as a gift this year, but haven’t known what to do with. You know, the orange volcanic one, or the one you have to shave, or the one that looks like sparkling sequins. Because this is all about the salt.


We spotted this David Lebovitz recipe on his blog several years ago. We hated him for living in Paris and having the nerve to complain about winter there (try winter in Montréal), but then we made this candy. Butter, sugar, nuts, chocolate, vanilla, baking soda, salt, and 20 minutes later, heaven.


His original recipe uses almonds, which are terrific, but hazelnuts take this to the dark side, especially if you leave the skins on. Their tannins deepen the chocolate flavour.



As for the salt. An early Santa brought us a lovely pouch of maple smoked rock salt from Vancouver Island that has really rocked our kitchen. It’s almost bacony, and the texture is perfect. You want a salt that’s big enough that it won’t just melt into the chocolate. Something that will have some crunch. We hope you’ll try this. It’s just fantastic.


chocolate hazlenut buttercrunch toffee
David Lebovitz

2 C nuts, toasted and chopped half-coarse, half-fine
2 tbsp. water
½ C butter
1 C sugar
¼ C brown sugar
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 oz. dark chocolate, chopped

Lightly oil a baking sheet with unflavored vegetable oil. Sprinkle half the nuts onto the baking sheet. (Make an oval in the centre, don’t sprinkle them evenly over the whole sheet.)

In a heavy-duty saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, heat the water, butter, a pinch
of salt, and both sugars. Cook, stirring as little as possible, until the temperature reaches 300º F.

Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and baking soda. Quickly pour the mixture over the nuts on the baking sheet, so it forms an oval of relatively even thickness.

Sprinkle the chocolate over the hot toffee, and let it stand for two minutes. It will melt. Spread the melted chocolate into an even layer, then season it with plenty of salt. Sprinkle the remaining nuts onto the chocolate, and gently press them in.

Cool completely, break into pieces, and serve.

Related Posts with Thumbnails


§ 20 Responses to “chocolate hazelnut buttercrunch toffee”

  • Nicole says:

    I missed this one on David’s blog. Thanks for re-posting it. I absolutely love Hazelnuts. Also, I am curious…are you using natural light in all of your photos. I struggle so much with winter light shots. Yours are lovely.

  • Rob says:

    Thanks! Yes, I use natural light whenever possible, and it certainly makes it harder to get the right light during the winter months. It usually means that I have to shoot during the afternoon rather than the evening. I find natural light so much more flattering for food.

  • Sounds wonderful… and what terrific photos!

  • Jon says:

    This looks divine. Let’s say, though, that I didn’t have anything but Kosher salt on hand. Would that be coarse enough or would it melt into the chocolate?

  • David says:

    Kosher salt will be just great! Just let the chocolate cool a little before you put the salt on. And remind me to give you some salts next time you’re in town, our collection is getting a little out of control.

  • Wei-Wei says:

    Maple smoked rock salt? I think that’s probably the most appealing aspect of it, because I’m in love with fancy salts and salted desserts. Mmmmm.

  • Victor says:

    Kosher salt is not a crystal salt but a porous one; it absorbs moisture. That seems to me it wouldn’t be the best salt to use for this, for the same reasons you wouldn’t use it on pretzels.

    However, if you eat this soon then maybe it wouldn’t be a problem… How’s that for a solution?

  • David says:

    VIctor, thank you for weighing in, I miss you like the Dickens.

  • Awesome photos to start and great recipe to end. Nice to celebrate christmas lunch with these toffees. Great Job!

  • Sam says:

    These look divine. I have beautiful Hawaiian salt that someone gave me that I’ve been wanting a special recipe for. Thanks so much for posting this, and like everyone says, the lighting, the photos are just gorgeous…

  • Melissa W. says:

    This looks soooo good. Should I use salted or unsalted butter? :)

  • David says:

    We use unsalted, cultured butter all the time. It has a wonderful sweet flavour. Salted butter would probably work well here, since salt is such a big part of the flavour, but then I’d add less salt in the beginning of the recipe, or maybe none at all. In general, we’re all for substitutions. It’s better to go ahead and try a recipe, adapting it around the ingredients you have on hand, than not make it at all. You’re going to learn something in the process, and probably end up with something great.

  • [...] velvet fudge – I am baker chocolate hazelnut butter-crunch – the dogs breakfast pistachio-cranberry-white chocolate bark – brown eyed baker chocolate-peppermint cookies [...]

  • sheri says:

    It was a search for the Baked boys that drew me in, but your other concoctions kept my attention. I’ve already added you go my g-feed and am looking forward to more.

  • I got so many different salts for Christmas, from this new store in New York, The Meadow! Can’t wait to shower some of it on this fantastic recipe! Happy New Year and thanks for your wonderful blog.

  • Julie says:

    Wow, what a great blog! How did I not know about you guys? Nevermind Paris – I’m jealous that you’re in Montreal..

    Love this toffee – never thought of making it with hazelnuts! Thanks!

  • Rob says:

    Thanks, Julie!

  • harry howe says:

    New Years Greetings dogs breakfast!
    the buddah is awfully handsome in the snow………..making this tonight….
    best for the new year

  • [...] via The Dog’s Breakfast Cette entrée a été publiée dans Uncategorized. Vous pouvez la mettre en favoris avec ce [...]

  • Barb says:

    Hi guys- I’m so glad you used our fabulous salt in a recipe for me to try! It was sick! So good! I used local hazelnuts too. OK then, viva Vancouver island after all!!!