Paul Ford's English Toffee
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
few drops oil of orange (available at drugstores)
1/4 cup finely chopped English walnuts
Combine brown and white sugar, corn syrup, salt and cream in deep saucepan. Stir over quick fire until temperature registers 240 degrees F. on candy thermometer (or until medium soft ball forms when small amount of hot syrup is dropped into cup of cold water). Add butter, stir, continue cooking to 250 degrees F. for hard ball (or until a spoonful can just be molded when dropped into cold water) for chewy toffee, or to 260 degrees F. for extra hard toffee. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. Remove from fire.
Flavorings and nuts may be added at this time. Pour into buttered dish. When toffee has cooled, cut into squares.
If you're making the candy during humid summer weather; cook the syrup to 265 degrees F. for very hard toffee; or 258 degrees F. for chewy candy.
For making chocolate coated toffee: Do not add nuts with flavorings. Pour cooked toffee into well-greased cookie sheet; cool. Melt 6-ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate bits. Pour half the melted chocolate onto top of toffee; sprinkle with few tablespoons finely chopped walnuts; cool. Turn, repeat, using remaining chocolate and walnuts; cool. Break toffee into pieces with wooden mallet.
Paul Ford's Maple Fondant
1 cup white sugar
1 cup maple sugar (or 1/2 cup each maple and light brown sugar)
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon glycerine (available at drugstores)
Cook in deep saucepan; stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Continue cooking over low heat; bring to boil. Cover so steam will wash down any crystals that may form on sides of saucepan. Cook syrup 3 minutes. Uncover, continue cooking, without stirring to 240 degrees F. (soft ball stage). Wipe sugar crystals from sides of saucepan during cooking with fork wrapped with several thicknesses of damp cloth. Remove from fire; pour onto wet platter (or marble slab.) Allow to cool until it is lukewarm. Work with spatula until creamy and stiff, then knead with buttered hands until smooth and free from lumps. Wrap in waxed paper and store in tightly covered container at least 24 hours to ripen. Use ripened fondant for making mints, bonbon coating or cream kisses.
You can make Southern pralines by melting fondant in top of double boiler. Pour melted syrup in circles on waxed paper; top with pecan halves.