Toffee will keep longer in an airtight tin. Photo courtesy Lula Belle Toffee.
Updated June 2012
How To Store Toffee
Page 4: What Makes The Best Toffee & How To Store It
This is Page 4 of a four-page article on types of toffee; here, how to store toffee. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.
What Makes The Best Toffee?
As with anything else, it’s primarily quality ingredients, then the specific recipe proportions.
- Most toffees are produced in the same fashion using the two main ingredients, sugar and butter. With just two ingredients in the mix, top quality sugar and the freshest creamery butter create the best product.
- Some producers use corn syrup or molasses to produce a harder, denser product. Corn syrup won’t taste as good as sugar. Molasses will taste different.
- In cheaper toffees, vegetable oil can be used instead of butter, and it makes a huge (hugely bad) difference. Worse, very cheap products omit the fat altogether, and sell a product made of just sugar and water.
- Other factors include cooking speed, timing, temperatures for adding additional ingredients like nuts and specialty flavors (lavender, ancho chile) and altitude. Cooking at sea level produces a slightly harder and darker toffee than one cooked at higher altitudes.
These variables, or a combination of them can make quite a difference in the finished product.
Our favorite toffees come from high altitudes (e.g., Enstrom’s, in Colorado), sea level (Lula Belle, in Los Angeles) and in-between. So, unlike other businesses, where the mantra is “location, location, location,” with toffee, the word is, “quality, quality, quality.”
Other than keeping the box in a cool, dry place, most toffee needs no special treatment if it will be consumed in a few days. But some people like to enjoy their treasures over a few weeks. A box of quality toffee can keep for two months under good conditions (airtight container, away from heat). But don’t keep any fresh-made food product longer than this. If you can’t enjoy within a few weeks, share the wealth and give it to someone who can!
Some manufacturers advise that their product be refrigerated. Refrigeration is generally required in two situations:
- A high percentage of butter in the recipe. Some toffees have such a high proportion of butter that they are a “dairy product” (Enstrom’s Toffee, one of our favorites, is one-third butter). If the toffee is kept at room temperature for an extended period, the butterfat will oxidize, i.e., turn rancid. In warm weather, the toffee also will become soft and loose a lot of its “crunch.”
- Cracked versus formed pieces. Some toffees are molded into individual patties, then completely covered in chocolate, which “seals” the piece. Others are produced in large slabs, which are then broken up into smaller pieces.
Toffee enrobed in chocolate stays fresher longer. Photo courtesy Enstrom.
- This latter process causes an exposed edge that is not covered in chocolate—and is exposed to air and oxidation.