Last updated
Type Confectionery
Main ingredients Sugar or molasses, butter
VariationsEnglish toffee, honeycomb toffee
A Heath candy bar, which is English toffee coated in milk chocolate Heath-broken.JPG
A Heath candy bar, which is English toffee coated in milk chocolate

Toffee is a confection made by caramelizing sugar or molasses (creating inverted sugar) along with butter, and occasionally flour. The mixture is heated until its temperature reaches the hard crack stage of 149 to 154 °C (300 to 310 °F). While being prepared, toffee is sometimes mixed with nuts or raisins.


Variants and applications

A popular variant in the United States is English toffee, which is a very buttery toffee often made with almonds. It is available in both chewy and hard versions. Heath bars are a brand of confection made with an English toffee core. Although named English toffee, it bears little resemblance to the wide range of confectionery known as toffee currently available in the United Kingdom. However, one can still find this product in the UK under the name "butter crunch". Conversely, in Italy they are known as "mou candies". [1]


The origins of the word are unknown. Food writer Harold McGee claims it to be "from the Creole for a mixture of sugar and molasses", but which creole language is not specified. [2] The Oxford English Dictionary dates the first publication of the word to 1825 and identifies it as a variation of the word taffy (1817), both of which are first recorded as English dialectical[ clarification needed ] words. [3] [4]

In the movie Borat, toffee is claimed to have originated from Kazakhstan in the lyrics of O Kazakhstan. [5]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Confectionery</span> Prepared foods rich in sugar and carbohydrates

Confectionery is the art of making confections, which are food items that are rich in sugar and carbohydrates. Exact definitions are difficult. In general, however, confectionery is divided into two broad and somewhat overlapping categories: bakers' confections and sugar confections. The occupation of confectioner encompasses the categories of cooking performed by both the French patissier and the confiseur.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Candy</span> Sweet confection

Candy, alternatively called sweets (BrE) or lollies, is a confection that features sugar as a principal ingredient. The category, called sugar confectionery, encompasses any sweet confection, including chocolate, chewing gum, and sugar candy. Vegetables, fruit, or nuts which have been glazed and coated with sugar are said to be candied.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Caramel</span> Confectionery product made by heating sugars

Caramel is an orange-brown confectionery product made by heating a range of sugars. It can be used as a flavoring in puddings and desserts, as a filling in bonbons or candy bars, or as a topping for ice cream and custard.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Praline (nut confection)</span> Confection made with nuts

Pralines are confections containing nuts – usually almonds, pecans and hazelnuts – and sugar. Cream is a common third ingredient.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Caramelization</span> Process of liquifying sugar

Caramelization is a process of browning of sugar used extensively in cooking for the resulting sweet nutty flavor and brown color. The brown colors are produced by three groups of polymers: caramelans (C24H36O18), caramelens (C36H50O25), and caramelins (C125H188O80). As the process occurs, volatile chemicals such as diacetyl are released, producing the characteristic caramel flavor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Heath bar</span> Toffee candy bar from The Hershey Company

The Heath bar is a candy bar made of toffee, almonds, and milk chocolate, first manufactured by the Heath Brothers Confectionery in 1928. Since its acquisition of the Leaf International North American confectionery operations late in 1996, the Heath bar has been manufactured and distributed by Hershey.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fudge</span> Type of sugar candy

Fudge is a type of confection that is made by mixing sugar, butter and milk. It has its origins in the 19th century United States, and was popular in the women's colleges of the time. Fudge can come in a variety of flavorings depending on the region or country it was made; popular flavors include fruit, nut, chocolate and caramel. Fudge is often bought as a gift from a gift shop in tourist areas and attractions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Butterscotch</span> Type of confectionery

Butterscotch is a type of confectionery whose primary ingredients are brown sugar and butter. Some recipes include corn syrup, cream, vanilla, and salt. The earliest known recipes, in mid-19th century Yorkshire, used treacle (molasses) in place of, or in addition to, sugar.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dulce de leche</span> Confection from Latin America

Dulce de leche, caramelized milk, milk candy or milk jam, is a confection popular in Latin America, also found in French and Polish (kajmak) cuisines, prepared by slowly heating sugar and milk over a period of several hours. The resulting substance, which takes on a spreadable, sauce-like consistency, derives its rich flavour and colour from non-enzymatic browning. It is typically used to top or fill other sweet foods.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Honeycomb toffee</span> Type of sweet candy

Honeycomb toffee, honeycomb candy, sponge toffee, cinder toffee, seafoam, or hokey pokey is a sugary toffee with a light, rigid, sponge-like texture. Its main ingredients are typically brown sugar and baking soda, sometimes with an acid such as vinegar. The baking soda and acid react to form carbon dioxide which is trapped in the highly viscous mixture. When acid is not used, thermal decomposition of the baking soda releases carbon dioxide. The sponge-like structure is formed while the sugar is liquid, then the toffee sets hard. The candy goes by a variety of names and regional variants.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sugar candy</span> Candy primarily composed of sugar

Sugar candy is any candy whose primary ingredient is sugar. The main types of sugar candies are hard candies, fondants, caramels, jellies, and nougats. In British English, this broad category of sugar candies is called sweets, and the name candy or sugar-candy is used only for hard candies that are nearly solid sugar.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Caramel apple</span> Apple covered with caramel and sometimes nuts

Caramel apples or toffee apples are whole apples covered in a layer of caramel. They are created by dipping or rolling apples-on-a-stick in hot caramel, sometimes then rolling them in nuts or other small savories or confections, and allowing them to cool. When these additional ingredients, such as nut toppings, are added, the caramel apple can be called a taffy apple.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Caramel corn</span> Popcorn coated with caramel

Caramel corn or caramel popcorn is a confection made of popcorn coated with a sugar or molasses based caramel candy shell that is normally less than 1mm thick. Typically a sugar solution or syrup is made and heated until it browns and becomes thick, producing a caramelized candy syrup. This hot candy is then mixed with popped popcorn, and allowed to cool. Sometimes, a candy thermometer is used, as making caramel is time-consuming and requires skill to make well without burning the sugar. The process creates a sweet flavored, crunchy snack food or treat. Some varieties, after coating with the candy syrup, are baked in an oven to crisp the mixture. Mixes of caramel corn sometimes contain nuts, such as peanuts, pecans, almonds, or cashews.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Taffy (candy)</span> Type of soft candy

Taffy is a type of candy invented in the United States, made by stretching or/and pulling a sticky mass of a soft candy base, made of boiled sugar, butter, vegetable oil, flavorings, and colorings, until it becomes aerated, resulting in a light, fluffy and chewy candy. When this process is complete, the taffy is rolled, cut into small pieces and wrapped in wax paper to keep it soft. It is usually pastel-colored and fruit-flavored, but other flavors are common as well, including molasses and the "classic" (unflavored) taffy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bonfire toffee</span> Type of toffee

Bonfire toffee is a hard, brittle toffee associated with Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night in the United Kingdom. The toffee tastes very strongly of black treacle (molasses), and cheap versions can be quite bitter. In Scotland, the treat is known as claggum, with less sweet versions known as clack. In Wales, it is known as loshin du. The flavour is similar to that of butterscotch.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Brittle (food)</span> Confection made with nuts

Brittle is a type of confection consisting of flat broken pieces of hard sugar candy embedded with nuts such as pecans, almonds, or peanuts, and which are usually less than 1 cm thick.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Almond Roca</span> Chocolate-almond-toffee candy

Almond Roca is a brand of chocolate-covered, hard toffee with a coating of ground almonds. It is similar to chocolate-covered English toffee. The candy is manufactured by the Brown & Haley Co. of Tacoma, Washington, founded in 1912 by Harry Brown and J.C. Haley.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Candy bar</span> Type of sugar confectionery that is in the shape of a bar

A candy bar is a type of candy that is in the shape of a bar. The most common type of candy bar is the chocolate bar, including both bars made of solid chocolate and combination candy bars, which are candy bars that combine chocolate with other ingredients, such as nuts, caramel, nougat, or wafers.


  1. Hughes, Glyn Lloyd (2010). The Foods of England. Tomato. p. 265. ISBN   9780955694837.
  2. McGee, Harold (2004). On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. Scribner. p. 650. ISBN   9780684800011.
  3. "toffee, n. and a.", Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition 1989
  4. "taffy1", Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition 1989
  5. "O Kazakhstan". Genius. 3 November 2006.