Valentine's Day seems to totally divide people. You either love it and can't wait for all of the romance and flowers, or you can't wait for it all to be over.
That's why this buttery heart-shaped toffee is the perfect compromise (and surprisingly easy to make). They're the ideal shape if you're all head over heels, but if you're done with all this romance and boys have made you cry, you can just grab a rolling pin and bash the crap out of those sweet little hearts.
I used this recipe as a guide - the photos come in handy when you're looking at your saucepan and thinking 'IS IT MEANT TO DO THAT? WHY IS IT GOING A SLUDGY BROWN COLOUR?' The recipe makes about 20 toffees.
- 225g butter (I used salted, I'm all about the salty caramel)
- 400g sugar
- 10ml water
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- You're going to need a sugar thermometer (like those ones we showed you a couple of weeks ago) and a silicon sweet mould. You can buy heart-shaped moulds on Amazon for a mega cheap £3.29.
- You need to use a small pan, but a deep one - the toffee is going to rise and you don't want it to boil over the pan. The middle pan in a standard set of three did the trick for me.
- Melt the butter and sugar together with the water on a low heat, continuously stirring.
- Once the mixture has melted together, increase the heat and boil until the excess water has boiled off.
- Pop in your sugar thermometer (if you can get on that clips to your pan, all the better - either way, be careful to keep it off the bottom of the pan). Keep stirring and watch the thermometer carefully - as soon as it hits 150 degrees C/ 300 degrees F, take it off the heat. Not a degree higher or lower. This is the perfect temperature for 'hard crack' toffee.
- Add the vanilla essence (carefully, it spits a bit) and then pour your mix into a measuring jug into a good spout.
- Quickly pour your mixture into your moulds and leave to set in the fridge for a few hours.
- Once they're set, pop them in a box and give them to your favourite person. Or, bash them all into smithereens.