Get into the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day with this delightful recipe for toffee, made vegan! Toffee is usually made with butter and cream, but we opted for all vegan ingredients and put our own spin on this classic candy with pistachios and sea salt. Toasty caramelized sugar pairs wonderfully with a smooth chocolate coating and crunchy pistachios to make a perfectly balanced sweet treat.
2 cups vegan butter
2 ½ cups white sugar
1 T maple syrup
1 cup canned coconut milk (full fat)
1 tsp salt (if using unsalted vegan butter)
For the topping:
1 ½ cup pistachios (or nut of your choice)
10 oz vegan dark or semi-sweet chocolate
1 T flaky finishing salt (or to taste)
Before you begin making your toffee, you’ll want to get all your ingredients prepared and have your tools ready. When it’s finished, the toffee will be extremely hot, and you’ll need to move quickly to keep the sugar from burning. With this prep, you’ll likely save yourself from getting burnt as well.
First, roughly chop your pistachios. In a large pan, toast the pistachios on medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently to keep them from burning. Then transfer them into a large bowl and set aside.
Chop your vegan chocolate into small chunks if you’re using a baking bar. Transfer it into a microwave safe bowl and set aside.
If you prefer not to use a microwave, you can use a double boiler method and have your chocolate melting before you start the toffee. To create a double boiler at home, you’ll need a pot and a heat-safe bowl that fits on top of the pot without falling inside of it. Take the large pot and fill it up halfway with water. Bring it to a boil and place the heat-safe bowl over the pot and add your chocolate to the bowl. Bring the heat down to medium-high and make sure to stir the
chocolate often to prevent it from burning at the bottom of the bowl. The chocolate will melt and once melted, you can reduce the heat to low and stir occasionally to keep it from solidifying again
Prepare a 9×12 baking pan by lining it with parchment paper. Set it aside, but still close enough that you will not have to move very far once you’re ready to pour your toffee into the pan. Make sure you have it set on top of something such as a heat-proof mat, serving tile or a thick towel to keep the heat from potentially melting your countertops.
Have your whisk, oven mitts and a candy thermometer close by. In a pinch, you can use a meat thermometer or an instant-read thermometer, whatever you have on hand so long as it can read up to 300℉.
Now that you’re all set up, you can begin making your toffee.
In a large soup pot, add your vegan butter. Melt it on low heat until there is no solid butter left. Add your sugar, maple syrup and canned full-fat coconut milk. Whisk to combine.
Turn the heat up to medium-high and stir constantly until the sugar dissolves, making sure to scrape down the sides of the pot. The undissolved sugar will make a gritty, scraping sound as you take the whisk down the side of the pot. When you no longer hear that sound, you’re ready to move on to the next phase.
Put on your oven mitts or heat-proof gloves and turn the heat on high. Insert your candy thermometer and stir the mixture constantly as it boils. Keep going until it reaches 285℉. This may take up to 15-20 minutes and by the time it is ready, it will appear thick and foamy with large, loud bubbles.
As soon as the toffee reaches 285℉, turn off the heat and remove the candy thermometer.
Quickly pour the toffee into your prepared pan, scraping out the remnants with your whisk.
Sprinkle ½ of your pistachios on top of the molten toffee.
Pour your melted vegan chocolate overtop of the toffee and pistachios in an even layer.
Sprinkle the top with your remaining pistachios and finishing salt.
Allow the toffee to cool down for about 10-15 minutes, then put it in the refrigerator to set for 4-5 hours.
Once set, remove it from the pan and break it into pieces.
Keep it sealed and refrigerated and enjoy your toffee for up to 2 weeks.