SOS! She has made the recipe for 20 years with great success. Even trying different butter brands has not helped.
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Is she using the same pot she always did? Read about toffee separating and the causes. There are questions here about it already as it has likely happened to many candy makers on occasion. First heat everything gently to start. Do not have sudden variations in temperature high or low. /Seems boiling off the water quickly can destabilize it. Using salted butter or adding 1/4 tsp per stick helps with stabilizing, it seems. Use a heavy pot to help regulate the temperature and prevent hot spots. If the recipe calls for stirring, stir gently.
I make a lot of toffee, and I cook on medium heat. Is she using a different stove this year? If you want to post her recipe and method that would help. Last week I made 24 batches of almond roca toffee!
Another thing to check is the accuracy of her candy thermometer.
Dona - is it possible to share your almond roca recipe ? Thanks!
Jimmyray, here's the recipe I use. I've made it hundreds of times.
Almond Roca Toffee
3 cups sliced almonds, divided
4 sticks (1 pound or 2 cups) unsalted butter
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
scant 2 cups granulated sugar (I use 390 grams worth)
2 Tablesoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
12 ounces fine quality milk chocolate, chopped ( I use Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate bars)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Evenly spread 1 cup sliced almonds onto a baking sheet and place in the oven until they turn a light brown, stirring occasionally, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Slightly crush almonds. Set aside remaining almonds for use later on.
Cover a 10" X 15" baking pan with foil and set aside.
Place butter, water and salt in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted. Stir in sugar and Golden Syrup (or corn syrup). Attach a candy thermometer inside the pan and leave the heat on medium. Bring mixture to a boil and cook, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 240 degrees. Stir in the remaining 2 cups almonds. Keep stirring until the temperature reaches 295 to 300 degrees.
Remove pan from the heat and carefully stir in baking soda. Working quickly, pour mixture into the prepared pan, gently pushing hot candy into the corners with a heat-safe spatula if needed. This will begin to set very fast so don't mess around too much.
Wait 5 minutes, then sprinkle chopped chocolate over the top of the candy and let sit for 5 more minutes. Using a small off-set spatula, spread the softened chocolate evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the crushed almonds and let cool at room temperature for about 60 minutes. Place in the refrigerator and let sit until the chocolate has set. Break into chunks with a knife or your hands.
Makes about 3 1/2 pound
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Well played. You deserve a cookie.
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