5 Ingredients or Fewer

Russian Toffee

April 23, 2010
4 Ratings
  • Serves 1 buttered 8x8 or 9x12 tin/dish
Author Notes

My sister, brother and I are lucky enough to still have the most wonderful mother, but I must confess, she is not and never was a "cook". She is a WW11 war bride from New Zealand, who after marrying our father in NZ in 1943, arrived in this country with a somewhat short list of British Puddings and sweets! They are all the absolute best and it is from her that we learned to make the ultimate (and original) Pavlova, the best Shortbread, Queen's Pudding and ... tra la, Russian Toffee. Who knows where the name came from? I have never seen it in any cookbook, even by another name. It is magnificently simple and scarily addictive! We never had a candy thermometer so the consistency varied from batch to batch--it never seemed to matter whether it was firm and cleanly sliceable like fudge or gooey and sticky when we sliced it--it always vanished rapidly. This is so sinful that I've never passed it on to my daughters until now! —Veronica

What You'll Need
  • 4 ounces butter (if sweet, add a good pinch of salt)
  • 1 tin of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup sugar (white)
  1. In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt the butter, stirring with a wooden spoon.
  2. Add the condensed milk and sugar and stir thoroughly.
  3. Raise the heat so that the mixture comes to a gentle boil and stir...continue to stir and stir and stir!
  4. As the mixture starts to thicken and "tan" start using a Candy Thermometer. Your goal is to get the mixture to the Hard Ball stage (around 255-264 degrees.)
  5. Have a cup of ice water at hand and as the thermometer begins to rise and the mixture thickens, drop a scant teaspoonful of the mixture into the ice water. Keep doing this until a ball forms that holds its shape but you can still put a dent in it with a finger. So long as you get it to this stage, you'll be fine. (Each time you test the mixture, you'll need a fresh cup of ice water.)
  6. Remove from the heat and pour into the buttered tin--cool and cut into 1 inch square/oblong pieces. Store in a container with waxed paper separating the layers or...just go ahead and eat it!
  7. IMMEDIATELY soak the saucepan in hot water!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice
    Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice
  • calendargirl
  • elljay
  • Camay

4 Reviews

elljay August 13, 2022
Russian toffee was a speciality of Assafrey confectioners in Glasgow in the late 19th century. A T Assafrey was an immgrant from Tallinn, now the capital of Estonia. More info here https://www.theglasgowstory.com/image/?inum=TGSA00523
Sugar &. July 30, 2012
This sounds delicious!
calendargirl December 6, 2011
Camay, this is such an interesting story!
Camay September 18, 2011
I have an old copy of "The Glasgow Cookery Book", dated 1962, which was the standard text cookery book of all the students at the Glasgow College of Domestic Science (locally known as "The Dough School"). It has a recipe for Russian toffee in it, similar to yours. I would guess that someone in your family emigrated to New Zealand from Glasgow in Scotland.
This was the first cookery book I owned when I got married in 1972, I still refer to it for many traditional recipes such as scones, jams and marmalades, etc.You can still buy an updated version of the book.