black gold bars
aka mocha-chai & smoky chilli molasses toffees, which is far more of a mouthful to say than "black gold bars" and not half as interesting
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 6 cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods, crushed
  • ¼ tsp ginger powder
  • just a pinch of nutmeg
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee powder
  • 2 tbsp chocolate syrup (I used Hershey's)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ½ tsp salt flakes
  • 50g butter
  • a good pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt flakes
  • bits of gold lustre powder (if you like)
  • some dark chocolate
How to make it
  1. Put the cinnamon quill, cloves, crushed cardamom, ginger, nutmeg and vanilla in a saucepan along with the thickened cream and simmer on a low heat (without bringing to the boil) for 10 or so minutes. Add the instant coffee and chocolate syrup, stir briefly, then pop a lid on top and take the saucepan off the heat. Leave it be for at least half an hour, so that the flavours of the spices infuse into the cream and make it lovely and warm and spicy. Strain the cream through a sieve to remove the big spices (the powdered ones are fine to stay in the cream) and set the cream aside.
  2. Line a 25cm x 25cm square tin with parchment or greaseproof paper, with a bit of overhang so that you can lift the finished toffees out easily.
  3. Pop the sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan about three times as large as you think you'll need (staying away from aluminium or stainless steel) and heat it, without stirring, until all of the sugar has melted. Pour the molasses in and heat it until it reaches at least 125C. Because of the impurities in the molasses, it will smoke a good deal and you might think it's burning, but persist (or you'll not end up with set toffees).
  4. Pull the saucepan off the heat, add the butter, the ½ tsp of salt and the cream and stir so that it all comes together. It will bubble like mad and you'll think you've completely wrecked it all, but it's fine. Promise.
  5. Pop the saucepan back on the heat and reheat it again, hitting that elusive 125C mark, then set it aside to cool a touch.
  6. Pour the finished toffee into the tin, letting it spread to the corners, then sprinkle the cayenne pepper and salt all over the top. Grate some chocolate on top of the still hot toffee and it will melt in nicely.
  7. When the toffee is mostly set, but still a bit squishy, slice it into bars and use a brush to pop a touch of gold on top. Let them cool fully before wrapping.
Recipe by onebitemore at