Making toffee with coconut oil
Posted: 30 January 2014 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi, all!

Any thoughts on using coconut oil rather butter when making toffee?  It seems to me like it should work, but many of you are more experienced and/or scientific than I.  I have a friend who is a bit bothered by butter. 

Thanks!

—ak

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Posted: 30 January 2014 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Funny, but when you wrote “toffee”, I pictured “taffy” and thought “bleh, it’s awful no matter what sort of fat you have.” So I googled on toffee recipes and realized that I had no idea what toffee was. It looks wonderful!

I’m curious as to the temperature behavior of coconut oil. Wikipedia says that non-hydrogenated melts in the mid-70s, but hydrogenated melts in the mid-90s. Is one or the other soft like butter at room temperature? If not, I wonder if you could mix the two to get the temperature behavior you want?

(Since butter is such a huge component of the toffee recipe, you will no doubt have a pronounced flavor change, but it might good in a different way.)

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Posted: 31 January 2014 10:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hi, CT!

Yes, toffee is certainly one of nature’s most perfect foods.  It is a soft crunch (like a macadamia nut, as opposed to peanut brittle) of butter and sugar.  Nuts are usually added—I ususally add them—but it’s not at all necessary.  Ditto spreading with or dipping in chocolate—I only do this sometimes.  My favorite toffee was a batch of macadamia nut toffee to which I’d accidentally added a little too much vanilla, giving it a bit of a bitter flavor—it was wonderful!

Coconut oil is very odd—It’s solid, until it melts, but there’s very little in between.  I’d say that, at room temp, it’s a bit harder than soft butter.  But, unlike butter, it seems to go almost directly to melting, whereas butter will get soft, then very soft, then very-very soft, almost actually requiring direct heat to melt.

I wonder if the lack of milk solids would make it not work, since coconut oil is all fat?  I get a raw version coconut oil, so it might have some leftovers of some kind in it, but I’m not sure they’d act like milk solids, and I’m not sure of the role the milk solids play. 

I know there’s some water in butter, so I’d only use 80% of butter’s weight in coconut oil, and toffee recipes usually call for water, so I think I’m covered in that area.

Any further thoughts from anyone would be greatly appreciated!

—ak

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Posted: 31 January 2014 10:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Anne in NC - 31 January 2014 10:36 AM

I wonder if the lack of milk solids would make it not work,

I think that milk solids play an emulsification role in some products, but no idea whether it’s important in this stuff; you could add a slight amount of powdered milk if you wanted to play it safe. Or lecithin or egg yolk. For me, I’d probably try it first without it, but I like to live on the wild side. grin

 

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Posted: 31 January 2014 02:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I like to live on the wild side.

Yeah, sure, CT.  I think you’re just trying to find a few more express routes to the path of truth.

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