Swedish toffee (knäck)

Every household in Sweden makes Swedish toffee, or knäck, at Christmas – little soft toffees. It’s one of the most popular treats when we visit each other for Glögg and Advent celebrations. You can play with the flavourings of these little toffees (try cocoa, saffron, liquorice or vanilla) – and add nuts and seeds for texture, too.

Just remember to use cases that are lined, or else they will stick. You can also give them a quick spray of cake-release spray before filling with the toffee, just to make sure.

Swedish toffee
Peter Cassidy

MAKES APPROX. 30 LITTLE TOFFEES, DEPENDING ON THE SIZE OF THE CASES

200g golden syrup
160g plus 1 tablespoon caster sugar
200ml whipping cream
50g tablespoons butter

YOU WILL NEED
sugar thermometer
petit-four cases
a large saucepan (the mixture will bubble up a lot during cooking)

1. Place the syrup, sugar and whipping cream in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. You need to keep an eye on it all the time – I can’t emphasize this enough. The temperature needs to reach exactly 125°C/257°F. Along the way to that point, it will bubble – then, right before it hits 125°C/257°F, it will start to turn brown. This whole process can take 20–25 minutes, so make sure you won’t be distracted.

2. As soon as you have the exact temperature, take the pan off the heat and stir in the butter. If you leave it to cook for any longer, the finished toffee will be too hard. If you take it off the heat before 125°C/257°F, you end up with a fudge-style finish.

3. Leave it for a few minutes. At this stage, you can split it into several different bowls in order to add different flavourings, or you can simply portion it out and add flavours to the top of the warm toffee before it goes hard. I have not included quantities for the fillings here as tastes are different, but for a full recipe consider around 75 g/3 oz. of nuts or seeds; for spices, a few teaspoons should suffice.

4. When the mixture has cooled a little, pour into plastic piping/pastry bags or a pourer, and pipe into the little petit-four cases. Add the flavourings to the top, then leave to cool down and harden up.

Recipe from ScandiKitchen Christmas: Recipes and traditions from Scandinavia by Brontë Aurell