You know I love this season! I wouldn’t give it up for anything and I’m truly grateful for all we have in this beautiful land called Canada. It’s been my home for almost 50 years, it’s all I know, it’s where I grew up and where I started my family and they now grow and will soon start families of their own. But there are a few things that remind me of my heritage, being a Goan from Goa, India. Memories of my childhood growing up in Toronto at Christmas were consistent until the very end – mum, and later with dad’s help, would make Christmas sweets. I did the coconut toffee last year as a tribute to her. The bright pink sweet coconut treat was and still is a favorite of all of us at Christmas time. This year, I am more than proud to share my mum’s Milk Toffee recipe with you.

This toffee has to be cut in diamond shapes. I remember saying to her – as she shook her head knowing that in the end, she would give in to me, lets vary the recipe. I was reading through my notes on this recipe and noted one year we/(I) used cookie cutters and made odd shapes – stars, diamonds, hearts etc., not the traditional diamond shapes. Another note the following year, we/(I) also added some Grand Marnier just to explore a different flavor. She put up quite a struggle, but in the end, always let me have my creative way with a portion of the product. Of course, none of these follow the traditional “Goan” methodology, but if you have ever been to my “Some Like it Hot” class at the PC Cooking Schools, you will know I very rarely follow “traditional” methodology. I respect the end result, but am always looking for a better end product, even when the original is perfectly good.

Milk Toffee is rich, decadent and typical of a Goan sweet. The nearest thing (and by near I mean Toronto to London (Ontario) distance) you could relate it to in terms of taste would be fudge. The recipe requires cream, ground almonds and a whole lot of elbow grease. It is about 2+ hours from start to finish – the first hour is mostly watching, occasionally stirring, the cream, milk and sugar as it comes to a boil.  The next hour goes by much faster. The quantity of liquid in the pot – please ensure it is a heavy bottom pot, has to reduce by half, then you add the ground almonds and stir and stir and stir. Honestly, I’m a Chef (now), and I’ve always loved being in the kitchen, but even I would get tired stirring. Yet I can still remember my mum saying “it’s almost ready, I can see the bottom of the pan, just a little bit more”. So I would stir, she would offer to stir – with her broken hands, and that would give me the strength to keep going. So with great pride and strong emotion, I give you this recipe – and when you are getting tired, remember stir “just a little bit more”.

3 cups cream
2 cups milk
5 cups sugar
6 oz. ground almonds – the finer the grind on the almonds, the smoother the end result, so feel free to pulse to fineness
4 oz. Churn 84, divided in 2, plus additional for buttering the countertop or worksurface
2 tbsp. vanilla extract

In a heavy bottom pot, over medium high heat, bring the cream, milk and sugar to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer
Stir frequently – keep an eye on this, it will easily boil over and ruin the recipe and your day!
After almost 1 hour of simmering, it should be about half the original quantity of liquid in the pot
Add the almonds and stir – About another 20 – 30 minutes or so, you should notice the mixture starting to thicken
Add half the butter and the vanilla – stir
Prep your surface, a marble surface is ideal – if you don’t have one, a clean countertop will do
Butter a portion of the countertop, cover in parchment ensuring the parchment is also getting coated as it sits on the surface Keep stirring, do not stop stirring as the almonds will stick to the bottom of the pan and burn I’ve used a red handled spatula which is heat proof and ideal for this – go out and buy this, it will make your job significantly easier
As you stir, you should be able to see the bottom of the pan more and more, it’s almost ready “just a little bit more”
Add the remaining butter and stir to incorporate

Tilt the pan, the mixture should fall easily and leave the bottom of the pot fairly clean – it’s ready
Remove the parchment from the buttered counter
Empty the contents of the pot onto the buttered surface – be careful, don’t burn yourself
Spread using the spatula, cover with the parchment and using a rolling pin, flatten to about 1/4″ thickness
Using a sharp knife, make 3/4 – 1″ strips down the length of the toffee, cut all the way through by pressing down on the knife or pizza cutter, be careful as you don’t want to damage your counters
Make diagonal cuts so you are left with diamonds no bigger than 1″ in length – let cool
Remove to a clean plastic container, layer between sheets of parchment
Store in a cool dry place – toffee will keep for up to 1 month – if it lasts that long


Watch for the clear path on the bottom as you stir the toffee. The longer it takes to fill in with the toffee mixture, the closer it is to being ready.


Traditional Diamond Shaped Milk Toffee



Toffee2F Toffee3F