The Toffee Box Tale
One of the most wonderful things about working in the editorial department of Gifts.com is that I get to sample a lot of the products we feature on the site. But to be honest, when a box of toffee arrived, I wasn’t particularly excited because I am not normally a toffee lover. Was not previously a toffee lover, I should say, because when I tried The Toffee Box’s version of this confection, I became a convert. It’s buttery and suppler than other toffee I’ve had, giving in to the teeth quickly. And the toffee is made from an old, secret family recipe. Hmm, now I was intrigued. So I called up The Toffee Box’s confectioner and owner, Heather Mubarak, and tried to get the inside scoop.
GiftRap: Were you trained in confectionery? Are you a pastry chef?
“I didn’t know about mass producing any food at all! I was in interior design and sales. We’d just had so many comments on how good the toffee was, and people calling asking me to make them a batch to take to a party. So we decided to go into business in 2009.”
And now you’ve been featured The Food Network! So this toffee is made from a secret family recipe. What do you know about its origins?
“It was my husband’s grandmother’s. It’s something he remembers making with her when she came to visit during the holidays. I was trained how to make it by my mother-in-law. It’s an English toffee recipe and a family tradition.”
Your toffee is handmade in Carlsbad, Calif. How big of a staff does it take to keep up with the toffee demand?
“Our staff is pretty small, there’s only three of us year-round. By October, it picks up and we hire at least four more staff. The largest batch we make is 100 pounds. During the holidays, our entire shop will be filled with boxes of toffee about to be sent out. We wait for UPS to come so we have more space to walk around.”
Do you have any recommendations on serving toffee?
“It goes well with coffee, lattes, espresso and cappuccino. Dark chocolate toffees go so well with red wine; that’s my personal favorite. You can also crumble the toffee up and use it in brownie recipes, put it on top of a frosted cake or cheesecake, or on top of ice cream.”
How it should toffee be store?
“It has a shelf life of six months or more, up to nine months. I like to store it in the fridge and it will last longer, particularly once you have opened the bag. But room temperature is fine in cooler months. I don’t recommend freezing the toffee. People tend to stock up on the toffees and grab them as a last-minute gift or hostess gift. Teachers, coaches … it’s a great gift for people like that because it’s not TOO personal. You don’t have to know much about someone to gift it to them.”