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cinder toffee

well, today i made (ever so slightly burnt) cinder toffee *^^*

its still pretty nice (and rather moreish)... but i am a bit annoyed... problem was, it took so damn long to get to the hard crack point that i'd just about decided it was a !fail! and wasn't really paying attention properly.... oh, and i don't have a jam thermometer, so i had to keep dropping the goo into a dish of cold water to test for hard-crack-ness.... which is just *annoying* after about 5 times... I was up to about 20 times (and my 4th or 5th dish of water) by the time this happened.... then it went to that kinda soft crack point... where its not just liquid when you do the drop test... and then, while i was doing (yet another) drop test, i started smelling the beginnings of burnt sugarness... whipped the pan of and stirred it, but 'twas too late by then... incidentally, that last drop test was indeed at hard crack...

think i like this making toffee thing though.... would like to do cinder again, and i wanna do bonfire toffee too..... but I gotsta get me a thermometer first! I can't be doing with all this drop testing..!