Kiri Aluwa - Sri Lankan Milk Toffee

Kiri Aluwa is one of the most famous sweets in Sri Lanka. At first, I wasn't quite sure what a milk toffee was, but I'm glad I found out. You begin by making a sugar syrup, adding the sweet milk, and then boiling it until the toffee is so reduced that it could almost set in the pan. When hardened, the toffee resembles a grainy, sugary fudge, though it is much harder to chop! Traditionally, milk toffee has nuts mixed in, so feel free to add a handful of nuts or dried fruit if you please. 

What you'll need:
125ml water
1 cup sugar
395g can condensed milk
30g butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence or vanilla bean paste

What to do:
Line a 20cm square cake tin with non-stick paper and set aside.

Place the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved and syrup has come to the boil. Add the butter and condensed milk and continue to cook, stirring, for 15-20 minutes or until the toffee is dark golden and reduced by two thirds. The toffee should now be super thick and when you stir through it, you should be able to see the bottom of the pan for a few seconds. The mixture will be bubbling ferociously and almost like elastic when stirred. When it has reached this stage, add the vanilla (and any nuts or fruit) and turn off the heat.

Working quickly, pour the toffee into your prepared pan and smooth it out using a spatula. (If you really want to smooth the toffee out, press it into the pan with a lightly oiled spatula while it is still warm.) Once toffee is spread evenly, cut it into 12 squares and place into the fridge for an hour to set. Once set, break toffee into squares and enjoy!