Makes about 40 pieces
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To make the toffee: Lightly coat a marble slab with cold butter. Using confectionery bars, make a 9-by-12-inch rectangle in the middle of the marble (or make the toffee in a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan).
Put the butter and salt into a 3-quart copper or heavy stainless steel saucepan and set over medium-low heat. When the butter is half melted, gradually add the sugar, stirring with a heatproof silicone spatula, then continue stirring until the mixture becomes a thick yellow paste. Attach a digital candy thermometer to the side of the pan, increase the heat to medium-high, and stir the toffee occasionally as the temperature rises. When it reaches 252°F, add the chopped almonds and stir until fully incorporated. Continue stirring occasionally until the temperature reaches 290°F, at which point you should begin to stir more frequently to prevent burning. When the temperature reaches 300°F, stir constantly until it reaches 310°F.
Remove the pan from the heat and quickly stir in the vanilla, then pour the toffee onto the marble (or into the baking pan). Using a buttered offset spatula, spread the toffee evenly to fill the confectionery frame. Let the toffee set for 1 to 3 minutes, until it is no longer fluid.
Pull one of the frames away from the toffee: If the toffee moves, return the frame to its original position; if the toffee is set, remove the frames.
Using a buttered pizza cutter, cut the toffee lengthwise into 1¼-inch-wide strips, then cut crosswise into 1¼ -inch squares. Let the toffee sit for 30 seconds to a minute, then retrace the cuts with the pizza cutter. Let the toffee cool completely, about 10 minutes.
Using a cleaver or other heavy knife, loosen the toffee pieces from the marble by placing the knife along the cut delineating the top row of toffee squares and gently press the toffee away from you; this will release the toffee in a clean fashion, resulting in perfect squares. After separating the top row, work your way down to the bottom of the slab of toffee, then separate the individual squares.
Pick up each piece of toffee, brush off any shards or little bits of toffee, and put on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap until you are ready to dip the toffee in chocolate. (The toffee can be prepared to this point up to 2 days ahead.)
Dip the toffee in the tempered chocolate. Sprinkle fleur de sel on each piece before the chocolate sets.
The toffee can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 months.