Toffee Apples

It's bonfire night and for us at Pig Row, bonfire night isn't perfect unless you have two things, something sweet and something that blasts off. This normally takes the form of my wife eating black peas (follow the link for a black pea recipe at the bottom of The Meat and Potato Pie post).

Raging bonfire night, great fire and great toffee apples.

The air will be full of glow and whizzbangs tonight if you spill any of the caramel on yourself for these two wonderful variations on the traditional toffee apple. Remember that bonfire night isn't just for the kids and you can have something sinful between your lips come the witching hour.

Traditional Toffee Apples (for kids and adults alike).

INGREDIENTS (for six toffee apples)

6 apples (choose a firm variety that won't melt when you dip them in caramel)
6 lollipop sticks
400g individually toffees
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Push the lollipop sticks 3/4 of the way into the stalk end of each apple. Remember to remove the woody stalk first as you won't want to have this between your teeth whilst watching the fireworks. Place apples, sticks facing upwards, on a baking tray covered with lightly greased kitchen foil. Grease with butter rather than oil. Combine the toffees and water in a saucepan over a low heat. Keep stirring until toffee melts and is smooth, then add the vanilla extract and stir. The clue to this dish is to keep stirring and never allow the toffee to boil. Dip each apple into the now hot toffee, it is advisable for only adults to do this as hot toffee will cause severe burns, so be careful. Don't worry about drips or excess toffee on your apples, you can always make more toffee if you need it. Place the unctuous dripping apples on the foil and chill in a fridge until they are ready to serve.

Brandy Toffee Apples (adults only)

INGREDIENTS (for six toffee apples)

6 dessert apples
6 lollipop sticks
500g dark brown soft sugar
175ml golden syrup
180ml water
2 tablespoons brandy


Push the lollipop sticks 3/4 of the way into the stalk end of each apple. Remembering to remove the stalk first. Place apples, stick side up, on a baking tray covered with lightly greased aluminium foil. Use butter not oil. Now, combine sugar, golden syrup and water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Be careful as this can spit and it advisable that adults take care when making anything with boiling sugar, keep the children out of the kitchen and away from the brandy. One boiled reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the mixture takes on a light brown colour and starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir in the brandy. DO NOT do this over the heat or you will flambe your eyebrows off. Return the pan to a low heat to stop the solution from turning to solid toffee, work quickly and dip your apples into the mixture. Place apples on the greased aluminium foil. Leave to cool and harden. DO NOT place these apples in a fridge.