Halloween 2014: Toffee Apple Recipe

30 Oct

Well hello everyone! How are we? Hope you’re well and thank you for clicking and checking out my halloween blog this week!

I’ll be honest, halloween isn’t one of my favourite holidays in the calendar. It was the bees knees when I was a kid, don’t get me wrong, (all those free sweets were great!) but as I grow older it just never really feels the same. I’m not massive on making costumes or scary films but I DO, however, LOVE making toffee apples! For me, it’s got to be the best thing about halloween. I kinda wish it wasn’t just something associated with solely halloween but then again, that’s what makes it so exciting because it’s a rare treat!

Now I’ve always been one to buy toffee apples from the shop or my auntie would make them at parties when we were kids but I had never successfully made my own (halloween 2013 was a disaster…I won’t go there.) so I thought, yes!! perfect opportunity. With my non existent social life (le cry…),being home alone (mum couldn’t tell me off if I made a mess!) and with it being halloween tomorrow I thought let’s just do it! It was time to redeem myself from last years failed attempt!

My recipe research initially started on the interwebs and I found a ton of different recipes but didn’t have a clue where to start so I headed back to basics and gave my dear nan a phonecall. My lovely grandmother proceeded to give me a basic recipe so I went with that and then looked at some youtube videos of people making some pretty yummy toffee apples. In the end, I went on a bit of a whim and combined a bunch of recipes together and came up with the following ingredients:

11 apples (mixed – red and green)
(Would have been 12 but one was dodge!)
450g of granulated sugar
2 tbsp of golden syrup
50g of unsalted butter
150ml of water
A few drops of red food colouring
Wooden lollypop sticks

A few recipes that I saw online recommended that you used white vinegar in the toffee mix to apparently make it stick to the apples easier. This is an optional ingredient as I had no problems without it. Other recipes also didn’t include butter in them but it’s entirely up to you what you choose. All I know is that the recipe did work! Hurrah!

Here are my ingredients all set out in fancy formation oooooh aaaaahhhh…(pause for applause…)
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Apples really are a beautiful fruit it must be said……wait, did I just publicly declare that I find an apple attractive?

Apples really are a beautiful fruit it must be said……wait, did I just publicly declare that I find an apple attractive?

Ok, so STEP 1 in making toffee apples is to prepare your apples.
To do this you need to take the stalks out of the apples (don’t be fooled by thinking this is the easiest step. It took me forever and a day to bloody get them out!) and then it is recommended that you pour boiling water over your apples to get the ‘wax’ (who knew that apples had wax?!) off their skin. By doing this it makes it easier for the toffee to stick. Make sure the apples are dried off after this and then put some lolly sticks in those bad boys! The last step I took in preparing the apples was to lay them out on a tray with what I thought was baking paper. (stay tuned for top tip regarding this step later in the blog…)

Once you’ve got your lovely apples all sorted out, then comes STEP 2, making the toffee!

Start off by putting the sugar and water in a pan together. You want the hob to be on a medium heat, enough for it come to a boiling point but not too high as you don’t want to burn the sugar on the pan. VITAL INFORMATION regarding this step folks!! – DO NOT LET THE PAN BURN OKAY?! Continually stir that bad boy until the sugar is dissolved with the water. At this stage, your mix should look a little something like this…
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Once the sugar is dissolved in the water, the next thing you wanna do is put in the remaining ingredients – the golden syrup, the butter and the red food colouring. After those ingredients are mixed in it’ll start to look like this…
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The most important part of this stage is getting the toffee mix to reach quite a HIGH temperature. Apparently the most accurate temperature you should reach is 150 degrees celsius and you can check this by popping a thermometer into the toffee but over in megan wigley’s world of cooking, we’re not that fancy (ha!) so I used a different method to find out when my toffee was done. (which is SO handy if you didn’t know before!)

Basically, you take a glass/bowl/jug, whatever suits, fill it with cold water and pop it to the side. When the toffee mix really starts bubbling away in the pan and looks like it does in the picture below, then take a small spoonful of the toffee and drop it into the jug/bowl of cold water that you have on the side. If the toffee is ready, it will set straight away once you’ve put it in the water and you’ll be able to pick it up. It will have a hard, brittle texture to it. (note: It usually takes a good 20 minutes for it to be ready!)

Just a small note I’d like to make about the toffee making stage in particular: After all of the ingredients where in the pan, I was personally under the impression that I needed to continually stir like in Step 1 but I was wrong! As long as you double check that nothing is sticking to the pan and you give it the odd stir, you generally don’t need to stir the mix anymore. You want to let it bubble away because as I learnt, the longer you keep stirring it, the more ‘liquidy’ it will stay and you’ll just be stood there like a lemon wondering ‘why isn’t my toffee bubbling!?’ (Yep I was that lemon..)

Top tip: Sometimes the mix of toffee would foam up/bubble over so by putting a wooden spoon over the pan, it stopped it from doing that!

Top tip: If the toffee foams up/bubbles over, put a wooden spoon over the pan, it stops it from doing that!

Toffee done!

Toffee done!

When you’re confident that your toffee is ready, STEP 3 is to coat the apples with the toffee. The most important part about this stage is that you need to work QUICK! This isn’t something that you can doddle around doing as the toffee sets really quick. (So don’t pop out into the lounge to see what’s happening on loose women because it will all go to pot…) So grab your apples by the stick and swirl them around in the toffee. Plop them down (god, that sounds so wrong…) on your tray and bobs your uncle! You’ll be surprised at how quickly they set so whilst your yummy apples sit there looking pretty, I’d HIGHLY recommend to get on it like a car bonnet with washing your pan!

Yes, don’t worry, I feel your pain as you read those dreaded words “washing”. It’s probably the worst part about any cooking task but trust me, you do not want to leave it for hours when toffee is involved! Top tip: boil the kettle, and immediately soak your toffee coated pan with soap and boiling water. You will be mind blown by how affective this is! (It’s like bloody magic!)

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Yuuuuum!!

Yuuuuum!!

So there you have it, that’s how I made my toffee apples and I hope that my explaining wasn’t too complicated and that you managed to successfully make your own! I’d love to hear or see if any of you made some for this halloween 🙂 Let me know if this recipe was useful and hopefully I can do more fun cooking blogs!

Here’s my finished product, but OH, before I end on a high, I will highlight my FAIL of this process. There’s always something that has to go wrong! So top TOP tip… do NOT, I repeat do NOT just lay down any old brown ‘paper’ onto your tray that you think may be baking paper, because you may be wrong….(oh so wrong..) That’s what I learnt anyway when I went to lift my apples from the tray…. Oops.

Not all was lost!! By dabbing some water onto the paper, I managed to easily peel it off! PHEW!

Not all was lost!! By dabbing some water onto the paper, I managed to easily peel it off! PHEW!

Although toffee tastes blooming’ marvellous, it’s got to be the messiest and most annoying ingredient to work with. It gets EVERYWHERE so try and be as clean as you can and don’t just leave them on a worktop because they are impossible to get off. Wrap them in cling film or you can even go all fancy and properly wrap them in special plastic wrap and decorate them.

Anyways, here’s the gooey goodness in all it’s HD glory oooooh ahhhh!
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Hope you enjoyed and thanks for reading!
Ciao for now x

P.S!! – forgot to say, be extra careful when handling hard toffee! Never in my life did I think I’d incur a toffee related injury! Toffee can be a nasty bugger when it wants to! Beware of sharp, pointy edges with the ability to cut you! Ouchie!!

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