Thursday 8 November 2012

Recipe: Toffee Apples

 - By Emi

Firstly, let me apologise for this post being late. It should have been published on Monday, but you know how it is with children... Time gets away from you. The toddler needs another book read to him. The baby simply *has* to be snuggled again. That sort of thing.

Secondly, you are really going to love these!

Look how gorgeous they are!

I know you're simply dying to try these for yourself,, so lets begin!

Before we do though, this really is something to make FOR your children, as opposed to WITH your children. The sugar syrup we're going to make can give nasty, nasty burns if you're not careful with it, and we all know that hot drippy liquids and small, excitable children do not mix.


8-ish small apples
450g sugar
4tbsp golden syrup
1tbsp white vinegar
100ml water
red food colouring (optional)

Boil the kettle, make yourself a cup of tea and pour the rest of the water into a bowl. Add the apples. After a few minutes, take the fruit out of the water and give them a rub with a clean tea towel or kitchen roll.

Apples can often have a waxy coating on them, and this gets rid of it. If you don't get the wax off them, you're going to have a tough time getting the toffee to cling to them. And no one wants that. We want toffee to cling to our apples like a co-dependent, overly attached girlfriend (5 points to the first person to 'get' that reference!).

Once you've washed them, we're going to put 450g of sugar, 4 tablespoons of golden syrup, 100ml water and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar into a pan. Warm it gently, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.

Pre-sugar dissolving

Post-sugar dissolving
You'll now have a lovely pale golden syrup, happily bubbling away.

You're going to slowly heat your syrup, stirring continuously, until it reaches the 'hard crack' stage. Now, most people don't own a sugar thermometer, so I'm going to teach you how to identify when your sugar has reached this stage.

Make sure you have a glass of cold water. Every so often, using a wooden spoon, drip a little of your syrup into the water. If it immediately hardens and can be snapped, then it's at the right stage. If it is still able to be moulded with your fingertips and still soft, keep heating.

If you rush ahead and don't wait for the 'hard crack' stage, you're going to end up with gooey, sticky toffee apples. Gooey, sticky works brilliantly for toffee apple PUDDING, less so for toffee apples on sticks.

Once it's at the 'hard crack' stage, take it off the heat and stir in a little food colouring. We picked red for that authentic, fairground colour, but you could pick blue or green if you wished, or leave it untouched.

So, now we have delicious red sugar, we're going to stick skewers or chopsticks into our apples. Ru really enjoyed this bit, and I had to rescue several apples from being liberally skewered all over.

Spread a thin layer of butter over greaseproof paper. This really is super important, this step. If you miss out the butter, you will end up with little scraps of paper stuck to your apples, and no one likes a papery apple.

Tipping your saucepan slightly, use the chopstick and dip your apple in the syrup, making sure it is coated evenly. Hold it over the pan until it has stopped dripping, and then place on the greaseproof paper to set. Repeat until they're all covered.

 Oh, Mama.

Make sure you wait until they're completely set, otherwise the sticky toffee is going to glue your teeth together!

Now, you'll see that you're left with some syrup in your pan. We played with ours by dripping it onto buttered greaseproof paper. And then eating it. And then getting a massive sugar rush. And then a massive sugar come-down. And wishing we hadn't eaten so much. And then going back for more because it's just so darn good!

You can also turn this sugar syrup into nests too. You just need to turn a bowl upside down and tuck buttered greaseproof paper round it, then drizzling the syrup over it, allowing it to set and then removing the paper.

Stephen wants me to tell you that he took this picture and that he is very proud of it.

But there you have it. Delicious toffee apples, with the perfect crunch and perfect sweetness.

"Almost all wild apples are handsome.
They cannot be too gnarly and crabbed and rusty to look at.
The gnarliest will have some redeeming traits even to the eye."

~ Henry David Thoreau, 'Wild Apples'


  1. Cannot wait to try these! Thanks :)

  2. I'm not sure whether it's weird that I'm commenting, but bloody hell these were delicious! 5 stars :)

    1. Well, high praise indeed! Thank you, Kendal! E, x

  3. These look lovely, and I liked the quote at the end, too.

    1. Thank you, Sandra!

      I like the quote too, Henry David Thoreau is a wise man!
      E, x

  4. The photography in this post is really good.