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Saturday, 2 March 2013

Sticky & Sweet Toffee Apples

It's quite a while until bonfire night and Halloween (most people's preferred time to whip up a batch up toffee apples), but hey ho - here's a fun recipe anyway. Yum!

Using this BBC GoodFood recipe but later adding my own twist (get me!) of a simple but delicious sprinkle of Fox's Ginger Biscuits (crushed) and smothered on the sticky toffee, I gathered up my ingredients - less than a tenner's worth, by the way - and got going.

I didn't bother using the dark choc or sprinkles, but I'm planning to tonight
There's something really festive and autumnal about recipes like this. I really enjoyed closing the curtains, pulling on a big woolly jumper, pressing play on some good tunes and stepping in the kitchen for some toffee apple fun.

First up; soak some Granny Smith apples (I used 6, but the recipe states 8) in a bowl of steaming hot water. This soaks any wax off the fruit and ensures the toffee syrup sticks easier.

Let me tell you, at this stage I had to stop myself from festively dunking my head in the bowl and 'bobbing for apples'. Thankfully  I remembered the water was scorching hot.

I soaked my apples (why does that sound rude?!) for about 2-3 minutes, before taking them out (with a spoon, no one wants burnt hands) and giving them a good dry on a tea towel.

Now for the fun part; adding the sticks. I used kebab skewers (perhaps a bit long, but hey ho) and after removing the apple stalks, had fun poking the sticks into the now ever so slightly squishy fruits.

Placing the apples on a sheet of baking paper, I added 400g of golden caster sugar and 100ml of water to a pan, cooking for five minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve.

Now here's the tedious part - waiting for the mixture (which now comprises 4 tablespoons of Golden Syrup and a teaspoon of vinegar) to reach 140 degrees C. 

You don't need a sugar thermometer for this. If you don't have one, the recipe recommends testing the consistency of the syrup later by pouring a little into a bowl of cold water. If it's ready it should harden instantly and be brittle and easy to break when removed.

Working fast, I slathered the finished syrupy mixture over the apples before rolling them in a plate of pre-crushed  ginger biscuits for a doubly festive taste. 

Don't forget to place the apples on your sheet of baking parchment to harden for around half an hour.

Behold...the finished toffee apples

Okay, so they don't look perfect, but take my word for it, these were delicious (if I do say so myself!) and take hardly any time at all to prepare.

Will you be giving these a go? 

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