Before I start with my glut of hallowe’en inspired pumpkin bakes I thought I’d quickly get this one in! Nothing says autumn, Hallowe’en and fireworks night like toffee apples! I’m always so disappointed with the ones you buy in the shops so I thought I’d make my own this year!
These are easy to make but you just have to have a little faith and let that sugar boil! They’re great fun to make for the kids, though I certainly wouldn’t let the kids make them themselves – children and boiling sugar aren’t a great combo!
If you have a sugar thermometer for the toffee then that’s brill! I don’t, but luckily my mum does, so I borrowed hers! If you don’t have a handy mum to borrow one from then never fear, you can still make this by using a bowl of cold water to test when the toffee is ready (see below).
You will need:
300g Golden granulated sugar
100g Unrefined brown sugar
1 Star anise
1 large Cinnamon stick
2 Tbsp Maple syrup
75g Pecans crushed/chopped finely
6 Apples (Braeburns work well, as do Granny Smiths – you want an apple with a bit of tartness to combat the sweet toffee)
6 wooden sticks or lolly sticks
Put the granulated and brown sugar in to a large pan. Add the water and stir over a low heat until the sugar had dissolved. Add the vinegar and maple syrup and then bring to the boil.
Once boiling allow it to boil rapidly without stirring until the toffee reaches 150 C on a sugar thermometer (or the “hard crack” level). If you don’t have a thermometer you can test when the toffee is ready by spooning a little in to a bowl of cold water. It should harden immediately and be easy to snap. Now it will take a while to get to this stage so don’t be afraid to leave that sugar bubbling away!
Once it reaches “hard crack” remove from the heat and stir in the pecans.
Place a stick (I used lolly sticks) in to the core of each apple. Dip the apples in the toffee while it is nice and hot and then place on a baking sheet to cool. You need to work quite quickly. If the toffee gets too hard you can gently re-warm it (but be very careful not to overheat it).
Once the toffee has cooled and set then you can tuck in! They’re definitely best eaten the day they’re made but can be kept somewhere dry and cool and enjoyed over the next few days too.