Bonfire Night coincides with the apple season. Make plenty of these for it.
- 6 small dessert apples (small is best here)
- 225g demerara sugar
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup
- 30g butter
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 6 x 15cm pieces of wooden dowel (or use lolly sticks if you can find them)
Remove the stalks from the apples. Wash the apples in very hot water to remove any oils from the skin that would otherwise prevent the toffee sticking, and dry them well. Push a piece of dowel or a lolly stick into the centre of each apple.
Put all the other ingredients into a heavy based pan with 4 tablespoons water. Cook over a gentle heat until the sugar has completely dissolved and then bring to the boil rapidly for 5-10 minutes.
Line a baking tray with non-stick paper to stand the apples on once they've been dipped. Have a jug of cold water with you at this stage and, every minute or so, test the toffee by dribbling some into the water – gradually you will see it form thick threads that will become increasingly brittle. When you have a toffee that hardens instantly into a crisp thread, remove the pan from the heat and stir to cool a little – this helps prevent the toffee from overcooking and burning.
Dip the apples into the toffee one at a time, swirling as you go, until they are evenly coated. Lift them up and let the excess toffee drip back into the pan. Immediately dip the coated apples in a bowl of iced water so that the toffee sets quickly, and put them on the lined baking tray until they are needed. If the toffee hardens or thickens too much as you dip, put it back on the heat to allow it to soften.