November Nostalgia: A Recipe

Jenna Patrick


One of my favourite autumnal treats, when I was a little girl, was a paper bag of bonfire toffee. It would get passed around by sticky gloved fingers in front of back garden fireworks on Bonfire Night. Rockets, Traffic Lights Catherine Wheels and Sparklers were a staple of this evening along with side toffee apples, parkin and a meat pie with mint sauce.

Bonfire Night, the 5th of November is a very British celebration and unable to have a night of fireworks and bonfires this month due to another lockdown, I decided to revisit my childhood and make some bonfire toffee at home.

Teeth be warned, this is one seriously sugary treat

The Recipe

  • oil or butter, for greasing
  • 450g dark brown sugar
  • 125ml hot water
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 115g black treacle
  • 115g golden syrup
  • Sugar Thermometer if possible

The Method
FYI I’d keep your calories light the day before you end up having a toffee binge as this is pretty much pure sugar. The method here is really for making a big batch of toffee but it’s easy to turn this into lollipops if you have moulds and some sticks.

  • Step one Line the base and sides of an A4 sized tin with grease proof paper and then grease it really well.
  • Step 2 Put the sugar and hot water in a heavy bottomed pan and heat gently until the sugar is dissolved, do not stir the mixture at any point instead tilt the pan if you need to move it around.
  • Step 3 Weigh out your remaining ingredients, if you put them in a really well greased jug they will be much easier to pour out. Once the sugar has dissolved add all the ingredients and pop the sugar thermometer in, you can use the thermometer to give it a quick swirl but try not to mix it too much.
  • Step 4 Bring to the boil and boil until you reach soft crack on your thermometer (270/140C) This may take up to 30 minutes. If you don’t have a sugar thermometer you can test your toffee by dropping some in some cold water, if it goes solid or forms strands, you are good to go. As soon as it reaches the temp, tip it into your tin and leave it to cool. Alternatively if you’re using a mould to make lollipops spoon it carefully into the mould.
  • Step 5 Once cool remove it from the tin and break up with a toffee hammer or rolling pin.

    You can wrap it in grease proof paper parcels to keep fresh and to share with friends. I would not advise eating all of this on your own, even if you do have a sweet tooth. Enjoy!

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