On the (book) shelf
So Thursday found me making toffee apples for the school fête on the Friday. I planned on 100 but ended up making 40 which was just as well as I only sold 20 though the people who did buy them said they were delicious! Toffee apples do keep for 1-2 days (wrap in cellophane and leave in a cool, dry place) so can be made the night before they are required and are a healthy sweet treat provided you brush your teeth well!
The failed trial batch
Some of the first ones I did crystallised but I kept those back and I managed to deal with the problem.
I used a recipe I found on The Pink Whisk because the previous one I’d tried did not explain how to stop the sugar crystallising. I’ve copied the recipe here, shortening and altering the instructions a little based on my own experience so refer to the original if you would rather follow that.
8 small apples (use sharp ones if you can)
wooden lolly sticks
300g caster sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
20g butter, diced
1tsp malt vinegar
* The sciencey bit – the vinegar provides acidity which helps the sugar boil correctly without burning and to allow the toffee to form the correct crystalline structure, the butter is for a really lovely toffee taste and the golden syrup to stop the sugar crystallising.
Apples being dewaxed
1) Place your apples in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow them to stand for a couple of minutes. This removes the waxy coating that some apples are given, if it’s not removed the toffee might not stick! Drain the water and remove the stalks and dry the apples well.
2) Insert a wooden lolly stick into the top of each and push them through the apple. The sticks should not come out the other end but should be far enough in to hold them securely.
3) In a medium sized pan place the caster sugar and water. Heat it gently until the sugar dissolves and the syrup turns clear. DO NOT RUSH this stage and DO NOT STIR. Add a drop of vinegar if you feel things are not progressing very fast.
Melting the sugar
4) When the sugar is fully dissolved, add the diced butter, vinegar and golden syrup and continue to heat until the mixture boils. (* The sciencey bit – the vinegar provides acidity which helps the sugar boil correctly without burning and to allow the toffee to form the correct crystalline structure, the butter is for a really lovely toffee taste and the golden syrup to stop the sugar crystallising.)
5) Now you want to boil the syrup until it reaches 140c. This will take about 10 minutes. Take the toffee off at the ‘hard crack’ stage. You will know you have reached this by dropping a small bit of toffee into a bowl of cold water. If it has reached the correct temperature it will form a hard ball of toffee in the water which when felt between your fingertips is hard all the way through. Start testing from 6-7 minutes.
6) When the toffee is at the correct temperature remove it from the heat and tilting the pan to one side hold an apple by the wooden stick dip it deftly into the toffee and swirl it around to coat. Lift it above the pan and swirl to allow the excess toffee to come away. You must work quickly but confidently. Do not rush as sugar burns can be nasty.
Sealed and ready
7) Set the apple onto the baking sheet to set and continue to work your way through the apples until they’re all coated. Leave to cool and then wrap in cellophane bags.