Make your own Bonfire toffee

Bonfire toffee is an absolute favourite at this time of year, writes involved resident Howard Walton.

A few days back I was regaling my grandchildren with how my father used to make toffee for me when I was a kid - especially "bonfire toffee"- in the lead up to Guy Fawkes Night.

It is also delicious at Halloween (or any time really) and chunks of it go down very well with any little "trick or treaters" who may come tapping on your door.

My grandchildren love toffee and fudge, so there was an immediate clamour of "Can you make some for us Grandpa, next time you come over?!"

So I have dug out the old recipe, which you can try for yourself and your family - it's scrumptious!

Little ones seem to prefer plain toffee, as bonfire toffee is more tangy and perhaps more suited to adult tastes. I've also added a recipe for fudge, if toffee is not to your liking.

Do make sure any "little helpers" are very strictly supervised and watch from a safe distance. And be careful yourself. Boiling sugar can burn very badly indeed.

Toffee Recipe:

Use Golden Syrup for Plain Toffee or Black Treacle for Bonfire Toffee

2 cups sugar 1 cup butter 2 tablespoons vinegar 1/4 cup golden or black treacle 1/4 cup water

  1. Combine all ingredients in large saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring until all dissolved, then boil without stirring until the mixture is dark golden.
  3. Test by spooning a few drops into a cup of cold water.
  4. The toffee is done when it hardens at once into a crisp hard ball.
  5. Take off heat and pour into a flat oiled tray to make a layer about 1/2 inch thick.
  6. When toffee is tepid, score into squares, and when cool break with a hammer and store in an airtight container.

To clean pan, fill with hot water immediately and boil to loosen toffee residue.

Lining your tray with tin foil or greaseproof paper is preferable to oiling.

Fudge Recipe

Oil (for greasing) or tin foil or greaseproof paper 300 ml milk 350 g caster sugar 100 g unsalted butter 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

  1. Grease an 18cm square cake tin or line with tin foil or greaseproof paper
  2. Put the milk, sugar and butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Heat slowly, stirring all the time, until the sugar has dissolved and the butter melted.
  3. Bring to the boil and boil for 15-20 minutes, stirring all the time.
  4. Spoon a few drops into a cup of water. When the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage, remove from the heat (stir in the vanilla extract if required.
  5. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Beat the mixture with a spoon for a few minutes until it starts to thicken and the gloss disappears.
  7. Pour into the prepared tin and leave to set at room temperature (do not put it in the fridge).
  8. Once set, cut the fudge into small squares and store in a sealed container.