Foolproof toffee apples


Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves 6


200g (7 oz) granulated sugar
6 tablespoons water
6 small dessert apples
100 g (4 oz) Rowse Acacia honey
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar


Add the sugar and water to a medium saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has completely dissolved, without stirring. Tilt the pan from side to side to encourage any patches of sugar that will not dissolve.

While the sugar dissolves, wash and dry the apples thoroughly then press a lolly stick (or used a washed recycled one) or 12.5 cm (5 inches) piece of new dowelling into each apple.

Add the honey and vinegar to the sugar syrup then increase the heat slightly and cook the syrup, still without stirring for 4-5 minutes until the syrup begins to darken slightly, become toffee coloured and reaches 149°C (300°F) on a sugar thermometer. Or test by dropping a little syrup into a mug of cold water, it will quickly form brittle strands when ready.

Take the pan off the heat, stand the pan in a sink filled with a 5 cm (2 inch) depth of cold water for a couple of minutes to stop the toffee overheating.

Take the pan out of the water then dip the apples into the toffee, one at a time, tilting pan slightly as less and less toffee is left in the pan and stand coated apples on an oiled baking sheet. By the 6th apple, you may need to warm the toffee slightly so it liquefies again.

Leave to cool and harden then wrap toffee apples in squares of cellophane and tie with ribbon. Tip: The toffee may begin to soften after a few hours if left at room temperature, wrapping in cellophane helps to keep it firm and brittle.

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