Bonfire Toffee

I know that bonfire night is still a while off, but leaving home tomorrow I won’t have much time to make any in the near future, so I decided to make some bonfire toffee today. Bonfire toffee is a traditional sweet made and eaten during October and November around bonfire night (November 5th), and is usually a little less sweet than other toffees.

What I used:

  • 500g demerara sugar
  • 400g brown sugar
  • 100g white sugar
  • 1/3 pint water
  • 80g margarine
  • 500g golden syrup
  1. Add all the ingredients except the golden syrup into a large pan so that they fill it no more than 1/4. Slowly bring the contents to boil under a low/medium heat, while stirring regularly, to dissolve the sugar. This should take 10 – 15 minutes.
  2. Once the sugar is dissolved, add the golden syrup and continue to stir and heat gently for a minute or two.
  3. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a rolling boil, the mixture will rise up the pan when getting hot, which is why the original contents must not fill the pan more than 1/4. Even with a very large pan, you still have to watch the mixture carefully as sugar spilled onto a hot hob burns very quickly. Boil for 5 – 10 minutes.
  4. Grease two tins or trays, roughly 30cmx45cm in size.
  5. Get a cup or jug of cold water, and pour a spoonful of your mixture into the water. If it instantly turns hard, then your toffee is ready to be poured into your trays. If it stays soft, then it is not hot enough, and needs more boiling. This is the hardest part of the toffee making process, and it can be difficult to find the point between having soft toffee which is undesirable and burnt toffee which has a horrible taste.
  6. When the toffee is ready, pour it immediately into the greased tins, trays and let cool for 30 seconds – 1 minute. After this period, cover them with something such as another tray, to stop flies and dust getting to them. They will need to cool for an hour or two before being put into the fridge.
  7. Once ready for the fridge, before the toffee is set, mark dividing lines into the toffee, to make it easier to snap into pieces once set.
  8. Leave the toffee another hour or two, and then have fun trying to get it out of the tray!

Golden syrup can be substituted for black treacle or a mixture of the two. The sugar can also be substituted for just brown or demerera, but I chose to use a mixture to get a good sweet and sour mixture while retaining the traditional dark colour of this toffee. I find that using part water and part margarine/butter instead of just one or the other strikes a balance between having clear, brittle toffee using just water, and cloudier and creamier toffee using just butter.

What I would do differently if I did it again:

  • Reduce the amount I aimed to make in the size of pan I used, as the mixture kept overflowing when it rose up in the heat.
  • Heat for longer, as although my toffee has set, it is still a bit soft.
  • Pour into a tray that has a removable bottom, like a cake tin, to make it easier to remove the toffee.



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