By Mike on Saturday, November 22, 2008, 19:27 - Permalink
This is a simple recipe for toffee apples - comprising only two ingredients - apples and sugar.
But this is one of those cases where the end result is greater than the sum of its parts. Biting through that crisp shell into the sweet aromatic apple flesh underneath, then savouring the mixture of sensations in every mouthful - that's what toffee apples are about - a simple, yet scrumptious treat.
Toffee apples, also known as candy apples, are something I always associate with fairgrounds, but I thought it would be fun to try making my own.
I began with four smallish apples, about 300g of caster sugar (granulated would also be fine) and some barbecue skewers.
I washed the apples, then dried them thoroughly.
I cut the skewers in half and removed the stalks from the apples, pushing two pieces of skewer through them in the place where the stalks came out.
(I used two sticks because they're quite thin and the apple would just slip off a single one)
300g of sugar went into a pan on its own, over a medium heat.
When it started to melt and turn brown at the edges, I turned up the heat a little and kept stirring it with a metal spoon.
I also took this opportunity to lightly oil a cookie sheet - and set this aside for later in the process.
After a minute or so, the sugar is all melted and is starting to caramelise
heating it for longer will result in a darker colour and a deeper caramel flavour - this might be a good thing, but is best not overdone, or it will taste bitter.
When the sugar was completely melted, I turned off the heat, tilted the pan a bit and twirled the apples to coat them evenly.
Great care is required at this point - the molten sugar is well above the temperature of boiling water, but it doesn't look hot at all.
It's also quite important that the apples are fully dry at this point, or the water will cause the molten sugar to bubble and spit violently.
When they were fully coated, I transferred them to the lightly-oiled cookie sheet to set.
They didn't take long to cool and set - only a couple of minutes - and the result is below - a delicious apple encased in a crisp, golden shell of toffee. Perfect.
Hot Sugar SafetyMolten sugar is extremely hot - considerably hotter than boiling water - and also sticky.
This recipe should not be attempted by unattended children.
Also, it is highly advisable to keep a bowl of ice cold water standing by - in case of molten sugar accidentally coming into contact with skin - the affected part can then be quickly plunged into the cold water to prevent a serious burn.