Bonfire toffee is the absolute treat on Bonfire Night, the 5th of November. No Bonfire Night would be complete without it! The toffee is also known as Plot Toffee, understandably because of Guy Fawkes and his plot to blow up the houses of parliament.
This Treacle Toffee recipe for Bonfire Toffee is simple, quick, and easy to make but must be approached with caution; toffee gets very, very hot as it is boiled reaching temperatures as high as 140°C/ 270°F.
It is important that the toffee reaches the correct temperature or it will not be brittle and hard when it sets. It is worth investing in a sugar thermometer. That said, the toffee still tastes good even when a little soft and sticky, but it won't be real Bonfire Toffee. Treacle toffee keeps very well stored in an airtight tin so make enough for Bonfire Night and extra for Christmas.
And to fill and warm up tummies, try traditional these Parched Peas.
- 1 pound/450 g dark brown sugar
- 1/4 pint/120 ml pint water
- 1/4 level teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup/115 g black treacle/molasses***
- 1/2 cup/115 g golden syrup/corn syrup
Makes 500g (1 ¼ lb) toffee
Gather the ingredients. Generously butter a 30cm x 10cm or 18cm square tin, make sure you get the butter right into the corners.
In a heavy-based 4-pint stainless steel saucepan dissolve the sugar and water over low heat. Once dissolved, add all the remaining ingredients, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Using a sugar or toffee thermometer boil to 270 F/140 C (soft crack).
***If you do not have a sugar or toffee thermometer, keep a jug of cold water next to the stove, once the toffee has started to thicken, drop a little of the syrup into cold water, it is ready when it solidifies into threads as it hits the water, when removed from the water, the threads should still be slightly flexible not too brittle as the toffee continues to cook for a while.
Once the temperature or the test above is reached (anything between 20 - 45 minutes at a good hard, boil) carefully pour the toffee into the prepared tin and leave to cool.
Once the toffee is cold remove it from the tin and break with a toffee hammer or solid sharp object and the toffee will crack into pieces. If your toffee is stuck in the tin, turn the tin over, and place it on a firm surface like a chopping board and tap sharply on the underneath of the tin a few times, the toffee will break up and fall out.
Store in an airtight tin until Bonfire Night if you can resist it long enough!
NOTE: This toffee is not a caramel and as such needs to be brought up to a high temperature, please take care when handling.
**What Is Black Treacle?
Black treacle is an extremely thick, dark, sugar syrup containing cane molasses which gives it a special flavor. The treacle, however, is less bitter than pure molasses.