For a devilishly delicious take on the traditional Halloween treat
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
What you need
- 8-10 small Cox’s apples, stalks twisted off
- 1 x 100g (4oz) bag microwave sweet popcorn
- 225g (8oz) Lyle’s Trick Or Treacle
- 450g (1lb) Tate & Lyle’s demerara sugar
- 110g (4oz) unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
- You will also need 8-10 wooden ice-lolly or cake pop sticks and 2 baking trays lined with parchment paper.
- Put the apples in a large bowl, pour over boiling water to cover and then quickly pour it off.
- This will remove any wax coating from the apples and will help the toffee to stick.
- Polish dry.
- Push the sticks halfway into the core of the apples at the stalk end.
- Microwave the popcorn, according to the pack instructions, and have it ready in a bowl.
- Next, combine the treacle, sugar, butter and vinegar in a large heavy-based pan and stir constantly over a low heat with a wooden spoon for about 15 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
- Bring to the boil without stirring, otherwise the sugar may crystallise, until the mixture reaches 149°-154°C, 300°-310°F or the hard-crack stage.
- If you don't have a thermometer you can check that the toffee is ready by dropping a teaspoon of the mixture into a bowl of cold water.
- It should harden instantly and, when removed, be brittle and easy to break.
- If you can still squash the toffee, continue to boil it.
- Remove the pan from the heat and tilting it, quickly and carefully dip the apples one at a time in the toffee, twirling them as you do, to completely cover.
- Let any excess drip away before quickly scattering with popcorn whilst the toffee is still hot and place on a baking tray to harden.
- This is easier to do with help, with one person dipping and the other scattering with popcorn.
- If you find the toffee becomes too thick because the temperature has dropped, just heat it up again.
- Once set, store the toffee apples in an airtight container in a dry place, not the fridge, and eat within 24 hours or the toffee will soften and start to liquefy.
- If you have any spare toffee and popcorn after making the toffee apples, just stir them together in a bowl, quickly spoon into clusters on some parchment paper and leave to harden.
Recipe and photo credits by Lorna Wing for Lyles