News and tips
Posted on Sunday, 21st October 2018
Halloween is on the 31st October and is an ancient tradition of scaring away the ghosts and ghouls. The American tradition of trick or treat has made it across the pond, and so you are likely to get a hoard of children dressed up, knocking at your door, begging for sweets and treats. So here are a few you can make to appease these little devils, or yourselves if you prefer.
This one is for all you alchemists or chemistry students. Warning this can bubble over and will be very hot, so take extra care making this fun recipe!
500g caster sugar
225g golden syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda
Butter or oil to grease tin
Prep: 5 min |Cook: 15 min | Extra time: 40 min
Grease a 20x30cm tin with butter or oil. Line the bottom and sides with baking paper or parchment, leave the parchment above the sides of the tin up to about 5cm. Grease the parchment with a little butter or oil.
Add the sugar, golden syrup, vanilla, and water to a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring the mixture to the boil, but do not stir. Boil until it reaches the hard crack stage*. about 10 minutes. During boiling, if there are any sugar crystals collecting on the sides of the pan, brush the sides of the pan and push these down with a clean pastry brush dipped in water.
Remove from heat and working quickly, add the bicarb, whisking to incorporate. The mixture will bubble when adding the bicarb, so mind the hot toffee. Immediately pour into the prepared tin. Let cool and set completely before touching. You can make out squares as it cools, or let it cool completely and then break into pieces and serve. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
*The mixture will go into bubbles, this is ball stage then soft threads, soft stage, and then brittle threads, this is a hard crack stage (the temperature on a sugar thermometer reads 149 - 154 degrees C)
** Added bonus points if you cover or dip this toffee into melted chocolate to make the iconic crunchie bar experience.
When in Yorkshire……This is traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night, another treat for you on the 5th of November. However, you can eat it at any time. This is best made a day or two before eating as it tastes better as it matures.
110g soft butter
110g soft dark brown sugar
55g black treacle
200g golden syrup
225g medium oatmeal
110g self-raising flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground mixed spice
2 medium eggs, beaten
1 tbsp milk
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 140C/120C fan/Gas Mark 1. Grease and line a 20cm x 20cm square cake tin.
In a pan, over a gentle heat, melt the butter, sugar, treacle and golden syrup. Don't allow the mixture to get too hot or bubble. When they have melted together remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
In a large mixing bowl sift in the dry ingredients and make a well in the centre. Gradually add the melted butter mixture and fold together. Pour in the beaten eggs and milk and combine together.
Pour into your baking tin. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, however, keeps an eye on it as parkin can easily become dry and over baked.
Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 20 minutes. Tip onto a cake rack and leave to cool completely.
Store the parkin in a cake tin and wrapped in greaseproof paper. You must keep it in a tin for a minimum of 1 day and up to a week before you cut it. Leaving it to develop will give it a moist and sticky texture, as well as making the flavour richer and deeper.
6 Granny Smith apples
300g demerara sugar
3tbsp golden syrup
25g salted butter
1½tsp cider vinegar
Lolly sticks or skewers
Clean the apples and push a stick into the top of each next to the core through to the base and set aside.
Put the sugar, syrup and butter in a saucepan with 75ml water then stir to dissolve. Then add the vinegar and stir in. Turn up the heat and boil until the mixture reaches 140C when it will have reached the toffee balling stage. See note above
Carefully dip the apples into the hot toffee and swirl to coat, or use a spoon to coat. Place on a board lined with baking paper to set.
*Bonus points for using melted chocolate again and dipping the apples in and then topping with sprinkles, mini M&Ms or mini marshmallows