Monday, 5 November 2012

Bonfire night . . .

We all know the power that food and cooking can have in bringing people together and that there are certain times of year which demand particular recipes.  This weekend was one of those, as the closest weekend to bonfire night it was time to break out the parkin, and for our family another bonfire night staple, plot toffee!  This amazing sticky concoction has led to a few kitchen based disasters over the years.  Most notably the year my brother and I created a small volcano of boiling toffee which oozed over the work surface and onto the floor!

This year the making passed of without incident and after a little refinement (the recipe came from my grandma and her instructions were, well, hazy at best) I thought I would share the recipe :)

I must add a note of caution here, firstly boiling sugar and skin is an unhappy combination so please take care and secondly anyone with questionable dental work should maybe avoid this or leave it a little soft.

Plot Toffee

225g unsalted butter
450g caster sugar
450g golden syrup
150g condensed milk

In a large heavy bottomed pan melt together the butter, sugar and golden syrup over a medium heat.

Once the butter has melted, stir the mixture continuously and bring it to the boil.

Boil the mixture for a few minutes, then pour in the condensed milk.  Continue stirring!

Maintain a steady boil and keep stirring all the time for around 20 mins.  I would recommend that after 15 mins you put a sugar thermometer in the pan.  When it reaches soft crack (between 132 and 143C) carefully remove the pan from the heat and pour into a lightly oiled shallow tin.  A swiss roll tin is perfect for this.  Leave the toffee to cool completely and harden.  The tin can then be stored in the fridge which makes it a little more brittle and gives you a really satisfying shatter when you break it up.

If you prefer your toffee a little softer pour it out when you reach the hard boil on the sugar thermometer.  The flavour is still great and it poses a bit less of a risk to your fillings!

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