How (not) to make toffee apples
I read a tip on an Instructables for mini toffee apples – rather than dip the whole apple, use a melon-baller to make smaller globes and use a cocktail stick for a “handle”.
Sounded interesting, and I hadn’t had a toffee apple since I was a kid, so I bought some apples – it recommended Granny Smiths, which my local Sainsbury sold in packs of 4.
It said that you could either make toffee from scratch, or buy some, melt it and use that. I looked up “how to make toffee” online, but a lot o it was “buy some and melt it in microwave” and the actual recipes looked a bit daunting for someone who’s never made any before and who’s a bit wary of dealing with boiling liquids – at least, of dealing with them safely.
So I thought I’d buy some and microwave-melt, but even that wasn’t easy –couldn’t find the right kind on Amazon and none of my local shops had anything other than Werther’s Originals. I explained to the woman in the shop what I was looking for, and why, and she said that she’d used Werther’s to top a toffee cake she’d made, so I bought some.
First time I tried didn’t go well – unwrapped all the toffees and used an ordinary mixing bowl to melt them; wasn’t sure how long it’d take so gave it thirty-second bursts. Nothing seemed to happen, so I left it in for longer, and it melted then … also melted the bowl, when I lifted it out of the microwave only the toffee held the bottom on! (Took a pic of that, and if I can find it I’ll post it.)
Bought some more, and had them hanging around for ages until I could find a Pyrex jug to melt this lot in. Meantime, the first lot of apples had gone off, so the birds got them and after I’d bought the second bag of toffees, bought some more. Took so long to get the jug that these apples were in danger, too.
Finally got all items and got around to doing something with them. Peeled the apples and used the melon-baller:
Put a cocktail stick in each and put them on a tray
Left a lot of bits and pieces between where the balls had been cut out:
Put them in mini-foil dishes, so that I could pour toffee on them to make “toffee apple cakes”:
Didn’t fancy microwaving the toffee after last time, even though I’d now got something safe to melt them in, so had a go at making a double-boiler using two saucepans and an empty small tin that had contained pineapple chunks:
But the toffee didn’t seem to want to know at all:
So I had to try to jug-and-microwave method, with equal success – even when melted, the toffee was thick and reluctant to leave the jug … and by the time I’d taken it out of the microwave and walked across to the waiting apple pieces, it had virtually set again:
I had to re-melt, and re-re-melt, and re-re-re, doing a splodge each time before the toffee set again.
I managed to get a dribble over the apple, but not much – and even then it wouldn’t stick, possibly because the apple was still a bit moist.
I tried a couple of bits while I was waiting for the next melt, but the rest of it all ended up in the bin. And getting the toffee remnants out of the jug was another ordeal.
Of course, I realise now that what I should have done was to have used the double boiler on a much higher heat, and keep it simmering while I dipped each mini-apple, but as I said, I’m a bit nervous of working with stuff that’s that hot.
It’s not even as if I particularly like toffee! I always avoid it in any assortment. But I remembered the thin crunchy toffee that was on the apples of my youth, and maybe creamy toffee wasn’t the right thing to use.
The “mini-apple” is a good idea. Just a shame that I couldn’t do any better with it. Ah well, at least I tried.
- 22 Sep, 2014
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Gardening with friends since
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