Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com
Servings: Makes 1 to 1 1/2 pounds toffee
Bonfire toffee, or treacle toffee as it is more commonly known, is a very hard, very brittle toffee that is associated with Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night* (See information below) in the United Kingdom. Treacle toffee was common in sweet shops, but now it is only usually available in supermarkets in October and November. Most commonly it is found as pre-made lollies that are set in small foil pie dishes. It can also be bought in slabs, which are cracked into smaller pieces with a hammer.
Bonfire toffee tastes very strongly of black treacle, and cheap versions can be quite bitter in taste unlike most toffee.
Its ingredients are generally:
* Margarine or butter
* Golden syrup
* Black treacle
* Food colorings, usually dark brown or black (coloring is not required if enough treacle is used, but may be found in cheaper versions)
Guy Fawkes Night
Guy Fawkes Night, also called Bonfire Night, is an annual celebration (but not a public holiday) on the evening of the 5th of November primarily in the United Kingdom, but also in former British colonies New Zealand, South Africa, the island of Newfoundland (Canada), parts of the British Caribbean including the Bahamas, and to some extent by their nationals abroad. Bonfire Night was common in Australia until the 1980s, but it was held on the Queen's Birthday long weekend in June.
It celebrates the failure of the Gunpowder Plot in which a group of Catholic conspirators, led by one Robert Catesby, and including Guy Fawkes, attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in Westminster on the evening of 5 November 1605, when the Protestant King James I (James VI of Scotland) his eldest sons and the majority of the English Parliament was within its walls. The conspirators were executed.
The celebrations, which in the United Kingdom take place in towns and villages across the country, involve fireworks displays and the building of bonfires, on which "guys", or dummies, representing Guy Fawkes, the most infamous of the conspirators, are traditionally burnt. Before the fifth, children traditionally used the "guys" to beg for money with the chant "Penny for the guy", although this is now rarely seen.
Source of definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonfire_toffee
The Tate & Lyle Granulated Sugar in the recipe may be substituted with any other brand of granulated sugar.
The Lyle's Black Treacle in this recipe may be substituted with any other brand of black treacle (or blackstrap molasses), and the Lyle's Golden Syrup may also be substituted with any brand of golden syrup or in the US, it can be substituted with light or dark corn syrup, such as Karo brand corn syrup.
450g (1 pound) Tate & Lyle Granulated Sugar
150ml (1/4 pint) water
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
85g (3/4 stick/3oz.) butter or magarine
100g (4oz.) Lyle's Black Treacle
100g (4oz.) Lyle's Golden Syrup
Lightly oil an 18cm (7-inch) shallow square tin. Measure the sugar and water into a large heavy-based non-stick saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cream of tartar, fat, black treacle and golden syrup and bring to the boil.
Brush the inside of the pan with water, just above the level of the sugar syrup. Boil to the soft crack stage or 132-143 degrees C/270-290 degrees F. The best way to do this is to use a candy thermometer. Alternatively, drop a little of the mixture into a bowl of cold water and if the syrup separates into threads which are hard, but not brittle, it is ready.
Pour into the tin, cool for 5 minutes, then mark into squares with an oiled knife and let set in a cool place (not the refrigerator). Break into pieces once set.
Makes 1 to 1 1/2 pounds toffee.
Date: August 26, 2007