Everyone loves toffees.
Well, except for those who have, for whatever reason, given up the joys of a little sweetness in their day. But I guess you replace that with sweet joys of other kinds.
I grew up in an era where you could *shock horror* buy a toffee from the school canteen for one cent. Yes, it's true. It was allowed. They were an inexpensive treat, loved by Mums and School Canteens alike for their simplicity of preparation, and minimal ingredients.
These days for some reason, we've been fooled into thinking you need a candy thermometer, exotic ingredients and a science degree, to make toffee. Well that can't be true because I've been making them since I was ten years old (I was a very responsible ten year old who grew up at the kitchen bench, mind you!).
Toffees, my way, need just three ingredients.
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
You also need:
Cupcake papers or chocolate papers to pour the toffee in to OR baking paper and craft sticks, where you can pour the toffee making circles, and turn it into lollipops.
A small heatproof glass jug into which to pour the toffee to make it easier to transfer into the papers.
Cake sprinkles, metallic cake cachous as pictured here, hundreds and thousands or even coconut, if you want to put something in them to make them more fun.
Put your liners into muffin pans. I used miniature muffin pans and mini chocolate papers to make these ones. Drop in a few sprinkles or whatever, and set them aside.
Then you just:
Put the ingredients in a medium saucepan, stirring constantly over high temperature, till the sugar dissolves, which takes about five minutes.
Turn it down to a medium heat, and let it bubble away for about 15 minutes.
Now the way I test for whether it's ready, without a candy thermometer, is to have a glass of iced water close by. I dip a teaspoon into the bubbling toffee (careful, a sugar burn is very painful...I've never had one though, because I've used that rare thing called 'common sense'....lol!), then put the teaspoon into the iced water for about a minute. Take the teaspoon out and test the toffee with your teeth. If it's chewy, let it simmer for another couple of minutes and test again. If it's hard, it's ready.
I can tell by how the bubbles look, whether my toffee is done. Usually all the froth has subsided, and the bubbles look a little like this.
At this stage, you can add a little food colouring to make coloured toffees if you wish.
Carefully pour this into your glass jug, and immediately use the jug to pour into your waiting papers. Alternatively pour onto the baking paper, using a spoon to form a round, and push the craft sticks into the liquid toffee, to form a stick.
Set them aside at room temperature to go hard, and enjoy! That's it!
In other news, thankyou for all your lovely birthday wishes for my birthday last week.
I'm a lucky girl, who not only is being treated to the ballet this coming Tuesday, but who also received lovely books, lovely jewels, and a lovely new camera. Thankyou lovely family :)
I'm putting my feet up with aforementioned book today, having already prepared healthy veges for a stir fry for lunch.
The garden has been entertaining us with a wild display of coloured bromeliads the last few weeks, so I thought I'd share....
Have a beautiful Sunday everyone.