I’m on a diet at the moment, so in the spirit of the season, let us talk about sweet stuff! It’s more of a treat when its rationed, as well – so something to think about for the 5th of November – Bonfire Toffee!
In England, its usually Bonfire Toffee, sometimes the rather odd sounding Cinder Toffee – although to me, Cinder toffee tends to be less dense, and a touch more crunchy – like the inside of a Crunchy Bar. In Scotland it can be Claggum or Clack, and Wales calls it Loshin Du. I also understand that in the late 19th century it was described as “Tom Trott,” although the name seemed rather outdated even back then.
Essentially, bonfire toffee is a thick, sugary dark sweet, hard enough to chew and bite, and sticky enough to – leave a mess! Tradition probably says that it should be cut from a big sheet, and served in chunks, although I think it now comes in lolly-pop form as well. But I’d go for the homemade style – sugar, molasses, Treacle and butter! Proper Northern Bonfire Food. And Southern, too, probably.
Here is a recipe if anyone fancies trying it!
300g / 12oz Demerarar sugar
100g / 4oz butter
2 level tablespoons of golden syrup
1 level tablespoon of black treacle
4 tablespoons of water
(1) Put all the ingredients into a pan.
(2) Heat slowly, stirring until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.
(3) Bring to the boil. Cover the pan, and boil gently for 2 minutes.
(4) Uncover the pan, and continue to boil for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
(5) Test by dropping a little of the mixture into a cup of cold water. It should separate into brittle threads.
(6) Pour into a buttered 15cm / 6in square tin, and leave to set.
(7) Turn out on a board, and break up with a small hammer.
Makes about 500g / 1LB of Toffee.