Chele form Chocolate Teapot has chosen “apple” as the special ingredient for this month’s We Should Cocoa challenge. On reading the challenge, I must admit that I was not convinced by the apple-chocolate combination. I just couldn’t taste it in my mind (if that makes sense – perhaps I should have said that I just couldn’t imagine the taste). I resigned myself to the inevitable last-minute, slightly panicky, cobbled-together entry that would take me a whole month to come up with and turned my thoughts to toffee apples and Bonfire Night, which is tomorrow. And then suddenly it hit me – what about chocolate toffee apples? Hello potentially genius idea…
Now, I’ve never tried making toffee apples before, in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten eaten one before. The first step was to find a recipe, and none of my recipe books obliged (probably because most of them are French). Now, there are approximately 56 bajillion toffee apple recipes online, which doesn’t help when trying to narrow them down. In the end, I settled on one that seemed straightforward and didn’t require condensed milk (because I’ve no idea what else to do with the other part of the tin that would be left over). So I settled on one from BBC Food, and added some cocoa powder in at the end. I think the addition of the cocoa powder made the toffee a lot thicker and heavier and also meant that the toffee wasn’t as smooth glossy as it would normally be, which also resulted in a few issues when trying to coat the apples as the toffee cooled quicker than I was expecting (I was faffing around a bit though, hence why there’s an uncoated apple in the photo…). I’ve never tried a normal toffee apple before, so I can’t say whether I prefer these or not, but these did taste good! Enjoy Bonfire Night, however you’re planning on celebrating! (Hopefully toffee apples are involved…!)
Chocolate toffee apples
Adapted from BBC Food
I used Cox apples, because that’s what I happened to have, and they’re quite crisp which works well. If you don’t have skewers or lollipop sticks, you could probably just drop the apples into the toffee and fish them out with a slotted spoon or something (though eating them without a stick to hold onto could be a slightly messy affair). Using a small saucepan makes the toffee layer deeper, making it easier to dip the apples. I think the addition of the cocoa powder resulted in a slightly thicker toffee, which made coating a little more difficult, and the toffee cooled slightly quicker, too. Remember that this involves heating sugar to 140°C, so it’s probably best to keep small children and pets out of the kitchen until everything has cooled.
3 small apples
110g granulated sugar
60 ml water
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp roasted chopped hazelnuts
10g cocoa powder (at least 70%)
1. Scrub the apples in hot water to remove the waxy layer so that the toffee sticks well. Remove the stalks and insert a lollipop stick or bamboo skewer halfway into the apple through the bit where the stalk was. Set on a lined baking sheet and place near the hob.
2. Heat the water and sugar together in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the cubed butter and honey and bring to the boil. Clip your sugar thermometer to the saucepan, and allow to boil without stirring until the temperature reaches 140°C.
3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and carefully stir in the nuts and sifted cocoa powder (be careful not to splash yourself with hot toffee).
4. Carefully (but quickly) dip each apple into the saucepan, coating as thoroughly as you can (don’t worry if you don’t get it right to the top though). Set the apples on the lined baking tray to cool and harden.