Tag Archives: Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night Recipe: Treacle Toffee Pan Pops

Treacle toffee has long been a favourite of fine. Sticky and sweet, it’s something of a love/hate treat. I’ve always enjoyed it, but not really enjoyed eating the sharp shards of broken toffee. It can be sticky to eat, if only there was some way of eating it without getting sticky fingers. To solve the sticky finger problem, I’ve come up with these Treacle Toffee Pan Pops – all the loveliness of treacle toffee, but neatly presented on a lolly stick. I can confirm they are absolutely delicious too!

Bonfire Night Recipe: Treacle Toffee Pan Pops

To me, Bonfire Night has always been a celebration of cosy autumnal food and flavours. We always have jacket potatoes heaped with hot toppings like chilli. There’s always hot dogs with onions, toffee apples, parkin with custard and treacle toffee. From now on I’m adding my Treacle Toffee Pan Pops to the list!

These treacle treats are set in shallow tin foil cases, the kind you might buy jam tarts in. After a bit of searching I found exactly what I wanted here on Amazon (this is an affiliate link. I might get a couple of pence if you buy them). You will also need some lolly sticks (or popsicle sticks if you’re in America), again you can find them here on Amazon (affiliate link).

I made 10 Treacle Toffee Pan Pops and poured the rest of my treacle toffee into a lined swiss roll tin so I could compare and contrast the two with my family, we all preferred eating the pan pops, they were just easier to manage. This recipe would make around 30 pan pops, give or take. It’s also helpful if you have a cooking thermometer, sugar can be a tricky beast and this will help you know when it’s cooked properly. Here’s one of those Amazon affiliate links to one.

Bonfire Night Recipe: Treacle Toffee Pan Pops

Treacle Toffee Pan Pops

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of water
125g of unsalted butter
450g of soft brown sugar
225g of treacle

Method:

Put your vinegar, water and butter in a large saucepan and melt together, make sure you stir with a wooden spoon. When your butter has melted add your sugar and treacle.

Gently heat the mixture, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon so nothing sticks to the sides or the bottom of the pan. Be careful not to splash anything out of the pan, it will burn. You need to boil the mixture to 138°C. It will take about 20 minutes to get to this point, don’t rush it.

When it’s boiled, remove it from the heat and let it sit until it stops bubbling.

Bonfire Night Recipe: Treacle Toffee Pan Pops

I set my foil tins in a cupcake tray because I felt they’d be steadier there. If you have enough trays, do that. Carefully (please do this very carefully) pour about 2 tablespoons of the treacle toffee mixture into each pan, it should be so that it’s near the top, but not pouring over. The liquid toffee is very hot at this point.

Once you’ve filled all of your tin foil pans, take your wooden lolly sticks and place them in each one. Leave them for about ten minutes and then go and turn the sticks over in the toffee, this will help the stick to sink into it better. Leave the pops to cool for as long as you can, at least two hours.

When they’re fully cool, wrap each one in cellophane, I used cellophane bags I’d bought to put treats in. Keep them in an airtight tin until Bonfire Night.

Bonfire Night Recipe: Treacle Toffee Pan Pops

If you want to make a tray of treacle toffee, use the same method but pour the mixture into a greased Swiss roll tin. When the mixture is cooling, mark out squares with a sharp knife and go over those marks every half an hour or so until it’s fully cool. With luck your toffee will snap into neat little squares. Bag those up in cellophane and suck them around the bonfire!

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like to try this honey spiced pumpkin pie.

Bonfire Night Recipe: Treacle Toffee Pan Pops

Our low-key Bonfire Night celebrations

I’ve never been a big fan of Bonfire night, it’s always seemed a bit on the dangerous side for my liking, flying fire which explodes? No thank you very much. In previous years we’ve enjoyed a somewhat low-key, safety concious celebration, but this year we’ve decided to cast all my health and safety fears aside and go to a local display. But that will have to wait until the weekend, on the 5th November itself we’ll be spinning out our usual celebratory fayre.

Food
Hot dogs (or bangers) are the order of the day, always with fried onions and mustard. This is always followed by a thick slice of Parkin and custard.

We also make “sparklers” which are really easy to do, take a breadstick and dip one end in melted chocolate, then dip that in hundreds and thousands. It’s something even little toddlers can do and it’s quick, sticky, chocolatey and fun.

Fireworks
Because of the full horror of 1980s public information films I have a fear of fireworks (and pylons), but I feel I must tip my hat to tradition, so we usually get a packet of sparklers, don full safety gear, including having a bucket of water close by, and we stand in the garden waving our sparklers about. It provides about 4 minutes of fun. Total. But that’s enough dicing with danger for one night.

After we’ve done with our sparklers we tend to press our faces up against the window and watch everyone else’s displays from the safety of our kitchen, earnestly chewing our way through a bag of treacle toffee.

Now the small boy is nearly 5 (how did that happen?) he’s a bit more interested in things like Bonfire Night, we’ll be printing off some of these really handy Bonfire Night activity sheets from Pip Ahoy! to add to the evenings entertainment. There’s a poster to colour in, a spot the difference puzzle and a recipe to make some yummy toffee apples!

Do you have any Bonfire Night traditions? 

bonfire night

My Autumnal Top Ten

I love autumn, it’s my favourite season, or my least favourite season, I’m still undecided. So in the style of a teenage girl doing a pros/cons list on a potential boyfriend, my favourite things about autumn are…

1. Kicking through crunchy leaves on walks
2. Hot chocolate with optional whipped cream and marshmallows
3. Warm snuggles under a blanket
4. Halloween parties
5. Stew and buttery mash
6. Rainy day crafting with the small boy
7. Watching firework displays from the bedroom window
8. Collecting conkers
9. The evening sky in autumn is often incredible
10. Stodgy, happy puddings with lashings of custard.

But I really hate autumn for these reasons…

1. Rain, endless rain
2. The dark
3. It’s cold
4. Slippery leaves on the pavement
5. Falling conker concussion
6. Arguing over putting the heating on
7. The resulting heating bill
8. Diets are hard, like really hard, I want sticky toffee pudding
9. It’s too cold to go out and exercise, I wanna stay under the blanket
10. Stupid fireworks, it’s not November 5th yet

I could go on, but I won’t, that angry nerve in my eye is twitching again. I’m still undecided. Autumn definitely is a love/hate season for me.

Autumn

Bonfire Night

If like me you’re of a certain age, somewhere slightly north of 21, then your head is likely filled with the terrifying public information films which were shown during the 1980s (a decade I can barely remember). As a result of this I physically recoil at the thought of a frisbee near a pylon, I know to sit under a table in the event of a nuclear war and that fireworks are potentially the most dangerous thing known to humanity.

My parents being risk (and fun) averse never really did fireworks. I have a vague memory of a poor quality Catherine wheel being nailed to the shed, when lit it promptly fell off and went mental around the garden while we watched balefully from behind locked patio doors.

fireworks

One year my Dad, keen for us not to miss out on the “fun” bought some indoor fireworks. These were as dull as cheese. The one I remember the most was a black coin shaped thing which you held a lighter to and then it kind of unravelled itself like a demonic poo.

Since leaving home we’ve never had fireworks, we’ve always had a dog who is terrified of whizz-bangs. So for many years we’d escape down to Devon for Bonfire night. Fireworks in the deepest, darkest countryside are a bit frowned on due to the farm animals. Sure, we’d get some sparklers in and that would be our limit. It was actually very lovely.

These days in our new house we overlook woods and fields. We can cheerfully sit on our bed; curtains open and watch all the fireworks for miles around. There is also a local firework display on the field below. We get all the fun, none of the danger and we get to stay warm and cozy. So that’s what we’ll be doing tonight, and eating sausages and Parkin obviously, though not on the same plate.