First created in the late 17th century, Bonfire toffee, or claggan to the Scots, is a sweet hard brittle toffee treat. The taste is similar to butterscotch. It has connections with both Halloween and Bonfire Night, aka Guy Fawkes Day on November 5th. Bonfire Night marks the failed attempt of Guy Fawkes to blow up English Parliament on November 5, 1605. Bonfires were set alight on that night when the plot was revealed, celebrating the safety of King James I, and the tradition has continued.
Traditional Bonfire Toffee
- 3 oz golden syrup (subsitute corn syrup)
- 3 oz black treacle (substitute molasses)
- 6 oz light soft brown sugar
- 3 oz unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 75 g/3oz butter
- tsp ¼cream of tartar
- Line a small rectangular tin (6 x 8in) baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
- Place a deep saucepan on medium heat and add all the ingredients. Stir occasionally until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. The mixture should be smooth.
- Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a boil Using a candy thermometer, cook until the mixture reaches 285F. Careully pour the mixture into your pan. Let Cool.
- For even pieces: wait 15 - 20 minutes until the toffee is cool enough to handle, but elastic enough so that a finger pressed in the top leaves a slight indent. Use an oiled chef's knife to draw even lines. When it has cooled completely, you will be able to easily break the toffee along those lines. For more fun, let the toffee cool completely, then break into shards with a rolling pin.
- Store in an airtight container, using parchment paper to help keep layers separate.