Happy Eat on a Stick Day! Who knew that putting food on a stick could change our eating experience so much? Take the humble apple, dip it in toffee and put it on a stick voila! The humble Toffee apple.
We have a Mr William W Kolb from New Jersey to thank for these joyous little gems. Back in 1908, Mr Kolb was experimenting with a Christmas themed red cinnamon candy potion. He dropped an apple into the pot purely as a way to showcase his candy through his shop window. His display looked so good he ended up selling the candy-covered apples rather than the candy! These quickly became a favourite treat at circuses, and because apple season falls in the fall as it were, it became a tradition to hand out at Halloween and Bonfire night until the 1960s and 1970s. Unfortunately, it took one bad apple to spoil the cart. They fell out of favour when they became a hazard due to hidden needles and razors. My hope is in these Covidien days is that these little gems can be revived in the relative safety of our own homes and enjoyed across Northampton.
This recipe is from Emma Lewis on the BBC Good Food website.
I read through the reviews and here are the best bits.
Just dip the apples for no longer than 10 seconds in step 1 Spray the baking parchment before placing the dipped apples to harden or use silicone.
*If you have leftover toffee pour into silicone moulds or add bicarb of soda to turn into toffee cinder.
8x Granny Smiths
400 grams Caster Sugar
1 tsp Vinegar
4 tablespoons of Golden Syrup
Place the apples in a large bowl, then cover with boiling water (you may have to do this in 2 batches). This will remove the waxy coating and help the caramel to stick. Dry thoroughly and twist off any stalks. Push a wooden skewer or lolly stick into the stalk end of each apple.
Layout a sheet of baking parchment and place the apples on this, close to your stovetop. Tip the sugar into a pan along with 100ml water and set over a medium heat. Cook for 5 mins until the sugar dissolves, then stir in the vinegar and syrup. Set a sugar thermometer in the pan and boil to 150C or ‘hard crack’ stage. If you don’t have a thermometer you can test the toffee by pouring a little into a bowl of cold water. It should harden instantly and, when removed, be brittle and easy to break. If you can still squish the toffee, continue to boil it.
Working quickly and carefully, dip and twist each apple in the hot toffee until covered, let any excess drip away, then place on the baking parchment to harden. You may have to heat the toffee a little if the temperature drops and it starts to feel thick and viscous. Leave the toffee to cool before eating. Can be made up to 2 days in advance, stored in a dry place.
To celebrate Eat on a Stick day with our Fill Your Fridge Clients we prepared skewered Bacon-wrapped Chicken with Herbed Potatoes.
Soak the skewers in a tall glass of water for 20 mins.
I generally use chicken thighs as feel the darker meat has more flavour but the breast will work just as well for this. Cut into bites sized cubes and let marinate in oil and your favourite flavour – I used Cajun and garlic. Endless suggestions on flavours brown sugar and honey featured.
Take a slice of bacon and cut in half lengthways, wrap around a chicken piece and skewer. Repeat until the skewer is full, feel free to pop a marinated vegetable chunk to for variety and texture. See what you have around courgettes, peppers, or mushrooms would work well for example. Place the skewers onto a lined baking tray and oven bake for approx 30 mins at 180mins.
We’ve given two suggestions and we have no end of buffet foods we like to serve on sticks, but how many more foods can you think of that we eat from a stick? Let us know we’d love to hear about your favourite homemade creations, restaurant favourites, or holiday foods.
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