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Recipe: Grandma Dora’s Bonfire Toffee

As promised, here is the recipe for my Grandma Dora’s famous bonfire toffee…  this is a recipe I was hesitant to share when I first published it in 2009!  After 3 years it deserves a reblog – which I may well do every year, as that and my TOFFEE APPLES are brilliant for Halloween, Bonfire Night, or indeed anytime at all!

My wonderful, colourful Grandma Dora has been a huge inspiration for me and she sadly passed away over 15 years ago.  But her legacy of colour, pattern and hit family recipes live on and her influence on Pearl and Earl’s style is obvious to anyone who knew her… infact my book Supersize Stitches is dedicated to her memory.

If you count calories, or don’t like things stuck to your teeth – this is not the recipe for you!  But every year we made this without fail and it was without a doubt the best thing about firework night…  I believe the best recipes are those with memories attached, as they somehow envoke an extra taste sensation! There are tons of variations of treacle toffee – which if you manage to keep your mitts off, makes a great home made gift at Christmas…  ours is cloudy and can be a little chewy (attempt to chew at your own risk!)

Approach with caution; toffee gets very, very hot (up to 140 °C/ 270°) as it is boils. Treacle Toffee keeps very well stored in an airtight tin so make enough for Bonfire night and extra toffee for Christmas.

So here it is:

Grandma Dora’s Bonfire Toffee

300g / 12oz Demerara sugar
100g / 4oz butter
2 level tablespoons of golden syrup
1 level tablespoon black treacle
4 tablespoons of water
7 inch square tin (or 12×4 inch) – lightly greased with ground nut oil (as it does not affect the flavour)

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes


  1. Combine ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan
  2. Heat slowly, stirring until the butter melts and sugar dissolves
  3. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes
  4. Do a first Test by dropping mixture in a cup of cold water, it should set (or at least be a rounded ball)
  5. If not set
  6. Uncover and continue to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occassionally to avoid sticking, and checking for a set every couple of minutes
  7. Pour into the tin and leave to set / cool * Tip – use a spatula to ensure you have every last drop to avoid extra pan scrubbing!
  8. Turn out and break up with the end of a rolling pin!
Makes 1lb/500g cloudy treacle toffee

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