a bowl of toffee

Recipe: Bonfire Toffee

Food and Drink

Image description: a photo of homemade toffee piled high in a bowl.

This one-pan recipe for sweet and very chewy toffee (inadvisable for those with fillings) only needs 4 ingredients and a hob. Quick and easy to make, it’s perfect to pop in your pocket for a dark night watching fireworks, or as a sweet treat for comfy film evenings. If you need a sugar lift for the start of lockdown – this is the recipe for you!

Makes: 1 tray of toffee
Time: 15 mins + time to set


  • 100g margarine/butter
  • 200g sugar (caster or granulated, whatever you have in the cupboards)
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup (for a stronger flavour, you can try treacle)
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • Small bowl of cold water


  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan on a low heat.
  2. Add all the other ingredients, mixing together until all the sugar has dissolved. You will be able to feel and hear when you tap a spoon at the bottom of the pan that all the sugar has melted.
  3. Get the bowl of cold water ready, and bring the mixture to the boil.
  4. Keep boiling for around 5 minutes, and then start testing whether the toffee is ready every few minutes, by dropping a small pea-sized amount into the water.
  5. When it is ready, the mixture will form a small, hard ball when dropped into the water. Before this, it will remain runny and stringy, and the toffee will be crumbly, and after this, it will be too rigid to eat. It will be a golden colour.
  6. Once ready, pour onto a well-greased baking tray, and immediately fill your saucepan with hot water to avoid the remaining mixture hardening in the pan.
  7. Score the toffee into pieces repeatedly whilst warm, and then separate once cool.
  8. Keep the toffee pieces separated by wrapping them in cling film (or a sustainable alternative) or the pieces will form a giant impenetrable toffee blob (trust me, do not let this happen!)

Image credit: Issy Flemming


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