It’s officially the run up to Halloween, which means everything autumnal and spooky is imminent! Halloween has always been a much bigger deal for our friends across the globe, in the States, but it is most definitely taking hold in Britain and becoming more popular than ever.
As such, we are on the lookout for fun treats to celebrate Halloween, and maybe even some to make with the kids. Over the next few weeks my tutorials will be geared towards Halloween, and whilst this one probably isn’t suitable for children, y’know, because of the molten sugar ‘n’ that, some of my other ones will be much more little-hand-friendly!
For now, these Black Bat Toffee Apples are a blast for adult hands to make (rope in the kids to make the eyes, ears and fangs!).
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The whole recipe is below for you to save or print out, here is where I will explain the different stages in detail and give you affiliate links (look for the pink text!) to the products I used.
The black toffee made from this recipe will be enough to cover 6 medium apples. There will be some left over but don’t fret about washing your pan up- I have a killer tip for dislodging set caramel!
Use a little water to stick the black ovals to the white ovals and leave to dry.
Roll out black flower paste and cut out 12 wings using a template and a scalpel. You can either use my template here (it should be around 4.5cm when you print it) or google a cartoon bat, make it the size you want, print it and draw around that wing to make your own template.
When your wings are cut out, leave them to dry.
Wash your apples well to remove any waxy coating and insert a lollipop stick or skewer into each apple.
Have a sheet of wax paper or greaseproof paper ready sprayed with non-stick cooking spray to place your black bat toffee apples on once dipped.
Add your sugar, corn syrup and water to a saucepan, stir and bring to the boil.
Keep your mixture boiling and use a sugar thermometer to check the temperature. You need your caramel to reach hard crack stage (roughly 150c or 300f) before you can use it to coat your apples, which takes a surprisingly long time.
Once it has reached the correct temperature, remove your caramel from the heat and add in any additional flavours and colour, I used Sugarflair Liquorice to get my jet black caramel, (and if you like, 1/2 tsp of shortening, which is thought to help lessen the number of bubbles that can form on your dipped apples). Stir everything through and gaze for a second at your amazing Halloween caramel.
Then stop gazing and start moving, we’ve got some apples to dip!
Work quickly but take care not to burn yourself with the caramel. Tip your pan to the side to pool the caramel then swirl an apple through to coat the surface. Let the bulk of the excess drip back into the pan but don’t worry about every last drip.
Place your beautiful, glossy, dipped apple onto your waxed paper and immediately attach your dried wings, ears, eyes and fangs… IF your caramel hasn’t set! It sets super fast so don’t worry if it has, just keep dipping your apples- that’s the priority before your caramel sets up!
If you still have some features to attach after you’ve dipped your apples and they’ve set, just use some of the caramel left in the pan. You can either dip the ends of the wings or bottoms of the ears into the caramel and stick them straight onto your apples, or for the eyes and fangs you can use a cocktail stick or scribe to put a tiny amount of caramel onto the backs of the features and stick them that way.
If you can’t get any use out of your caramel because it’s set you can always melt some chocolate or use some royal icing to stick your features on.
Once your features are added you will have the cutest black bat toffee apples ever, so full of personality!
Literally, the worst thing about making caramel is cleaning up afterwards. Can I get an AMEN?!
Well, once your caramel has set in your saucepan and apparently ruined it forever, just add some water and bring it to the boil. It will release all the set caramel from your pan. Once that’s happened, just drain the water away, let everything cool down (or add some cold water to MAKE it cool down if you ain’t got time fo’ dat) and throw your hard caramel away.
Best. Toffee. Tip. Ever.
From me and my black bat toffee apples, to you and yours, Happy Halloween!