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Bonfire Night - Treacle Toffee Recipe

User Rating 3.5 Star Rating (5 Reviews)


Bonfire Toffee

Bonfire Toffee Broken with a Hammer

Photo © RFB photography
Bonfire toffee is the absolute treat on Bonfire Night, the 5th of November. No Bonfire Night would be complete without it!

This Treacle Toffee Recipe for Bonfire Toffee is simple, quick and easy to make but must be approached with caution; toffee gets very, very hot as it is boiled reaching temperatures as high as 140°C/ 270°F.

It is important that the toffee reaches the correct temperature or it will not be brittle and hard when it sets. It is worth investing in a sugar thermometer. That said, the toffee still tastes good even when a little soft and sticky but it won't be real Bonfire Toffee.

Treacle Toffee keeps very well stored in an airtight tin so make enough for Bonfire night and extra for Christmas.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1lb/450g dark brown sugar
  • ¼ pint/120ml water
  • ¼ level tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ cup/115g black treacle/molasses
  • ½ cup/115g golden syrup/corn syrup


Makes 1¼lb/500g toffee
  • Generously butter a 12" x 4"/30cm x 10cm or 7"/18cm square tin, make sure you get the butter right into the corners.
  • In a heavy based 4-pint stainless steel sauce pan dissolve the sugar and water over a low heat. Once dissolved, add all the remaining ingredients, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Using a sugar or toffee thermometer boil to 270°F/140°C (soft crack).

    ***If you do not have a sugar or toffee thermometer, keep a jug of cold water next to the stove, once the toffee has started to thicken, drop a little of the syrup into cold water, it is ready when it solidifies into threads as it hits the water, when removed from the water, the threads should still be slightly flexible not too brittle as the toffee continues to cook for a while.
  • Once the temperature or the test above is reached (anything between 20 - 45 minutes at a good hard, boil) carefully pour the toffee into the prepared tin and leave to cool.
  • Once the toffee is cold remove it from the tin and break with a toffee hammer or solid sharp object and the toffee will crack into pieces.If your toffee is stuck in the tin, turn the tin over and place it on a firm surface like a chopping board and tap sharply on the underneath of the tin a few times, the toffee will break up and fall out.
  • Store in an airtight tin until Bonfire Night if you can resist it long enough!
NOTE 1: Let me warn you,your pan, work surfaces, spoons et al will all be covered in toffee but put them into hot soapy water and they will be clean in an instant.

NOTE 2: This toffee is not a caramel and as such needs to be brought up to a high temperature, please take care when handling. Guide's Response to User Reviews
"The success of this toffee depends on it reaching the correct temperature, any lower and the sugar doesn't melt sufficiently to produce a sharp, hard toffee. Adding water, not butter, creates a very brittle, shiny toffee, butter would make it cloudy, more fudge like." - Elaine Lemm, Your Guide to British Food
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 3 out of 5
Average, Member MaddyHockey

The over all product tasted delicous, but it was more like really stick hard goo, then rock solid brittle toffee. Saying this, we did not have a sugar thermomater so this ment we didnt know the exact heat the mix should be. For me, the trick with the cold water didnt work. As I said before, it did taste aboustly delicous! We have only had it for two days and 3 quaters of the toffee has gone!

46 out of 56 people found this helpful.

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