Danielle Copperman, model and author of wellbeing and lifestyle book ‘Well Being: Recipes and rituals to realign the body and mind’, shares her healthy sticky toffee apple recipe to get you ready for Halloween.
Toffee apples are everywhere around this time of year as Fall celebrations like Halloween and Bonfire Night arrive. I was never very fond of them as a child, they were too tough to get into, and the reward for hurting teeth, cutting lips and getting sticky hands wasn’t tempting enough for me. However, this variation is much more up my street. The coconut sugar used creates a really rich flavour and adding a dash of lemon juice and salt creates a wonderful salted caramel flavour, without the additives, e-numbers or artificial flavourings of most shop-bought options. I also use organic apples which always seem bigger and juicier. Apples are in abundance around September / October and I love to use ingredients that are seasonally available. I truly believe that ingredients grow for us as, when and where we need them and apples play a huge part in keeping colds at bay as the seasons shift, amongst other things. Offer a more functional and 100% natural sweet treat for family and friends this Halloween and if you have young children, get them involved in dipping and decorating too!
1 Cup Coconut Palm Sugar
250ml Cold Water
1 1/4 Cups Almond or Coconut Milk
Generous Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt, sea salt or rock salt
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice – optional
4 Small – Medium Apples of choice (I used Granny Smiths)
+ You will also need a selection of bamboo sticks, kebab sticks or lollipop sticks.
Chopped Salted Almonds (or any nut/seed of choice)
Chopped Cacao Nibs
Granola or Qnola
Start by boiling the water in a medium saucepan. As it begins to boil, stir in the coconut palm sugar, and let the mixture boil on a high heat for 2-3 more minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce to a medium heat, then stir in the remaining ingredients. Simmer here for 10-12 minutes, stirring constantly as it can stick to the pan or burn easily. Keep a close eye on it, watching it thicken, and continue to simmer until it becomes darker brown in colour, thicker and begins to reduce slightly. To test whether it is done, take a teaspoonful and rest it on a plate to cool. As it cools it should become even thicker and should be slightly tough to touch. If it is still sticky and runny, continue to simmer and allow it to thicken even more. Once you are happy with the consistency and once it begins to set more solidly, remove the pan from the heat.
Now you need to work relatively quickly as the toffee will cool rapidly. Lightly grease a plate or a baking tray with coconut oil. Take one apple at a time and insert whichever sticks you are using through the middle of it. It shouldn’t go all the way through to the other side, but deep enough to ensure it won’t slip out. Now, carefully tilt the sauce pan to one side, dip the apple into the toffee mixture, and turn the apple repeatedly to coat it evenly. Lift it out of the toffee and continue to turn it above the mixture, to let any excess drip off. I recommend scraping the bottom gently, to ensure it doesn’t stick too much to the plate/tray that you place them on. As the toffee begins to stop dripping, place the apple on your prepare surface, and repeat with the other apples. You can either leave the apples bare like this, or roll them through the toppings of your choice. I chopped some salted almonds finely and placed them in a medium bowl, then gently rolled the apples around in the bowl until the almond dust stuck. If it is easier, you can top the apples by taking a handful of your toppings and pressing it into the toffee coating.
Once coated, or if you are leaving them bare, place the apples in the fridge to cool and set a little more, for around 1 hour. The longer you leave them, the better.
+ These will last for around 2 weeks in the fridge or in an airtight container.
+ You can also use this toffee recipe to make individual toffees. Instead of coating apples, simply allow the toffee to cool a little, and then take teaspoonfuls of the mixture and mould it into individual shapes, or fill chocolate moulds with the mixture, and set in the fridge.
For more Halloween recipe ideas, see our tips for what to do with your pumpkin after carving or for more seasonal food inspiration, see October’s seasonal food focus by Jasmine Hemsley.