British Toffee Apples Recipe with Smart Shanghai


A step by step guide to making Toffee Apples

This month we’ve been working with Smart Shanghai to bring you a seasonal classic that’s fit for any Halloween party – British toffee apples. Pretty to look at and even more enjoyable to eat, we’ve added a twist with the addition of a toasted almond coating to add extra bite to that crunch factor.

Be warned, caramel is extremely hot to work with so wear long sleeves and be careful!

For Halloween, we’re making toffee apples (without razor blades) with James Stockdale of The British Kitchen. He shows us how to make toffee and the best way to get it on an apple.

This is quite different from the American “carmel apple”, which involves butter and cream. Some folks in our office said James’ version actually tastes a bit like the Chinese tanghulu.

The Ingredients

For the toffee apples, you’ll need: 400 grams of white sugar, apples, 60 grams of golden syrup, 100 milliliters of water, 100 grams of almonds, popsicle sticks, and a thermometer, preferably a mercury one if possible, as those are more accurate.

James recommends buying apples that are a bit on the sour side to match against the sweet toffee taste. You can buy the golden syrup at Citysuper and Avocado Lady.

Step 1

Stab the apples with the popsicle sticks. Make sure these are in tight. You don’t want to get third-degree burns when an apple falls off the stick and splashes into a pot of boiling toffee.

Step 2

James likes to roast his almonds a bit. About 8 minutes at 175 degrees Celsius should do the trick.

Step 3

Cut up the almonds. Uneven chunks are fine, as they’ll give a nice texture to the bite.

Watch your fingers!

Step 4

Next we’ll start making the toffee. First, toss the sugar into an empty pot.

Step 5

Add in the water, then put the pot over a low-medium flame.

Step 6

Stir the mixture around until the sugar dissolves evenly

Step 7

Once the sugar water is simmering, ooze in the golden syrup. James recommends wearing long sleeves and keeping children out of the kitchen while making the toffee…

Toffee: More Dangerous Than You Think

Step 8

Put the thermometer in the pot and wait for the temperature to reach 153 degrees. This is called “the hard crack” in candy-making terms, meaning there is little water left in the syrup. Five degrees hotter and the toffee could burn. Five degrees colder and the toffee doesn’t harden well.

Keep your eye on the toffee until it hits 153. Once it does, immediately remove the pot from the fire.

Step 9

Gotta move fast now. Roll the apples into the toffee immediately because the toffee cools quickly. Don’t roll all the apples at the same time, because you need to add the almonds while the toffee is still sticky.

Step 10

You want an even coating of toffee on your apple. If your toffee begins to cool, put it back on the fire and let it get back to 153 degrees.

You can get about 6-8 apples (depending on their size) from this recipe.

Step 10

After coating the apple, roll the apple around in the diced almonds.


There you have it. Toffee apples. There’s three layers of crunch when you bite into these: the almond, the toffee, and the apple. The roasted almond flavor mixes with the sour apple, and as you chew, the super sweet toffee takes over.

If you wanted to do the caramel version with cream and butter, James suggests this recipe.

Happy Halloween.