Hand out this deliciously comforting mulled cider recipe accompanied by bonfire toffee next time you organise a get-together in the garden and you will be flavour of the month. They're super-quick to make, and are perfect for parties and those special moments around the bonfire or fire pit.
The spiced cider features a mix of cinnamon sticks and cloves sweetened with a choice of either salted caramel or sweet orange marmalade. Serve in mugs garnished with dried or fresh apple slices and add a cinnamon stick (the recipe serves 8). The sweetness of the toffee recipe is countered by bitter orange marmalade and it makes a delicious fireside treat, either indoors or out. The recipe makes about 20 toffees. We suggest using a sugar thermometer for toffee and caramel recipes. They’re not expensive and ensure a perfect result every time.
For more al fresco recipes for Halloween and bonfire night, take a look at our guide to the best BBQ recipes (yep, you can still use them when it's cold!).
- With thanks to Bonne Maman for sharing these recipes
MULLED CIDER RECIPE
- 1.5 litres dry cider
- 2 long cinnamon sticks, quartered, plus extra to garnish
- 4 whole star anise or cloves
- 2 tbsp Bonne Maman Sweet Orange Marmalade or Salted Caramel
- splash of French Brandy, optional
- fresh or dried apples slices, to garnish
1. Put all the ingredients, except the brandy and the garnish in a large pan. Heat gently over a low heat for 20 minutes. Don’t allow the liquid to boil as this will make the spices bitter and burn off the alcohol.
2. Pour the cider into mugs and add a splash of brandy, if using. Add some fresh or dried apple slices to garnish and a cinnamon stick to stir.
3. For a non-alcoholic version use a good pressed apple juice.
BONFIRE TOFFEE RECIPE
- 75g golden syrup
- 75g black treacle
- 50g Bonne Maman Bitter Orange Marmalade
- 125g light soft brown sugar
- 75g butter
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1. Line a shallow baking tray with non-stick baking parchment.
2. Measure all the ingredients into a deep, heavy-based pan and place over a gentle heat. Stir until the butter has melted and the sugars dissolved.
3. Turn up the heat slightly and bring to the boil. Bubble until the mixture reaches 140C on a sugar thermometer then pour into the lined tray.
4. Wait until the toffee is cool enough to handle then cut into even pieces with scissors. Roll each piece of toffee into a ball or fat log shape and wrap in waxed paper. Store in an airtight jar and it will keep for up to a month (unlikely to last beyond the day it's made though...)
Sarah Wilson has been a lifestyle journalist for many years, writing about gardens since 2015. She's written for Gardeningetc.com, Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, as well as Country Homes & Interiors and Modern Gardens magazines.
Her own (small urban) garden is a work in progress - so many ideas, not enough space to cram them in. Hero plants include her ever growing collection of ornamental grasses, black bamboo and ferns, and the perennials like salvias and penstemons that come back reliably year after year. All very restrained though when in fact she'd love to pack her garden with gaudy dahlias and giant cannas, so these are top of her wish list for what to grow next.
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