Jaw-breaking post-war sweets from my mam’s school recipe book
Vinegar toffee and cinder toffee always remind me of autumn, Halloween and Bonfire Night. These recipes are from my mam’s 1950s schooldays when they were barely out of rationing.
These are traditional recipes, pre-dating the war, but they’ve always been called Wartime Toffee in our family (it doesn’t specify which war).
Between the rust stains from the staples and the ink blots, you can just about make out recipes for toffee (with vinegar, strange but true) and cinder toffee, which hurts the roof of your mouth if you eat too much of it.
If you’re having trouble with your teeth, avoid these at all costs! If you want to know why vinegar is used, here’s a great explanation.
- 4oz sugar
- 1 tablespoon syrup
- Small knob of margarine
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
Grease a tin.
Measure all ingredients into a pan. Place on a low heat and dissolve gently. Bring slowly to the boil.
Boil until a little of the mixture sets hard into a ball in a cup of cold water.
Pour into the tin and when warm, mark into squares, as it’s a devil to get out.
Cinder toffee (with bubbles)
Grease a tin.
Put into a pan 2 level tablespoons of syrup and 2 rounded tablespoons of sugar.
Measure half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda on to a spoon, add it to the pan and dissolve slowly over a low heat.
Bring to boil and boil for 4 minutes (DO NOT STIR).
Remove from heat and sieve in quickly 1 level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Stir in. Pour into a greased tin and leave to set.
For more wartime recipes, try making some rosehip syrup in my two recipes here.
Vinegar toffee and cinder toffee for Bonfire Night updated June 2022